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carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
7/8/10 8:50 a.m.
Mikey52_1 wrote:
Apexcarver wrote: I was instructing a kid in a BMW at an autocross (his first) who seemed to think that EVERY time he touched the brake that he had to clutch.. and I mean EVERY.. and of course if hes on the clutch, he might as well change gears... I refrained from asking WTF during his first run, had a conversation about it waiting for the second run.. Halfway through the second run.. "You just clutched, get your damn foot over to the deadpedal and PUNCH the gas! talking to him later he told me he felt like he learned a lot, seems when he was learning to drive a stick someone put it in his head that decel through the clutch would blow the trans.. umm, no..
I wonder just how prevalent that myth is...maybe MythBusters should take it up.

It's got to be something to do with Driver's Ed because it's almost all the under 25 y.o. drivers I see nowadays. They'll push in the clutch to coast down and they all sit at a light with the car out of gear. If anything happened on the way to the stop or at the light they'd be sitting ducks. You must keep you car in the appropriate gear for the speed you are going so you will be prepared to bob and weave if necessary.

mndsm
mndsm HalfDork
7/8/10 8:52 a.m.

We had a debate about that last night, everyone was paranoid about TO bearings. With the clutch that's in my car, that's the LAST thing I'm worried about.

Duke
Duke SuperDork
7/8/10 9:23 a.m.

I pop it into neutral and coast the last 10 mph or so, and don't sit on the clutch at lights. However, I'm usually keeping an eye out and can be ready to launch in under a second.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
7/8/10 10:01 a.m.
Duke wrote: I pop it into neutral and coast the last 10 mph or so, and don't sit on the clutch at lights. However, I'm usually keeping an eye out and can be ready to launch in under a second.

No you can't. It's been proven over and over again.

But even if you happened to be looking the right way and reacting at the speed of light the way things happen that second might the the difference between getting creamed or a near miss.

Always, ALWAYS keep your car in the appropriate gear so you can react quickly. Those last 10mphs when you are coasting down is when the person in the next lane doesn't see you and decides to suddenly change lanes. I see it all the time.

John Brown
John Brown SuperDork
7/8/10 10:07 a.m.

The only driving instructor I had was in drivers ed. I showed up to "extended road training" with my brothers big block Firebird stick. The instructor was supposed to drive 5 miles and you were supposed to drive for two hours after that. The instructor stalled the car 3 times, looked at me as I was giggling and asked if I could do better... I reminded him that I drove it there.

It was a long two hours.

jlm_photo
jlm_photo Reader
7/8/10 10:27 a.m.

This was from drivers ed in HS. A girl my sister had to ride with would always pull to the side of the road when a semi was coming the other direction. After doing this 2-3 times the drivers ed teacher told her that if she would agree never to drive in his class again he would give her an A. She received the A.

ReverendDexter
ReverendDexter Dork
7/8/10 10:39 a.m.

"You're turning too early."

"You're turning too early."

"You want to be over... oh, I guess that line works better than I thought."

NYG95GA
NYG95GA SuperDork
7/8/10 11:27 a.m.

Back in HS, I somehow got to be the DE teacher's pet. I had the same free period as he did, so I would go sit in his classroom with him and read car magazines. He confided in me that he didn't really enjoy driving (he was a rather hauty English teacher), and whenever he would have errands to run on his period off, I would drive him around.

The DE car was an AMC Matador. Every time I would come to a stop for a right turn, I would light up the right rear tire a little when taking off (only way the car would spin the tire).

He would become very indignant, and proclaim, "McNayah! You are not supposed to lay a drag!"

I would tell him, "I'm not laying a drag, whatever that means.. I'm just burning a little rubber."

First time I told him that, i thought he was gonna choke from laughing so hard. After that, I could "lay a drag" whenever I felt like it. He never said another word about it.

Pat
Pat Reader
7/8/10 3:40 p.m.

"Stop. Let me out."

Just kidding.

wbjones
wbjones Dork
7/8/10 5:09 p.m.

at my first trackday, after saving the car after a long slide coming out of "hog-pen" (last cor at VIR) his comment was "you've actually done this before haven't you"... my reply "nope, just 5 yrs of a-x"... him "well I guess there is something to be said for learning car control before you get on track".... at the end of the 2nd day he signed me off to run solo...

White_and_Nerdy
White_and_Nerdy Reader
7/8/10 5:40 p.m.

"Oh, yeah, this is great!!! I missed the smell of tires and brake dust..." An instructor/friend of mine during the first session of the first HPDE of the year, late March at Lime Rock.

