10-22-2007, 06:28 AM
Is it just that the instructor feels you're going to drive safely and not like a lunatic? Heh, maybe they're just bored in my car?
View Full Version : So why are students soloed at ACNA events?
10-22-2007, 06:28 AM
Is it just that the instructor feels you're going to drive safely and not like a lunatic? Heh, maybe they're just bored in my car?
10-22-2007, 07:46 AM
usually your not soloed until you are ready though. Some people push really hard to be soloed..and they are not ready.
10-22-2007, 08:00 AM
To answer my own question, getting signed off to solo is part of the progression to upper classes and is even a factor in applying for a race license.
Personally, I like having someone in the car up to a point. I find that my solo runs are the most relaxing and satisfying.
When you solo, you're able to experiment and sort things out in the order and in the way you want to. With an instructor, s/he can and should have his/her ideas of what you should be doing and thinking about in the coming track segments, and that puts your brain in a different (reactive) mode. You need to solo to practice the mental aspects of driving. You need both (instructor and solo) to keep learning.
PS: I never ASK to be solo. To me it seems like that's an instructor's call 100%, and asking to solo suggests the wrong motive.
10-22-2007, 08:08 AM
without actually being behind the wheel, which I can understand since he has no idea who I am and putting that type of trust in a stranger is (should be) a tall order for anyone. But, I know that I can run that hard, even at a safety school in the experienced/advanced run levels, and should be allowed to, if I want to...assuming it's not putting anyone else in harms way, which I wasn't. He wouldn't let me go as fast I wanted to go into/through the climbing Esses as well as brake as late as I was for T1. maybe he would've been better matched with a beginner/intermediate driver ::shrugs::
10-22-2007, 08:48 AM
although I have seen people solo'd off who shouldn't have been :)
I enjoy the input from instructors.
except this weekend...
One question: why/how are instructors chosen?
10-22-2007, 08:51 AM
next time ask for another instructor :)
I've had good, and bad ones (IMO). At NEQ events, they've all been good, so far :)
I can't say the same for this weekend...
10-22-2007, 09:09 AM
10-22-2007, 09:21 AM
There could be other reasons why he/she said for you to slow down. Did he explicitly say why he wanted you to slow down?
If you're trying so hard that you're not breathing or your arms/shoulders are tense, an instructor might ask you to slow down.
If you're driving so hard, you're missing your apex and track out, an instructor might ask you to slow down.
If something about your driving gives an indication they you don't know how to react in an out-of-control situation, an instructor might ask you to slow down.
10-22-2007, 09:22 AM
none of the following has anything to do with your driving in particular; it's just based on my experience instructing.
The fact that you feel comfortable at a given speed *and* have done it before doesn't mean that you're doing it well, or that it feels in control to someone with more experience.
Sometimes I can jump in a car who drives very fast, but they're smooth and controlled enough that I'm instantly comfortable. Other times, you feel the driver doing things that unsettle the car, and if they don't show awareness of it, you have to ask them to back off until they smooth things out.
But I can't speak for all instructors, and you're definitely right that some instructors might not be comfortable at certain speeds no matter what you're doing behind the wheel.
10-22-2007, 09:30 AM
ideally, someone who solos should go out with a few things to work on, and then later in the event/day, they might ride with the instructor again to get more feedback, etc. often it doesn't work out quite like that.
10-22-2007, 09:43 AM
I have gone out with other instructors in very fast cars and felt uncomfortable too...sitting in the passenger seat in a car that is going pretty fast can be very uncomfortable at times.
10-22-2007, 09:44 AM
10-22-2007, 09:47 AM
to sign off students. I also felt that some instructors that I had were hardly qualified as I was continually allowed to make dumb mistakes/choices w/o reprimand or correction like jerky steering input, over braking, etc... By the 3rd of 4th school I attended I was in the advanced group and wasn't even assigned an instructor. It was up to the student to search out an instructor if they wanted. This was with only 4-6 days of experience. At that point I decided for myself that I wasn't going to learn much more from this group and started attending BMWCCA event.
