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n80

Happy in HPDE 3 or 4?

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alex3000
just the racing itself can be fun

some of the extra headaches associated with it make it less so

 

how those balance is a personal thing, esp vs other routes of particpantion (even some that people love to shoo-shiddily-diddily on all the time )

 

If you're happy, be happy. Grass isn't always greener. But, may not hurt to try just to confirm....

 

Well said Ken. I did HPDE through group 3 a number of years ago with SE and really loved the experience. I then built a car and have a team that runs in "other participation routes". And I love that too. (say what you will about it but I have had the pleasure of being effortlessly passed by Randy Pobst in a 1.6 miata at VIR)

 

I think WTW competition versus HPDE as far as which is more "fun" is not apples to apples. HPDE is fun in the way that's more like golfing with old friends, you're outside having fun but ultimately, you haven't accomplished much. Racing is more fulfilling in that it takes more work, is more stressful but at the end you competed against others and you finished in a place. And depending on your personal attitude, as long as you don't come dead last you know you're faster than someone

 

My vote is, as the kids say: YOLO (google if over 30) and go racing.

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hufflepuff

I've been doing TT for a year. During the hotter months, you'll be down on power and probably won't set any personal bests or lap records. However, I like to see that when I drive flat-out, my fastest lap in back-to-back sessions are usually within tenths of a second. So another fun aspect for me is seeing i'm consistent.

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hufflepuff

A couple of thoughts for folks that may be getting dis-interested with HPDE 3/4:

 

- Try new tracks. I visited road Atlanta for the first time this month and the experience was tremendously fun.

 

- Try a new car. I had developed my TT integra over the course of a few seasons. For HPDE, I eventually got to the point where I was consistently lapping within a few tenths and didn't feel like there was much more for me to try or improve (although there always is). Switching to my almost stock Mazda RX-8 completely changed the fun factor. The RX-8 is so much more balanced and engaging to drive. I actually have to be on top of it at every turn-in, apex, and exit, instead of the integra which mostly does what it's told and doesn't step out of line often.

 

- Consider instructing. It can be very fun and rewarding (but it's not for all personalities or communication styles).

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n80

Resurrecting an old thread as an update. I've been instructing for the last 5 events. I really like it so far. I've been fortunate to have gotten good students every time and I've gotten good feedback from them so far.

 

Julie Pantas (NASA-SE) has done a great job matching me up with students in similar cars....no Corvettes or Vipers so far (I'm in a stock 350z).

 

I've also found that not having to pay the registration fee takes some of the pressure off in terms of being on track every second. I drive when I want to and skip when I want to.

 

I have also found that in DE-4, finding a group of comparable drivers/cars and driving hard with them.....not racing of course ...is a ton of fun.

 

So, I'm having fun in DE-4. May get a check ride to do TT in Feb at CMP but I keep putting it off. It will be simple enough to get classed (easy TTC with stock 350z). Just need to get scheduled for a check ride far enough in advance. Not sure TT will be my cup of tea but I'd like to try it at least.

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427R
So, I'm having fun in DE-4. May get a check ride to do TT in Feb at CMP but I keep putting it off. It will be simple enough to get classed (easy TTC with stock 350z). Just need to get scheduled for a check ride far enough in advance. Not sure TT will be my cup of tea but I'd like to try it at least.

I think you'd enjoy TT. I wasn't sure when I moved into it this season, but it turned out to be a lot of fun and challenging, trying to best your time each time out. Its fun knowing those in front of you at the grid are faster, giving you that little extra incentive to go faster and be better. It's also a treat, if you do well, to take home a contingency award or two.

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freq
In NASA SE a DE3 does not have to wait for a point by from a car with a 4 on it. No way for the car in front to know if the car in back is a 3 or not.

 

Agree about the point by when you can. I see professional racers do it on TV. It just makes sense and should not be seen as a sign of inexperience. In ambiguous situations knowing which side the lead car wants you to pass on is helpful. But as mentioned, when cornering or braking hard it can be hard to get a point by out the window. While those are not always ideal times or places to pass, DE 3 or 4 is the place to learn how.

