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Sears Point TT on 10/25, Bad Experience...


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I attended the Sears Point event on 10/25, which was my first NASA event. I've done many other HPDE type events, and I'm always in the fastest group at these events. I have a variety of race experience with karts and motorcycles, and I drive a pretty fast street car, so I feel comfortable and confident in the faster groups.


Basically, the TT thing at Sears was a complete joke. When I got there in the morning I had to deal with tech (because none of the tech stations in my area on the list are tech stations anymore). I got there extra early for tech, especially since I was in one of the first sessions. I asked the guy who teched my car (the head guy, can't remember his name) about the TT, and he didn't know they were having it, or how it worked, and didn't offer anyone else to ask about it. I went to registration, and they also knew nothing. Nothing was mentioned in the drivers meeting, so I figured it would sort itself out, especially since I had no more time to run around asking people questions.


Since TT runs in group 4, that's where I went. I went out in the first group 4 session, and it was fine, except that I made a big mistake and passed on a yellow that I never saw. Everything else in the session went fine, I pointed by some race cars and made some conservative passes on slower cars.


At the download session after this first group 4 session, the group leader singled me out for passing under yellow, and brought me up in front of the group to reprimand me. This was fine and I understand I broke a serious rule. What wasn't ok was when he made a big scene in front of everybody when he found out this was my first NASA event and I was in group 4. He didn't care to hear about my experience, or that I signed up for the time trial which runs in group 4. He was adamant that I should be in group 1 because I hadn't done NASA before. Had I known this was the rules, I wouldn't have bothered signing up.


And speaking of the rules, I read them carefully before signing up, and nowhere could I find that I was required to move up one group at a time. My experience at other events taught me that you sign up for the group that you belong in based on your experience, not whether you've done a certain number of events with this particular promoter.


Anyways, after a lot of BS in the download session, I was allowed to move to group 3. The time trial thing was out at that point, but I don't think it was ever on in the first place, since no transponders were ever offered and no lap times posted.


Once I got through all the red tape and BS, I had a great time driving in group 3. The passing zones were great, much better than any other HPDE I've done. Although I was pretty disapointed, embarrased and pissedoff over the way the TT/group 4 situation was handled, I ended up having a great time anyway. As much as I'd like to do the TT, I think if I ever sign up for a NASA event again, I'll probably just go with HPDE group 3 or 4.

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I am sorry to hear of your troubles. You do seem to have taken it well. The information that you were missing is found online, under rules. There is also a classification sheet for your car and instructions.


Basically you have to fill out the form to see where your car classifies, then buy transponder from registration. Then let T&S know what class you are in. The information is there with links to it on the online signup page.


One thing that would help is if one of the TTers would sort of step up and take a leading roll in spurring this along. We will find that enthusiast soon, but they must seek us out. That's so of the enthusiasm test.


As the experience thing, the group leader was right and wrong. He must have made an assumption and I am sorry. We, here in the office, do our best to check everyone out before the event for prior experience. With the online system we have to do this manually. Anyway, I sent him an email so he knows not to make this assumption again.


I hope that you will be coming back and if you are interested in the TT program, please email me at [email protected] and we can talk more.


Jerry Kunzman

NorCal Regional Director

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  • 6 months later...

So Jerry is basically saying to simply buy the transponder from registration. Well when dp35 asked the folks at registration, they knew nothing about it. The registration page on nasaproracing.com does give an option to buy a transponder.


Jerry advised dp35 that the information he needed was online under "rules". I read dp35's entire post and it looks like he was pretty aware of the rules.


There is NOTHING online under rules or anywhere that dictates about how the timing or transponder are purchased.


Somebody should clarify this thing.

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My name is Steve Lock and I am the new TT Group Leader in 2004. I am very sorry that you got off to a dissapointing start in NASA TT but let me assure you that we are working hard to improve. When you attended the event at Sears Point, there wasn't an active leader as Jerry pointed out. I am doing that now and trying to get everyone who wants to run TT up to speed on the rules and procedure to ensure that you have a very positive experience when you com eto the track.


We have rental Transponders now and I will be happy to work with you personally to class your car, get you into the appropriate HPDE group or deal with anything else that is a problem for you. Please PM me and we can discuss your needs.

I hope to hear from you soon and see you at the track at the next event.


Steve Lock NorCal NASA TT Leader.

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