I found that BMWCCA chapters in general ran a tighter ship. The in-car instruction was better as most instructors were club racers as well. They had less fear(?) than ACNA instructors and encouraged trying different lines so the student could feel the effect of that approach. I remember reading someones beliefe that ACNA teaches the "school line" and if you deviate from it your car will explode. One method I have discovered that some BMW chapters use to solo off students is have them take most if not all corners offline. The NJ chapter takes this a step further and requires a sign off from two instructors before being soloed. Even in the classroom I learned more in the beginner group w/ BMW than I had combined in all of the ACNA classroom, mostly because the material never changed. Lastly, I was getting more seat time.
Now, it has been 4 years since I drove w/ ACNA so things may and probably have changes. Different chapters do things differently as well so I can only speak to my own experiences.
10-22-2007, 09:57 AM
things can change quickly as someone gets more experience and picks up speed, and the instructor really should be there in the car to recognize it.
10-22-2007, 11:03 AM
My most frustrating instructor experience was when I had a substitute sit in for one session and lay out an entire approach to the track that was at odds with my instruction to that point. He wanted me to use the "DE" line (brake straight and long, turn and apex way late-- basically convert the track into a series of straights); and he instituted an arbitrary speed limit (110). I can't fault him for the latter point since it was tough for him to be tossed into a new student car without knowing anything about me.
Frankly, I have the deepest respect for anyone willing to jump into a stranger's car driven by a stranger at 2X legal speeds.
10-22-2007, 11:07 AM
... you got to advanced with 4-6 days. It's a voluntary disclosure so if you wanted to write down 15 days you could move up to Blue (intermediate) at best. Sounds like the rules were/are not followed where you ran.
Green / Beginner 0 - 4 days (no R-compound tires)
Yellow / Novice 5 - 14 days
Blue / Intermediate 15 - 29 days
Black / Advanced or Instructor 30+ days
My experience with ACNA (Mid-Atlantic) has been the opposite. Very controlled.
10-22-2007, 11:40 AM
I was novice for my first event in 2002 and intermediate for the next 3 events being soloed off at each. Then advanced at my 5th event and advanced w/ open track at the 6th event w/ ACNA in 2005.
10-22-2007, 11:47 AM
10-22-2007, 01:50 PM
(10 days) so it might just have been the string of instructors that I've had but three out of those five events I was signed off to solo whereas a friend of mine has only been soloed once.
I did find it to be very helpful because it forces you to think about things instead having an instructor just tell you, but I'm still new to the HPDE thing and I'm surprised that they let me go out there alone so soon. When I drive, I notice a ton of errors that I make but they still let me go play alone
10-22-2007, 02:10 PM
... does not follow their own rules, there should be a correction. I've seen the Mid-Atlantic Chapter struggle on day two at Summit POint when instructors have checked out early, but I can't say that I've seen safety compromised.
10-22-2007, 02:45 PM
I have had to leave a bit early on a rare occasion...but I am usually there to the very end.
10-22-2007, 04:55 PM
with your peers, then 2 instructors ought to be able to make that decision. Yes?
10-22-2007, 04:57 PM
BTW- I am student still, not advanced and certainly not an Instructor. But I have helped organize several HPDE and I note that Instructors ahve openly stated that students wered not ready to go solo or to advance.
10-22-2007, 05:15 PM
"at 2X legal speeds."
Amen to that.
10-22-2007, 06:23 PM
<center><img src="http://pictureposter.audiworld.com/3484/student_rankings.jpg"></center><p>This is for Glacier Lakes but its a general guideline for all the chapters. There is a similar table for instructors. More experienced instructors are paired with more advanced students.
10-22-2007, 06:43 PM
1) Pointing out flags before I have to
2) smooth, consistent -- I want to see 3 laps in a row -- not *perfect* (I'm not perfect either) but identical with a line that's at least justifiable
3) heel-toe use (or at least rev-matching) if a manual
4) neutral throttle, not trailing throttle, into turns except when the trailing throttle is intentional
5) good traffic awareness, handling point-bys well
6) can take a corner off-line with no issues
7) DOES NOT ASK TO SOLO (this is a big warning flag if it happens too early)
As for why people _should_ solo, the answer is that when you're alone with your thoughts you can work on different things -- particularly, it forces you to internalize things and not just react to what an instructor says. It also gives you the opportunity to work with other instructors who might have other feedback.
