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Thread: interesting.......re instruction on track

  1. #1
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    interesting.......re instruction on track


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    I'm not sure there's a fix for preventing all 'bad' instructors.

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    there may not be.....

    but standardized national certification/testing could sure help alot.

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    Thats at least the 2nd article that guy has written about that subject. He's got a drum he's beating.

    I suspect he probably has a financial interest in this: http://www.motorsport-safety.org/initiatives/certified

    When me paying "dues" to get in the right seat of a car becomes "a thing" I will officially be OUT of instructing.
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    JP

    i would agree.....

    and yes, I wont pay as well.........we should get paid!

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    I feel that we don't need to get paid, but there is something to be said of late of the risks that we're taking. I also wouldn't pay, and quite frankly, I believe that the better organizations will be sort of compelled to cover the cost for well-known, good, experienced instructors to be certified. It's already reached the point in the SE that every club is begging for instructors and most end up turning away or limiting novices for each event, and it's only getting worse due to the number of events. Furthermore, the power of the new cars is incredible. At my home track, street cars with 3-points can easily reach 175 or 180 between 7 & 10A, and a lot of instructors refuse to ride in said cars.

    For the most part, I enjoy instructing, but I can see that I might be more inclined to just start paying for events. Clubs that require instructors to pay for the privilege of being strapped into a 700hp car with someone who may or may not be crazy, an a-hole or not listen will just encourage me more.

    As an interesting side note, my father, who spent his career in risk management, has been encouraging my sister and I to stop instructing due to the financial liability of some idiot who kills himself after instruction. I think my sis has quite because of this, and I've been thinking about it more and more as well.

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    I hear you...........and yes the newer cars and newer tires make instructing a whole new deal.

    But let me ask:

    some idiot kills himself after my instruction...., Im liable to an extent?.



    .is that what u r saying?
    Last edited by jrkoupe; 04-11-2018 at 09:37 PM.

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    Oooofff... R&T guy is obviously trying to put some $$$ in his pocket, and honestly, I don't agree with his "it's so obvious" synopsis of FWD driving dynamics either. In a mostly stock FWD car that has terminal to horrible understeer at the limit, at a constant steering angle that's causing an understeer condition, it will usually reward more or less throttle off a neutral throttle position with just more understeer. I tracked a stock Acura RSX Type S for a while (was a DD that I could also instruct with some). It was terminal understeer, and no amount of chopping off the throttle in corners or things like that would give it more rotation beyond a neutral throttle position. It was just that biased towards understeer that you've got to treat the front tires with kid gloves and let them ONLY corner to get the maximum cornering ability out of them.


    As for the instructor certification - no way I'd go through something like that to instruct. I feel free track time isn't even enough payment most weekends, and have considered hanging up my helmet and paying for the few track days I do. Most students are good, and I enjoy watching them learn over the weekend, but the occasional bad apple who usually has a strong case of OSB makes the whole weekend slightly to moderately unenjoyable.

    Modern cars are also getting crazy fast as others have mentioned, so I feel most novice students don't even get to safely experience hanging a car out on the limit to actually learn what it's doing because the speed we'd both be doing is flat out dangerous with their lack of experience. Also, in the TX region, it was starting to get to where no novices would bring a car out with less than 400 HP, because "why bother?" in their minds. Plus the average value of cars in the paddock was continually creeping up over the years which really changed the vibe of people just going out there to to have fun driving their cars on track and learn something in the process. It almost became more of an "Instagram experience" of showing others that they're driving their badass car on a REAL race track *F L A T O U T*.

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    I drove a stock FWD car on track for the first time last weekend. (I have a fair amount of experience in FWD cars on the street and autocross). Def's right, I was surprised how poorly it responded to throttle, steering, and brake inputs at or slightly past the limits. It did one thing, understeer. Slight adjustments with the wheel or throttle did NOTHING. It plowed until it lost a ton of speed.

    Modern cars have such extremely small time between 'uh oh' and 'ouch'. There's only one answer. Slow the student down. In fast modern cars, students have to learn the track and the track environment well before they start learning any car dynamics. More and more clubs are getting the instructors out of the car before car limits are pushed. We should probably re-structure our in-class training with this in mind.

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    so much of whats being said by us is very very true. I have been in the game since 1976 when we had 100 hp 2002's and the hot top level students had modded tii's w/ 135 hp...lol

    how do we slow students down?.......speed limits?, I am not so sure. Tell a dude that paid for the day and paid for a hi hp car to top it off at 120 till he shows control?...Im not so sure that would fly

    I must say tho that I have put limits on some students and they were cool about it...so perhaps it could work....maybe Im thinking some cowboys wont sign up if they see limits and that may be good, lol, or it will cut attendance and the sport may die...