Then there was the instructor who encouraged me, in my previous Miata, to go faster and faster to catch and pass the BMW M Coupe ahead of me. The funny thing is, I DID! Immediately after the session the M driver, who I knew well from many close kart races together, came over, laughing his head off, repeating "how DARE you!!!"

Another time, also at LRP, I spun going into No Name Straight while putting my arm out the window to point by the BMW 325e behind me (was solo). Both feet in, came to a stop, the Bimmer missed me, and we got on with business. Afterward I found the driver and thanked him for not hitting me. This led to a long conversation about his car, as I was about to acquire the exact same car myself (until the sale fell through at the last minute).

Track days lead to some funny conversations, not just from instructors.

calteg
calteg New Reader
7/8/10 5:55 p.m.
carguy123 wrote:
Duke wrote: Those last 10mphs when you are coasting down is when the person in the next lane doesn't see you and decides to suddenly change lanes. I see it all the time.

Urrmm...so when someone changes lanes in front of you, you're advocating getting on the gas and trying to outrun them?

"I should've brought a closed face helmet." -shortly after a big off into a dusty area at Buttonwillow

Salanis
Salanis SuperDork
7/8/10 6:10 p.m.

"Set it and forget it..." Was the mantra of the best instructor I rode with my first or second track day. He kept prompting me to think about what was ahead and not worry about whatever I'd just done.

I had interesting experiences instructing my dad. He was convinced he had better car control than he really did, and had a hard time accepting that I really knew what I was talking about. Some of our conversations went like this:

Him: "Geez, you're a lot faster than me through that turn."

Me: "Well... yeah."

Him: "I think I just need to drive the car harder."

Me: "No. You already drive the car way too hard. Be smoother and gentler and you'll go a lot faster."

Later...

Me: "The throttle is not an on/off switch."

Again...

Me: "You really need to slow down and smooth out your steering in that turn. One of these times, you're going to lift and you're going to spin there."

Him: "I know what the car's doing. I'm nowhere close to spinning."

Next session out, he spins in that turn.

vwcorvette
vwcorvette Reader
7/8/10 6:17 p.m.

Go! Go! Go! From my instructor coming onto the back straight at (then) NHIS during a COM event. We had been stuck behind an SHO that was plodding through the back part of the track only to show me his taillights on the front straight. I was in an 83 GTi. He suggested that I apex later coming out of 2b and get along side as the guy and his instructor weren't paying attention to the faster car behind so that he would have no choice but to let me through. He told me, "If anyone has a problem with you passing that guy you send them to see me. I'll be talking to that guy's instructor."

He signed me off to solo before the day was over. The SHO? In the pits with overcooked brakes from trying to stay ahead of me!

MrBenjamonkey
MrBenjamonkey New Reader
7/8/10 7:47 p.m.

My first trackday I took my 90 Eagle Talon AWD to Reno-Fernley Raceway. The instructor got in my car and said nothing for the first two laps. I finally started asking questions about racing lines and stuff before he said "You don't need me, go to the pits."

That was a really awesome thing to say and I felt really pimp right up to the point later that day when I had to pit with the brakes shooting fire out of the wheels and the second gear synchro dead.

Toyman01
Toyman01 Dork
7/8/10 7:59 p.m.

STAND ON IT!!! Just before he pushed my gas pedal leg down halfway through a turn at an autocross. That was Jensenman trying to teach me how to get the Abomination to turn. It turns as much with the back tires as it does with the front. Maybe more.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
7/8/10 8:27 p.m.

I'm sort of confused about instructors that will sign people off for solo on their first track day. It certainly seems like they just don't have anything to offer. How is it that someone is so good the first time they hit a track that that there are no improvements to be made?

Ian89C4
Ian89C4 None
7/8/10 8:48 p.m.

"Don't be a chicken$#%*, you can keep with that newer piece of junk in front of you!"

Explanation - My first DE at VIR going through south bend following a 2008 GT3 that for some reason was in the green group. I will always remember it because my 89 C4 was a lot more car than I thought it was and really surprised me, I really could carry more speed through there than I thought.

We also had a good relationship by that point, thus the profanity

DaveEstey
DaveEstey Reader
7/8/10 8:55 p.m.

"You found something through that turn!"

StevenFV19
StevenFV19 New Reader
7/8/10 10:11 p.m.
JeepinMatt wrote: I'm sort of confused about instructors that will sign people off for solo on their first track day. It certainly seems like they just don't have anything to offer. How is it that someone is so good the first time they hit a track that that there are no improvements to be made?