10-22-2007, 07:50 PM
10-23-2007, 04:57 AM
10-23-2007, 06:37 AM
in case I wanted to ask them a question. None of them left the event early
10-23-2007, 06:37 AM
the pass seat at some of the speeds that I was get up to, which I asked if it was something that I was doing. He said no. It was just being on the edge in some places and that he was not the one being in control of the car. I was even pointing out my own mistakes to him, as I was learning the track, namely in places where you need to give up a little to do better in the next turn to get out of the straight faster. For example, getting T4 right to get T5 right to wait for T5a to be fast out through the smaller esses. And, when I got that right, he had me braking before the Climbing Esses so that I could stay on-throttle all the way through the Esses, which makes sense, but I could do without the braking. He just didn't want me to push left out of the Esses to need to come back right to make the left at the T10 downhill. To me, I felt as if I wasn't using all of the track and using more of a student line.
Personally, I think he signed me off to just to get out of the car, once he knew that I knew the layout of the track -- since it was my first time at VIR. however, once I knew which turn(s) were coming up next and felt fine on the student line, I would've liked more intruction off of a student type line(s) and never got that. So, I had to experiment on my own namely by doing my own lead and follow of some of the better drivers in the Experienced run group. I thought about asking for another instructor, but I never did. I wasn't sure how to approach finding an instructor who would be willing to teach a race line and techniques.
I guess this is why I stay away from ACNA events and do HPDEs with other clubs as well as do Time Trials and Time Attacks for some competition. The ACNA events are great for the beginner to learn within a safe environment and they're great for the advanced guys to get track time (and maybe be an instructor to lower their price), but, imo or at least from my experience, it's not a great place for the good experienced classed drivers (or whatever the club classes drivers just below advanced/instructor) to better their driving skills to get to the level of the advanced drivers namely because most of the instructors won't teach you much beyond a student line and techniques. And, maybe that's what they're told to do as an instructor at a safety school.
Bottom line: I know that I have a lot to learn, but I think I'm beyond being taught student lines and I don't think the ACNA safey school events are the place to get that instruction.
10-23-2007, 06:39 AM
10-23-2007, 06:40 AM
Heel/Toe is not necessary...rev matching is sufficient. I dont even heel/toe.
10-23-2007, 06:49 AM
I don't think the Mid-Atlantic (PA area) chapter has ever organized a safety school.
10-23-2007, 08:07 AM
to heal/toe before "graduating" to intermediate. I have also had classroom instructors state that you must be competent at trail braking before moving up to the advanced run group.
10-23-2007, 08:27 AM
10-23-2007, 08:27 AM
ACNA instructors aren't required to know how to heel-toe and they aren't expected to instruct students on that technique. As an advanced student I was told I would benefit from learning heel-toe but the Audi Club instructor didn't offer to teach it.
10-23-2007, 08:54 AM
from the start of day 9. That does seem early.
I have triple the number of days just in my A4 and still haven't been on Rcompounds. I have a set of RA1s, but haven't put them on yet. I plan to next season, tho.
10-23-2007, 09:18 AM
... for my switch from the C32 AMG to a "momentum" car (944 n/a). I've got a wife and three little kids, and if I can have fun and learn at lower speeds (and I can) then I'd rather keep the AMG freight train in the garage. If I was an instructor, I'd seriously think about they type of car that I got into. If it's capable of over 140 MPH at VIR, I'd want a roll cage around me.
10-23-2007, 09:56 AM
10-23-2007, 09:58 AM
particularly if you spend some time talking to them. Others won't take the time, and some instructors probably don't even know anything other than the school line.
10-23-2007, 09:59 AM
Make any of your requests known to the organizers. If you want to get an instructor who'll give you advice on advanced techniques, mention it on your registration. I'm sure they can find you a capable instructor.