    I dont know , I have seen w/ bigger dollar cars and the like, the "car guy student " is not as prevalent, the current person is working less and less on the car himherself...they are just writing checks


    I do pick and choose my days, as some groups are simply better than others, and bring a type of person/car I trust more.
    Last edited by jrkoupe; 04-12-2018 at 10:28 AM.

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    I have become hyper selective of when and who I instruct with anymore for all the reasons mentioned above.
    For me (as most of the instructors I know and respect) the free track time aspect has been a non-starter.
    Its nice, but the instructing rewards came from the camaraderie of being in the instructor corps to help better the next wave.
    I used to really enjoy it.
    I enjoy it way less lately.

    I'd rather just pay for my track time and race or do Jeffapalooza style events.
    The running from car to car helmet in hand, no time to debrief, etc just gotten way old for me (as have I apparently).

    Honestly I would be WAY onboard with moving to out of car, corner observation based instruction like we do at the SCCA WDCR Comp School.
    I would volunteer to instruct way more in that format.

    I was going to be the guy who throws the turd in the punch bowl and bring it up in open conversation at this year's NJ Instructor Seminar, but I could not attend at the last minute.

    Im sure even speaking of it aloud will bring much hand wringing and student deaths just from talking about it,,, but I'm game to be "that guy" LOL.
    We have not lost a student yet at any of the Comp Schools I have instructed at LOL.
    Last edited by jimmypet; 04-12-2018 at 11:10 AM.
    jimmy p.


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    This is a very interesting discussion to read through. I am not an instructor and last year was my second year tracking my car. I remember being pretty overwhelmed just being on the track at all my first couple events. Putting myself in an instructor's shoes there is no way I would get into car with 400 plus hp and a novice behind the wheel. I can only imagine that problem is going to get worse going forward. The newest M5 does 60 in 3.1 seconds.

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    Jack Baruth should be ashamed of himself for settling his Internet arguments in his magazine column, where he can have the biggest microphone. Plus, his argument is full of shit. Bad instructors don't cause crashes. Bad instructors just slow down a student's development. If Jack wants to advocate for a national rule, he should push for clubs to bar repeat pairings with instructors, so no novice gets a poorly-trained instructor twice.

    National certification programs are for the benefit of the people running the certification program, not the professionals they license or the customers those professionals serve. Instead of trying to make money selling certification tests, they should make money instructing students. Assuming they can get paying customers.

    There isn't "one nationally-recognized certification" for teaching teen drivers. The company that gave my teenagers their street driving instruction doesn't rely on claims of national certifications to get business. They rely on their established reputation in my community. Teaching novices to get around the track has way fewer risk implications than teaching teenagers how to manage street traffic without death or serious injury. IIHS says in 2016, 1,027 teen drivers were killed in automobile accidents. How many track driving students were killed?

    The instructor is there to gauge the student's ability and keep them within a safe envelope of development exercises to see if they level up. In every club I run with, a student that won't participate in this process by following the instructor's directions to the best of their ability will be taken off track immediately for a talking to by the CI. If they're contrite, they go back out, probably with the same instructor but maybe not if they're not simpatico. Any more failures to follow directions after that, and he's done for the day.

    I think there's no substitute for in-car instruction, and I think the in-car instructor is also the safest system because that's the only way to know exactly what's going on with the student every minute of the session and keep things under control. For example, the NCC chapter of BMW CCA has all their students (except the first tier novices) do one session a weekend without using their brakes. That's a model of instructor control if I ever saw one. Seriously, 90% of the bad off-track excursions are in the solo groups -- and the worst are in the instructor sessions!

    Instructor shortages are a real problem. But instructors are volunteers, plain and simple. What activity ever has enough volunteers? Volunteers are special people who give their time out of the goodness of the hearts. There will never be enough of them on the planet as far as I'm concerned, and I very much appreciate everything I got from my volunteer instructors.
    If God meant for man to motor-swap LS engines into track cars, He wouldn't have created Corvettes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkoupe View Post
    But let me ask:

    some idiot kills himself after my instruction...., Im liable to an extent?.



    .is that what u r saying?
    Yes, that was my father's implication. In our litigate everything that moves society, he was suggesting that I could get wrapped up in this in the result of an accident. He cautioned that he may be missing something, but that I should definitely research it.

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    There's a lot of valid points here.

    I do limit students to a certain speed in the case of a stupid fast car with no safety. I tell the student before & tell him that if he doesn't like it that I am more than happy to have the CI find another instructor for him.

