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      05-24-2012, 08:01 AM   #1
nomile
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Open Track Days at HPR - how safe/welcoming?

For those of you who have attended lapping days at HPR - how nervous/cautious should I be when I go to a lapping day? I have attended several HPDEs, most recently at HPR. With instructors, 4 run-groups, etc, it seems like the chance of someone getting hit or doing something really dumb is very low. When you have gone out for open days, how much "worse" is it? (presuming that it is worse at all...) I'm also not in the worlds fastest car, so I'm a bit of a moving chicane.
Thinking of going out there on Monday...
Thanks
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      05-24-2012, 10:14 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nomile View Post
For those of you who have attended lapping days at HPR - how nervous/cautious should I be when I go to a lapping day? I have attended several HPDEs, most recently at HPR. With instructors, 4 run-groups, etc, it seems like the chance of someone getting hit or doing something really dumb is very low. When you have gone out for open days, how much "worse" is it? (presuming that it is worse at all...) I'm also not in the worlds fastest car, so I'm a bit of a moving chicane.
Thinking of going out there on Monday...
Thanks
I would have joined you, but I am going to Michigan for my Dad's birthday over the weekend.

To answer your inquiry: Just stay cautious initially, but don't be afraid to go out and drive fast. Bad drivers are like porn, you'll know it when you see it. You can't tell until they're on the track. Use pit road to create some space if you have to. If there is someone else there with you ask them to help you by looking for gaps in traffic, and then send you out in that gap from pit road. Another way to find gaps in traffic is to drive the back straight really slow because most everyone will try to go as fast as they can (stay far right and off the line) and watch cars coming out of T3 in your mirror and look to your right to get an idea who's in the front straight. Hopefully you find that gap!

Generally there is at least one driver's meeting. Ask Glenn (track manager) at that meeting to clarify the point by rules, if there are any. He'll definitely go over the flags. And there will probably be two groups, fast and slow. Guess what? There will be good drivers in the fast group, so consider going in the fast group. (But so will the bad drivers in their $$$$ 600 Hp cars - but generally they're careful because it's big bucks at stake. These are the guys who won't give a point by. I'll just pass them anyways if it is safe to do so.) You will get a lot of respect from other drivers when you give the point by. It's also common for drivers to use their turn signals (I did it a lot last weekend) as a point by ~on the side they want you to pass~ (and not where they are going), but on an open lapping day, I wouldn't do that. Too many newbies wouldn't understand.

Have fun nomile. BTW, no problem on "using" my cruise control on the way home last Sunday.

Here are some vids from that:



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      05-24-2012, 03:01 PM   #3
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Awesome vids Alex! The curbings change things quite a bit on turns 3 and 4, take a bit to get used to. Didn't think the manual would have a problem with water temps, but looks like you were also hit with that problem.

I have also thought about going to the open lapping days, but it always makes me a bit nervous as well.
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      05-24-2012, 04:54 PM   #4
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I went with Alex the free day they had the day after Christmas a year ago and it was well organized and not scary at all. YOu just have to watch your mirrors and be aware of your situation at all times.

Great fun, I wanna go.
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      05-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #5
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I have fortunately had good experiences with the open lapping days that I attended. Most of the drivers were courteous and aware of their surroundings when on the track. I may have just lucked out on the days I went though, as I have heard of people getting on the track who are completely clueless. As mentioned, if you give the point by and drive "predictably" other drivers will give you respect.
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      05-24-2012, 09:32 PM   #6
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Thanks for all the feedback - I'll be out there on Monday for the morning session. Anyone else?
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      05-25-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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Great vids Alex!

I was there on Sunday as well. It was my first time and I'll definitely be returning in the fall.

Nomile - I was in a 2010 328i as well and definitely felt the lack of hp in the straights and coming out of turns. My lease is up at the end of the year though so I may be stepping up to the 335.


....tracking seems to be addictive....and the RMC community is great!
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      05-26-2012, 09:52 AM   #8
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Nomile - I was in a 2010 328i as well and definitely felt the lack of hp in the straights and coming out of turns. My lease is up at the end of the year though so I may be stepping up to the 335.
Good to hear you're enjoying it! I have only been to 3 schools and a few auto-x, but am getting into it more now. BTW, I wish I had anywhere near 328 levels of power (running a 4cyl), but there is plenty of fun to be had in the corners. May be worth running your 328 a few more times before you take the big step up... I DD a 328 and bought the 318 mostly for track/autox use. That way I don't have to molest the DD too much. edit: I guess if you're leasing, that's a different story... nevermind.

See you out there.
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      05-31-2012, 07:46 AM   #9
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Just wanted to follow up: Had a blast on Monday, and in general the people were pleasant. A few exceptions were:
- One car was never really on the line, didn't give point-bys, and was generally a bit hard to deal with. This created problems b/c others were expecting them to stay on line for pass (for example trying to pass on the R on the back-straight, but the car in question drifted to the R side of the track, forcing the passer way off line to the R) Luckily also slow enough that it was relatively easy to pass (even with a 318)
- Another car that would pass on the line and take your space - this was a bit more dangerous, b/c I didn't give point-by, and the individual dove into the apex I was heading for. Not a huge deal, but could have been messy. Driver's meeting specifically discussed that the person passing has to go off line, not the other way around. Driver in question skipped that meeting.

All in all, though, tons of track time, and met some cool people. Definitely not the same vibe as a school, but fun in other ways.
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      05-31-2012, 09:44 AM   #10
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Did anyone mention to the track personnel that this person was driving in that manner? If not, I'd be the first one to provide that feedback. Too much at stake to have someone on the track that either doesn't follow/know or care about the rules.

I'd be all over providing that feedback, wouldn't want him trading paint with my car or anyone elses.
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      05-31-2012, 10:30 PM   #11
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Not yet - didn't get a chance to, and only had one run-in with the on-line-passer. Didn't know if it's appropriate to make stink, or if I'm being a weenie. I'll ping HPR and see what they say.
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      06-04-2012, 04:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Not yet - didn't get a chance to, and only had one run-in with the on-line-passer. Didn't know if it's appropriate to make stink, or if I'm being a weenie. I'll ping HPR and see what they say.
I would recommend trying to resolve the issue with the driver before heading over to Glenn. During the off session, just head over to the car and ask who was driving that session. Ask if they saw you coming and if they say Yes, have a chat. If they say No, have a chat. If it happens again after that... well, you're probably dealing with a moron who shouldn't be at a lapping day anyway.
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      06-05-2012, 07:58 AM   #13
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Here's some video from that day



Last edited by nomile; 06-06-2012 at 08:06 AM.
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