Also, you paid good money to attend that event. If you wanted the instructor who signed you off to continue to ride with you, you should have asked. I'm sure he would have given you more advice or if he couldn't help, then he would have tried to find you another instructor who could.
10-23-2007, 09:59 AM
You practice it in a parking lot, then on the street with no traffic, then eventually you apply it on the track.
10-23-2007, 10:19 AM
Especially on a high-speed turn, like 8a or 10 at Sears Point, or Turn 6 at Laguna, and they are slightly twitching the wheel, lifting, etc. The first day, they can get away with it cause the car has plenty left, but the instructor *must* point out the problem and get it fixed before they mess up bigtime on the 2nd day when everything is faster.
At a non-ACNA (Miata) event at Thunderhill, my 1st day student was breaking too late entering turn 3, (where the car gets light over a little rise and then goes into a fairly sharp off-camber turn). I kept telling him, over and over, "brake *before* the hill". On the second day, he switched instructors (it was the way that group worked). At lunch he came up to me and said "You know how you kept telling me to brake before the hill? You were right".
10-23-2007, 11:02 AM
teach adv techniques at a safety school. It just didn't seem like an appropriate question at a safety school, especially being my first time at VIR. But, that being said, after 2-3 sessions on day 1 with him, I knew I needed more instruction to do more than the DE/student line that he was teaching, which I wasn't exactly following because it was slow and doesn't use all of the track. Then, he solo'd me off, which I spent the rest of the event playing on my own.
I honestly was going to ask my roommate for the weekend, Eric Wong, if he wanted to sit in my pass or if I could go out with one of you guys in the your pass seat. In case you haven't put 2 and 2 together, I'm the guy with the silver A4 that swapped pads (slowly) and wheels in the open garage next to you.
10-23-2007, 11:04 AM
to find out.
Next time, I'll find someone willing to teach more than the DE/student lines and get some pass seat time with them as well.
10-23-2007, 11:11 AM
the car back up while learning the track.
Since I was pointing out my own mistakes to him, I think that shows that I know it's happening and needs to be fixed.
And, imo, I showed that if in a situation of making a mistake or going through a turn offline, I was able to do so.
10-23-2007, 12:12 PM
with a 72 year old guy that just got the car. I was not happy at all teaching that guy.
10-23-2007, 12:14 PM
I thought you knew that I knew who you were. Is that confusing? LOL!
I remember you were having a hard time swapping pads because a piston was stuck.
I can understand why you might not have asked for lessons on advanced techniques since it can be constued as asking for racing lessons.
I do know that the organizers and regular instructors for PCC events do care about students getting the most out of every event. They don't instruct just to save money on the entry fee. They do so because they want to pass on what they've learned. Yeah, there are going to be instructors who aren't regulars or maybe from another club where things are run different. I know when some people send in their registration forms, they request certain instructors. So don't be afraid to ask for something the next time. If you and your instructor don't click, ask for a different instructor. If you've been solo'd and want your instructor to ride with you again, ask him. He WANTS to be there for you if you want him.
10-23-2007, 01:06 PM
...and you were probably wearing spandex, right ?
10-23-2007, 02:07 PM
Of all the Caterham7s I could have instructed..I get the old guy with the one with the dinky roll bar...swing set size...no harness bar...no 5 or 6pt restraints...brand new car for him. I just loved draggin my knuckles on the asphalt as we sat there in the pits. NOT.
10-23-2007, 02:09 PM
10-23-2007, 02:30 PM
You need to remember that it is totally acceptable to climb out of a car and say "I don't feel safe in this car".
I've done it, more than once. If some event organizer has a problem with that, well...tough ****.
I wouldn't get in a 7...or a Fauxbra...or a bunch of other silly crap with minimal protection, sharing the track with 3000lb.+++ big bangers.
10-23-2007, 02:42 PM
...I think that everybody driving a manual transmission car on-track needs to eventually learn this. If somebody can 'rev match' (whatever the hell that is) should probably be able to do the heel-toe dance (in my case, it's always been the "ball & side of foot dance").