 

Agree, thats why its so important to remember one of the important passing rules...car being passed stays "on line" while car passing goes 'off line". I'd say in the 2 years I've been running DE4, this is done maybe 90% of the time. I'm usually more comfortable passing when running with cars in my own Region-Great Lakes, but when we run crossover events, GL & Midwest together, I'm more cautious. I'm sure the Midwest drivers feel the same. You get used to running with the same bunch of drivers/cars, you get a feel for what they'll do or not do.

 

 

Old post but I felt the need to respond.

 

This isn't "a rule" per se. If a faster car is coming up on me, I may sometimes give him the line while I go off line. I'm the guy getting overtaken, I'll tell you which side.

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getfast
This isn't "a rule" per se.

 

It absolutely is, in some regions - I just announced it to 200 HPDE/TT drivers at a trackside meeting last Saturday morning. Overtaking car goes offline and it's their responsibility to complete the pass safely. Car being passed stays on line which is predictable. What you're describing there with "sometimes give him the line" is unpredictable. Case in point: a new Z06 coming up on an old Miata is already plotting 10 ways around and at a 50+ mph closing speed, doesn't want to have to guess which way to go. Corvette driver is going offline which may be where the Miata driver is about to go by attempting to get out of his way. And that's why it's a bad idea

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jeepers
This isn't "a rule" per se.

 

Car being passed stays on line which is predictable. What you're describing there with "sometimes give him the line" is unpredictable. Case in point: a new Z06 coming up...

 

Doesn't this become a bit of a logistics problem when a Viper/Z06/Miata is on your bumper through 5-8 Summit or VIR 4-7 or anywhere else that's kinda twisty? Not sure how I'd coordinate the online/offline ballet when I want someone to get going past me and set up for the immediately approaching opposite corner.

 

I think this is the confusion when we're talking about online/offline passing. It definitely makes sense in most cases. Except when it doesn't.

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Ev
This isn't "a rule" per se.

 

It absolutely is, in some regions - I just announced it to 200 HPDE/TT drivers at a trackside meeting last Saturday morning. Overtaking car goes offline and it's their responsibility to complete the pass safely. Car being passed stays on line which is predictable. What you're describing there with "sometimes give him the line" is unpredictable. Case in point: a new Z06 coming up on an old Miata is already plotting 10 ways around and at a 50+ mph closing speed, doesn't want to have to guess which way to go. Corvette driver is going offline which may be where the Miata driver is about to go by attempting to get out of his way. And that's why it's a bad idea

I 100% agree that on a straight, stay on line. Predictable with high closing speeds makes things much safer.

 

That said, a case could be made in pass anywhere groups, that if two cars are very close in speed, or you're in a faster car, pointing faster driver by, moving offline may provide room to make their pass easier. An example might be moving right and pointing left at the entry to turn 5 at Summit, leaving the "natural" line open for an inside pass.

 

Still a bad idea?

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getfast
Doesn't this become a bit of a logistics problem when a Viper/Z06/Miata is on your bumper through 5-8 Summit or VIR 4-7 or anywhere else that's kinda twisty? Not sure how I'd coordinate the online/offline ballet when I want someone to get going past me and set up for the immediately approaching opposite corner.

 

I think this is the confusion when we're talking about online/offline passing. It definitely makes sense in most cases. Except when it doesn't.

 

No confusion (in my opinion) when you realize the rule is for when/where/how the pass is initiated, not necessarily where it happens or how it ends up. In fact the best & safest passes can be exactly those ones you describe, where the overtaking car does end up on line.

 

Not diving out of the way into the spot the overtaking car was setting up to occupy is the main goal here. That's caused a lot of near-misses over the years.

