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Teaching Moment - Part 2 (The Art of Instructing)

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With my son (21) just starting off in HPDE's (karted for quite a while) in a fairly quick car (17 SS 1LE), it gives me another perspective / viewpoint on flags.  At a recent MSRC 3.1 event - his first HPDE on the 3.1 (had been on the 3.1 with me the day before on a Member's Day), he was coming up to Richochet when he (and the instructor) saw a Waving Yellow due to a car that had spun, stalled, and stopped on track on the normal line out of Richochet.  My son slowed down properly (speed and timing).  Another car (I'll leave specifics out), came, at speed, up and missed the Waving Yellow, zoomed through Richochet, and came up on my son going slow and the other car just getting going again.  I was standing up near the tower, so, I let the track / pit "boss" with the HPDE know what happened.  He said he would talk to that driver and the instructor along with the instructor with my son.

The instructor with my son thought the same as I did - they guy must have missed the Waving Yellow, and surely, that instructor would say something.  Nope, that guy and the instructor said the flag was coming down / not there.  Furthermore, when my son ran in his next session, now solo'd, I did not see the other car.  I thought they had sat him out a session or put him back a run group.  Nope - they had solo'd him AND promoted him a run group.  I was shocked - or - maybe not so much.

Just to see if what I thought I saw was correct, when we got home, we looked at the in-car forward facing video (records conversation in the car, too - built in GM Performance Data Recorder).  We also reviewed our rear facing GoPro video.  The front video and audio had my son's instructor talking about the guy missing the flag and the guy zooming by right after Richochet.  The rear facing video shows the flag waving away and the other car never slowing down.  Sent it to the head / owner of the HPDE, and it got to the guy I spoke with directly that day.  Did not exactly get a - "yep, he blew the flag" response.  I wasn't looking to get the guy in trouble retroactively, more of why would the instructor not have addressed it right then - and / or they address it with the instructor.

I think the HPDE's are under pressure to push people into higher run groups to make room for new paying customers in the lower run groups.  Plus, there is a wide range in the experience, demeanor, and driving skills amongst the instructors at HPDE's.  More and more of the folks that would be / were good instructors are off doing wheel-to-wheel and other things and aren't available always.  Some of the excellent TrackJunkies on here have been with me and / or my son in car.  We try to listen and continue to improve, drive within our and the car's limits, and also, try not to get complacent (safety, ability, etc.).

I bring the above example up because the HPDE group is only as good as the instructors and the enforcement of the rules.  Missing one (or three) Red Flags, regardless of past experience, should have been a free trip home.  At the same time, as mentioned by others on here, just boot him without the berating "instructor" lap.

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3 hours ago, BigMonkey73 said:

Video gone, i missed it

He probably got free entry to his next PCA event, placed back in Advanced without an instructor, and a cookie...all for taking it down.  I'm sure some savvy Interweb guru has a copy downloaded.  It shall reappear...

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On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 3:18 PM, cabowabo said:

I don't know where this assesment of "hacky" and "sawing at the wheel" is coming from. He seriously didn't even countersteer once. If you watch his inputs on an actual hotlap and then go back to the instructor video you'll see his inputs are much slower and relaxed. I've seen the argument that he's treating the throttle like an on/off switch, but that's completely normal for someone that drives Spec Miata (or a similar car). We don't feed throttle, it's seriously you're either in it or you're not. Likely a hard habit to break, but sure, that could have been a good point for the instructor to bring up versus what he did. Making small line adjustments at a relaxed pace isn't sawing imo.

The biggest issue I see here is that the instructor doesn't have a basis for what 10/10ths is, because his 10/10ths is the other guys relaxed 7/10ths based on this video I found of the instructor on the same track. This is straight up slow. He might be a very good instructor from an early DE stand point (teaching flags, safety, keeping a student out of trouble), but based on how pedestrian this lap is, he has no business assessing a competent driver.


Meanwhile here's the guy he was berating, who actually seems to know how to hustle a car around a track.




Instructor dude looked like he was driving on 4 space saver wheels!!

Couldn't see anything wrong with the GT3 guys driving. Looked like he was having a blast!

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On ‎5‎/‎1‎/‎2019 at 5:06 PM, RobElliot said:

It's not that you're a bad driver Brad, well yes it is...


I've got in car video like this from when I first started DE's too!

That was shameful driving and car control!

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On 5/3/2019 at 9:26 AM, ht_geordie said:

I've got in car video like this from when I first started DE's too!

That was shameful driving and car control!

Hahahaha, I was thinking similar, expect that was me in my first couple LeMons events at MSRH, before I got instruction.  ?


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