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christopherwreese

Mixing HPDE 3 & 4

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christopherwreese

I drove with NASA NorCal in Sears Point. HPDE 3 & 4 were on track at separated times. 3 was progressively more open passing, and 4 was open track. Had a great weekend.

Drove with NASA SoCal in Buttonwillow last weekend and they combined 3 & 4 on track at the same time. They made 3 point-by passing only and told the 4 guys we could pass other 4 cars, but not 3 cars. Made for a miserable time. Everyone was unhappy in the meetings. Some guys traveled from out of state, paid for and expected open passing and didn't get it. Doing this basically eliminated group 4. Very frustrating. I left after the second session.

Can you please not do this in the future?? Or let everyone know before they pay?

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IMfan

Hey, maybe it's different in NorCal, but I've been running in HPDE all this season and they've been mixing 3&4 together all the time. I heard, before HPDE4 used to be along with TT, but the latter complained, so they were moved and mixed with 3...

 

I started this season in HPDE1 and it was so crowded there, I've been constantly faster than pretty much anyone. Moving to HPDE3 helped, but last event at Buttonwillow was way too crowded. 40+ cars is just too much.

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kpearson

IMO, open passing just doesn't work in HPDE. If you have a stable group of drivers who are always on track together, it can work, but that is rare in HPDE. The problem is you never "really" know if the other driver is paying attention and in most cases, they aren't (even in HPDE4). I've seen some regions at stickers or some identifiers onto HPDE4 cars so drivers know who they can pass without a point by but I've also seen many HPDE4's not paying attention or getting upset with someone diving into a corner.

 

IMO, if you want to run open passing, run Time Trials. You don't need to be competitive and it's only and always open passing.

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427R
IMO, open passing just doesn't work in HPDE. If you have a stable group of drivers who are always on track together, it can work, but that is rare in HPDE. The problem is you never "really" know if the other driver is paying attention and in most cases, they aren't (even in HPDE4). I've seen some regions at stickers or some identifiers onto HPDE4 cars so drivers know who they can pass without a point by but I've also seen many HPDE4's not paying attention or getting upset with someone diving into a corner.

 

IMO, if you want to run open passing, run Time Trials. You don't need to be competitive and it's only and always open passing.

 

Totally agree. I run with the Great Lakes/Midwest Region and most of us in DE 4 have been together for years. We know each other and our driving knacks very well. I've experienced the opposite when running with other regions or other regions running with us....But usually after a few sessions, the confidence in each other sets in and we're less apprehensive. The biggest rule for everyone to learn is, the car being passed, must stay on line and the car making the pass goes off line to pass. Many know this, but some forget...and that's when we have issues.

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kbrew8991

DE & TT have different goals, makes sense to separate them where possible to me. Other people may feel differently.

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dbrad

IMO, HPDE 3, 4 & TT should not be combined. A new driver from HPDE 2 is transitioning from 3 or 4 passing zones to anywhere (presumably with point by). They need to focus on their car, line, stations and upcoming traffic. There is a large gap in ability from a recently elevated HPDE 2 driver and experienced HPDE 4. Why create more potential for an error to occur?

 

TT should never be in a HPDE 4 or 3 group. While TT not W2W racing, it is still a form of racing nonetheless. Again, why create more potential for errors to occur?

 

If necessary to combine 3 & 4 because of low attendance or shorter track day, follow 3 rules (i.e. pass by signals).

 

Also, think NASA should look to ensure regions are consistent with the rules for HPDE's. Was recently in a large HPDE 3 group (40+) drivers, After 1 session, group was given option to eliminate point by signals and open passing for whole track. No one wanted to be the guy to raise a concern (I indicated to the group I'd still be giving pass by signals) and we became for all intent and purposes an HPDE 4 group. I don't get it, if one wants to drive open passing all track with no point by, move up to 4. I tend to think there is a reason we have the HPDE 1, 2, 3 & 4 ladder.

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Broke Neck

Im a Mid Atlantic guy, our last event was in Nov. @ Summit Point in WV.

 

During the final session on the first day of the weekend they combined HPDE3 and HPDE4.

 

For me personally this was an absolute blast. Im in a spec miata, so typically most of group 3 is passing me and i spend most of my weekend with my hand out the window giving point bys. (I still did this quite a bit during this session) but the traffic allowed me to test myself taking lines I normally wouldnt, and get comfortable being next to someone through the turns. Each lap i was usually door to door with someone from turn 5 to turn 10.

 

As someone who wants to become a racer, I felt this really help me get a feel what a race scenario (without being in a race) was like. Being in someones mirror so they are driving in the rear view and taking advantage of them slipping up (but not being so aggressive for no reason) .... it was a blast.

 

Other than comp school, how does one prepare (in a miata) for door to door that you will see in SM ? I felt this was perfect, and I loved it.

 

Both groups reported they all had a blast, had to really be aware of your surroundings. I feel they should do this once each weekend, if you are not comfortable with it no biggie sit out or see if the instructor can move you back to 2 for that particular session (because theres no sense to not get the track time).

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ILIKETODRIVE
While TT not W2W racing, it is still a form of competition nonetheless.

Fixed and agreed.

 

However (and paying customers don't want to hear this) but sometimes logistics and sign-ups for each group dictate whether or not DE1 gets combined with DE2, or 2 with 3, or 3 with 4...

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n80

In my first DE 3 experience most of the sessions were combined DE3/DE4. I loved it. It was intimidating at first but I liked the traffic and passing in the corners (well, being passed in the corners ). I do not feel that I ever got in anyones way to any extent. Also, the DE4 cars with the yellow "4" stickers on them can be passed by DE3 cars without a point by so even in DE3 you got some experience passing without one. Having done several events with mostly combined 3 and 4 I feel I'm ready for DE4 no problem.

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TowDawg

To be honest, there are some choices that need to be made pretty soon in some regions.

We're up to 3 different race groups, but that means our races are only about 25 minutes each. Take out the pace lap and cool down lap and you're at maybe 19 minutes of race time, and that's assuming no cautions.

 

A lot of the racers are getting to the point that they're questioning the expense of of the whole weekend to race such short races.

 

That means combining some more 1/2 and 3/4 sessions, or losing your racers, which are the ones you count on to be there almost every weekend, no matter what the track or the weather.

It's great that it's getting so popular, but there's only so much time in the day.

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kbrew8991

TX is 4-5 race groups, 1 dedicated TT group (sometimes 2), so DE gets combined quite a bit. Still ends up with a successful program overall. Cater as best you can to the groups you serve the best and things will work out in the end.

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sonny

The real issue I constantly see & hear about in the classroom after a combined session is the DE3 driver being passed WITHOUT giving a point-by -- especially in a brake zone or into a corner.

 

Personally, I feel it''s good to have 3/4 combined to get people to "up their game" & force them to work on their situational awareness.

 

Having said that, though, the 4 drivers need to remember to play by DE3 rules when in a combined session. The 3 drivers need to mind their mirrors more & to give point-bys earlier or at least acknowledge the car in their mirror if not ready to give a point-by at that portion of the track.

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sonny
Other than comp school, how does one prepare (in a miata) for door to door that you will see in SM ? I felt this was perfect, and I loved it.
In SE, I make sure to have a Side-By-Side Drill during one of the DE3 sessions. This has been a very popular exercise since it was introduced 2 yrs ago. I plan on keeping it on the schedule for 2016.

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MikeAtl

I see that this Sunday at RA, the combined DE3 and DE4 session will play by DE4 rules. It should be a great way to expose DE3 drivers to open passing. Hope they are checking their mirrors...

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