    The BMWCCA still has events where there are two (I've had three) students in a weekend. The last event at RA, I got wrangled into being an instructor mentor. Crap, that was a "not a second of downtime" weekend. I'll have to think about that if asked again. Chin only has one student, but there are only three run groups, so it's still a busy day.

    My wife & son commonly go, and like many veterans, I have a lot of friends at the events. Sometimes, the instruction kills the social aspect of the events, which is also important.

    I think that the BMWCCA should have some basic car control at events. Skidpad, lane change, threshold braking. A lot of these can't be safely done in the run groups, but I think that this is an element that is left out. Maybe they should mandate some autocross first. Build the students' skills.

    In the end, I guess that clubs will do whatever brings the most revenue, and if instructors become too much of a cost, the clubs will find a way around. Seth Thomas, David Murray, and others do this instruction without a right seat, so I guess that the bigger clubs may eventually follow.

    Does everyone not know that FWD sucks? Jk, lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lelandr View Post
    I think that the BMWCCA should have some basic car control at events. Skidpad, lane change, threshold braking. A lot of these can't be safely done in the run groups, but I think that this is an element that is left out.
    That can be logistically difficult, and many track properties simply don't have the facilities beyond the track itself. It also takes extra volunteers to administer.

    Threshold braking exercises (novice group) can be done on the track during a designated exercise session. We've also experimented with passing exercises by pairing up cars and doing "you pass me, then I pass you," using both sides and multiple zones, then progressing to late passes and passing in turns, offline vs. online, and so on. Only the paired cars can pass one another, and max speeds are controlled by a designated lead car or pair of cars.

    This can be an effective exercise, but there's a fine line to tread between worthwhile skill building exercises and cutting into what students consider their normal track time.

    Neil

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    A self regulated national recognized licensing body, like MSF is trying to be, is good for one thing (other than making money). It may/can provide a shield against litigation. Once (if) it reaches that level of acceptance, it certainly puts pressure on the broader community to join the club. (I hate that they picked MSF by the way, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation has been around since 1973.)


    Good discussions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lelandr View Post
    Yes, that was my father's implication. In our litigate everything that moves society, he was suggesting that I could get wrapped up in this in the result of an accident. He cautioned that he may be missing something, but that I should definitely research it.

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    geez...who woulda thunk


    like when porsche got sued for selling the 930 cars....lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrkoupe View Post
    geez...who woulda thunk


    like when porsche got sued for selling the 930 cars....lol
    Again, this is not a "you're gonna get sued" and I don't know of anyone who has been sued, so I don't want ti be chicken little. However, it is something that I think about. One of the good things admit the bigger clubs is that they have very high liability insurance limits.

    If I do events with smaller groups that may not have this protection, I just pay.

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    If you don't do something in the US because you're afraid of being sued... well, you won't do much of anything.

    IMO, I'm much much more worried about mine and my student's safety when out there on the track. If I keep that as objective number 1, I'm not very worried about the liability thing.


    Now, if you're goading your student into driving well over their limits, then maybe you should be worried. But any good instructor won't do that to a fairly inexperienced student. Advanced level DE guys sometimes do need a bit of a kick in the pants if they want to move beyond the 7/10ths pace everywhere, but they should understand what you're saying at that level.

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    Like others in this thread, I won't pay to get "Certified", so I can risk myself for the benefit of a club or for profit organization. I'll just stop instructing at that point. I've been thinking about stopping anyways, based on the abilities of the cars to acheive crazy speeds with nothing but factory safety equipment.

    I do believe there's a better way to instruct than in the car tho, most of the professional coaches don't get in their students cars. We could do lead-follow, have instructors at corner stations and for the more advanced students, go over data with them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocWyte View Post
    Like others in this thread, I won't pay to get "Certified", so I can risk myself for the benefit of a club or for profit organization. I'll just stop instructing at that point. I've been thinking about stopping anyways, based on the abilities of the cars to acheive crazy speeds with nothing but factory safety equipment.

    I do believe there's a better way to instruct than in the car tho, most of the professional coaches don't get in their students cars. We could do lead-follow, have instructors at corner stations and for the more advanced students, go over data with them.
    Agree. More and more orgs are getting the instructor out of the car ASAP. It makes a longer learning curve for the student, but otherwise there's a lot of advantages.

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    the future will bring changes.....its happening already

    Im happy I got to enjoy student cars w/ 200 hp and less.......lol

    but its gotten( is that a word?..lol) a bit nuts.....on a hot lap at Lime Rock Ill see like 120 on main st w/ my 240 hp s52 engine'd car , yet some rookies see 120 mph or more on a lap that is 5 seconds slower......
    Last edited by jrkoupe; 04-21-2018 at 11:55 AM.

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