I signed off one my students for solo after his first trackday. He did lots (7yrs) of AutoX before and we were on the Shenandoah (2.2 miles, 17 turns), so he did pretty well, I just had to teach him how to conserve his tires and brakes, and do things smoother, rather than toss the car around.

The same weekend I signed my other student off, but he was in the intermediate group, and was calling out his mistakes as he made them, so he was good to go

Steven

motomoron
motomoron Reader
7/8/10 10:21 p.m.

My first ever time on Summit Point Main in a car (thousands of laps racing motorcycles years ago) the RE01Rs get a little hot and I eventually have a pretty lurid slide pinching the exit of T6. I stay fully in the throttle and catch it. Instructor shouts "OUTSTANDING!!"...

3 years later I'm at Summit Shenandoah doing the SCCA PDX instructor school - we're given 20 minutes to learn the track ~backwards~ then have to get in our "students" car to teach them the track. I look down the line of cars for something that doesn't look too threatening and choose a Neon showroom stock race car - I get in and find that very instructor. That was cool.

My first weekend as an instructor I have students in novice and intermediate. The novice is in an e92 M3 - all 400-odd HP of it - and he has The Gift. Last session on Sunday he's really going well - nice line, good on the brakes, slow in the slow parts, fast in the fast parts - but just can't seal the deal catching a well driven Sentra SE-R race car.

Me: "This time when we exit Karussel, I'm going to have you try something new. You're reacting to instruction in real time so I'm sure you'll be fine" Him: "Ok" (We exit the banked concrete bowl, the Sentra is maybe 4-5 lengths ahead of of us) Me: "Stop driving like a sissy and get the F on it!" Him: "VROOOM" Me: Stay on it, stay on it, stay on it...deeper...(making squeezing hand gesture) Brake. GET IT TURNED AND GET ON IT!" Him: "SKREEE...wahhhhhAHHHHHHH!" Me: "Expect a point from that Sentra about right....now"

I just check the signup for the event in a couple weeks and saw he's in the advanced group now.

JeepinMatt
JeepinMatt HalfDork
7/8/10 10:34 p.m.
StevenFV19 wrote:
JeepinMatt wrote: I'm sort of confused about instructors that will sign people off for solo on their first track day. It certainly seems like they just don't have anything to offer. How is it that someone is so good the first time they hit a track that that there are no improvements to be made?
I signed off one my students for solo after his first trackday. He did lots (7yrs) of AutoX before and we were on the Shenandoah (2.2 miles, 17 turns), so he did pretty well, I just had to teach him how to conserve his tires and brakes, and do things smoother, rather than toss the car around. The same weekend I signed my other student off, but he was in the intermediate group, and was calling out his mistakes as he made them, so he was good to go Steven

Autocross and other shtuff I can buy. I just can't see someone showing up for their first-ever event and just knowing everything.

Tommy Suddard
Tommy Suddard SonDork
7/8/10 11:02 p.m.
White_and_Nerdy wrote: Then there was the instructor who encouraged me, in my previous Miata, to go faster and faster to catch and pass the BMW M Coupe ahead of me. The funny thing is, I DID! Immediately after the session the M driver, who I knew well from many close kart races together, came over, laughing his head off, repeating "how DARE you!!!"

My instructor and I got stuck behind a noob in a Ferrari for a lap or two. There's nothing wrong with taking your time, but at least admit defeat and give me a point-by. Finally my instructor said "This prick isn't going to let you by, blow by him after the next corner."

MrBenjamonkey
MrBenjamonkey New Reader
7/8/10 11:18 p.m.

In reply to Tommy Suddard:

That happened so much to me. My Talon was usually the slowest car out there (Nevada is big on muscle cars, small on Miatas) on the straights, but I was really much faster than most of them through the corners. It's really frustrating when the guy in that Mustang sees me on his bumper coming onto the main straight, pulls out 5 car lengths and thinks he somehow doesn't owe me a point-by.

carguy123
carguy123 SuperDork
7/8/10 11:22 p.m.
calteg wrote:
carguy123 wrote:
Duke wrote: Those last 10mphs when you are coasting down is when the person in the next lane doesn't see you and decides to suddenly change lanes. I see it all the time.
Urrmm...so when someone changes lanes in front of you, you're advocating getting on the gas and trying to outrun them?

I can't actually believe you said that. No where, no how was anything like that even suggested. A car without the power is like a ship without a rudder.

So to the drag race I'd have to say not at all. I (and every driving book, instructor, study, whatever) am advocating having power so you can have car control so that you can make lane changes, or whatever is necessary.

EDIT: But now that I think about it, that would be fun.

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