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Ev
Doesn't this become a bit of a logistics problem when a Viper/Z06/Miata is on your bumper through 5-8 Summit or VIR 4-7 or anywhere else that's kinda twisty? Not sure how I'd coordinate the online/offline ballet when I want someone to get going past me and set up for the immediately approaching opposite corner.

 

I think this is the confusion when we're talking about online/offline passing. It definitely makes sense in most cases. Except when it doesn't.

 

No confusion (in my opinion) when you realize the rule is for when/where/how the pass is initiated, not necessarily where it happens or how it ends up. In fact the best & safest passes can be exactly those ones you describe, where the overtaking car does end up on line.

 

Not diving out of the way into the spot the overtaking car was setting up to occupy is the main goal here. That's caused a lot of near-misses over the years.

Seems we are vehemently in agreement.

 

Yes, I have seen several radical direction changes because someone is driving in their mirrors, and it's scary.

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getfast

I 100% agree that on a straight, stay on line. Predictable with high closing speeds makes things much safer.

 

That said, a case could be made in pass anywhere groups, that if two cars are very close in speed, or you're in a faster car, pointing faster driver by, moving offline may provide room to make their pass easier. An example might be moving right and pointing left at the entry to turn 5 at Summit, leaving the "natural" line open for an inside pass.

 

Still a bad idea?

 

Certainly a valid point. We can obviously find many ways to debate this about many specific corners but the basic idea is that your action needs to be predictable more than it needs to be polite.

 

In this case I might wonder why not give 'em a point-by a couple seconds earlier into or out of 4, so 5 can still be entered single-file, meaning both parties can go faster...

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Ev

 

Certainly a valid point. We can obviously find many ways to debate this about many specific corners but the basic idea is that your action needs to be predictable more than it needs to be polite.

 

In this case I might wonder why not give 'em a point-by a couple seconds earlier into or out of 4, so 5 can still be entered single-file, meaning both parties can go faster...

Predictable IS being polite when you really consider it. If I am approaching you at a high rate of closure, it's certainty impolite to move into my path

 

Using your example, specific to that track, a point going into 4, offline, would be inside. If it's early enough, it's a fine place to give a point (exit of 3). Four is a scary place to be off line, it's also a very high speed kink. I personally don't like being off line too far as the marbles out there can make things interesting. As I exit 3, I check the mirrors. I judge at that point if before 4, or before 5 is the best option (car/closing speed dependent). Either can work, I like the entry to 5 most because the worst that can happen is you drive into grass. If you overcook 4 offline at the apex, the tire wall isn't far away.

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freq

For instance, I'm an HPDE3 guy, grouped with HPDE4 and TT guys who are running for points by the way, at Watkins Glen. Coming out of T7 "the toe" I never track out and stay inside after the apex. Pointing them by on my left side. What's so unpredictable?

 

The faster guys can apex and track out staying on line without lifting.

 

250px-Watkins_Glen_International_Track_Map.svg.png

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getfast

Sounds more polite than predictable, but doesn't sound dangerous and is clearly ok up there without some regional rule about it. Not as many near-misses as other regions apparently, because NE drivers are the best

 

Question, though - why do you feel the need to do that? What is possibly the benefit of getting out of someone's way?

 

(Please don't say because TTers... this is part of why TT should not run with DE3.)

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freq

Pretty sure this was a DE4 and TT (for points) run group.

 

It was my first time at WGI plus I had the added mental pressure of messing up a TT guys time. It's pretty slow uphill corner anyway.

 

As far as my NEED to do that and getting out of someones way.... nothing wrong with running a different line now and then is there? There to learn and to try new things, within reason of course.

 

I'll stop now. Thanks for the discussion.

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brkntrxn

 

(Please don't say because TTers... this is part of why TT should not run with DE3.)

 

 

But they do... in several regions....

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getfast

As a former regional director I certainly understand why it happens... we do it here but only for warmups and that seems to work... I'll shut up now

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Fr3AkAzOiD
For instance, I'm an HPDE3 guy, grouped with HPDE4 and TT guys who are running for points by the way, at Watkins Glen. Coming out of T7 "the toe" I never track out and stay inside after the apex. Pointing them by on my left side. What's so unpredictable?

 

For me in HPDE 3 when I tried that a couple times at Oak Tree at VIR not tracking out meant taking the corner a couple mph slower and getting on the gas much later.

 

When the car behind you is expecting you to take a corner at a certain speed based off your last couple corners as he was catching up and he makes a run on a corner like Oak Tree and your going slower then he predicted it has caused some close calls.

 

I just drive my line and try to be as predictable as possible.

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n80

I've got another question along these lines that has to do with passing someone in a turn or just before one in DE-3 or DE-4. Certainly best avoided but sometimes it happens and in DE-4 it is something we should learn how to do, I guess.

 

But lets say I'm approaching a slower car as we both approach a fairly tight left hand turn. In DE the passing car is expected to go off line and we don't have the same rules as racers about who 'own's the line. So the slower car is on the outside, I am on the inside and pull ahead just as we enter the turn. What I typically do is hold my line and stay inside, which pretty much kills my momentum through the turn. That's no big deal of course, but on several occasions the car I'm passing is not where I think it is going to be because they clearly expected me to apex and then track out in front of them the way you would if you were racing which means they are waiting for me to track out in front of them. This stuffs them in the turn and several of them have understandably shown their disapproval. No close calls or anything but it ruins their momentum through he turn.

 

So what is the proper protocol? Go through the corner like in DE-3 side-by-side drill or track out in front of them?

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kpearson

There is no right answer. If you go through a turn side-by-side, (depending on the corner) neither of you are on the fast line. It's going to give both of your momentum regardless of where you track out.

 

If I can tell in my mirrors that I've cleared the car, I will retake the line (whether that is tracking out, or lining up for a corner). If I cannot tell if I have cleared the car, I stay on a "safe line". HPDE is not about getting that fast lap, it's more about being safe with other drivers. With that, just use your head. If you can't tell where the other car is, assume it's beside you.

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Lance10
On the original question, I have been doing HPDE for about 8 years, in HPDE3/4 since about the second year. And still love doing it. I’ve considered instructing, but I just don’t think the passenger seat is the place for me. Considered TT, but chasing that last tenth hasn’t enticed me. And I don’t want to spend the money to be competitive racing, even though that was probably the original plan way back when. I like driving it to the track, everything needed packed in the trunk, no truck/trailer/etc.

 

Why is it still fun this way? Recently I’d say track variety. I’ve had the most fun the last year or so doing Barber, Mid-Ohio and Daytona for the first time - learning a new track and knocking several seconds off over the weekend. And car variety can be fun too. I started out in an Integra that quickly became fully track prepped. But a couple of years ago I went back to my daily driver and had a blast. It didn’t handle as well, so you really had to drive it. I’m currently on my 3rd different dd, each a different drive. Finally, the NASA social aspect is unbeatable. Just because you’re in HPDE doesn’t mean you can’t get to know everybody. I’ve known several current instructors, TT’ers, racers and HPDE’ers for years.

 

 

Agreed. Sometimes the cost, stress and personal frustration of racing exceeds the fun. Been in both competitive and non-competitive for 20 years, honestly the enjoyment factor increases when the pain and effort are decreased.

 

Hopping in your "track car" and driving to the track without spending tens/hundreds of thousands of dollars for tow/trailer/tools/engines/tires/brakes/etc/etc/etc/etc might not make it as competitive, but the fun factor is much higher when you're done at the end of the day and only require a beverage as you sit in your A/C and listen to the radio.

 

Driving in a competitive race car with no A/C, nothing in the dash, roll cage, not even windshield fluid for 5+ hours at this point, sounds like cruel punishment. When you're 25 and fit with no back troubles, no problem. The social enjoyment of open tracks without the competition obsessed willing to clip another car for that .05 second faster lap time seems more befitting.

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