Required to advance ? Advance to what ? If you're going to be a "solo/open-track" candidate, you should be able to do it.
Re: the rest of this thread - Instructors "signing off" students for solo with little experience with them = "lazy instructors". Really. Get your ass in the car and teach them something. Don't care if they don't want you in there. At very least, you're there to warn them how deep over their heads they're getting RIGHT NOW, instead of in the ambulance after the crash.
I don't sign anybody off. I'm a dick. That's why Ferrari Club/BMW Club/Shelby Club/Track Time/Tracquest/Chin/Trackmasters/PDA/Driving Aberrations/Phoenix etc. etc. etc. tell me to "just show up" to instruct at their events, even if I haven't made an advanced reservation.
Too many people want to get signed-off too soon, and too many clubs (ACNA, for instance) accomodate them. Those are the organizations I stay away from.
Steve - why the hell you asking me ? 3 races @ 3 different tracks in the next 4 weekends. I don't have time to think about this stuff.
10-23-2007, 04:34 PM
with the clutch?
10-23-2007, 06:17 PM
which I didn't even know they were that low.
Matt at Stoptech said it probably got caught on the lip and wasn't going in straight...and eventually, we man-handled it back in. No problems since and I've swapped pads a couple of times since then.
I just knew that I wasn't interested in having that particular instructor back in my car since he was telling me to slow down, but not telling me to change anything...just that he didn't want me to be going flat out through the climbing esses because he wasn't comfortable without being behind the wheel.
Next time (hopefully in April at VIR), I'll ask for you ;)
10-23-2007, 08:01 PM
Maybe you have the teaching and driving skills for all skill level of students but ACNA and other clubs don't have the benefit of picking from a pool of highly skilled and highly trained instructors. And the number of Audi drivers with any kind of racing experience can be counted on one hand. Many times a student reaches a level where the instructor doesn't have anything to add. These are, after all, just clubs with volunteer instructors. Here in Socal we have had two instructors clinics and it's been difficult to find and train instructors for our events.
Even still it's about basic car control and safety. Audi Club provides a safer, better organized event that is more focused on teaching than nearly any non-club event such as Redline or Speedventures. At our events we don't sign off anyone that's not safe to be on the track alone. From all the events I've been at I'm pretty happy about where ACNA draws the line about signing off drivers.
For example, at our last Socal event at Buttonwillow 16 people were signed off to run solo. Five were B students that got signed off on the second day. The others were advanced students. I've been at events where I felt I was smoother and faster than my instructor and still didn't get signed off. It's frustrating. I don't understand your position that you would never sign off on someone to solo. With that logic you'd still have someone riding shotgun with you.
10-23-2007, 09:32 PM
He has something like 8 race cars..and is gone every weekend either teaching or racing. He was the one in 1999 that told me I wasnt really ready to teach anyone high performance driving..and he was right. After 8 years later..I can safely say I know what he was talking about. The Audi club does not attract that many excellent instructors. Occasionally we will have guest instructors that are very knowledgeable..like David Ray from Hooked On Driving..or Hank Watts from the PCA...or some other very experienced instructor. Most of us came up thru the ranks of the Audi club and to be honest were thrust into it. Yes, we attended a 1-day instructor clinic...but how much did that really prepare us for stepping into unknown cars with unknown drivers and keeping them safe? There are a number of us in NorCal that have raced before, people like Mark Franklin, Gregg Franklin, and I. We all raced Spec Miatas for a period of about 3 years. However, what does racing have to do with teaching? I know how to control a car if it gets wiggy..and can counteract certain things. Can I get you to obtain those feeling and actions to keep you safe? I try...sometimes I do good..and other times I think I could have done a lot better.
I think the clubs Chief instructor is very good..but he cant be with every student..and he cant be at all of the 28 annual Audi club high performance drivings schools doing the classroom exercises.
Anyway, instruction is a hard thing to do...we put our lives on the line each and every time we get in someone's car. Sometimes we get hurt...like Margaret Cheng..who was an instructor in a car that hit a dirt wall at Buttonwillow one time...she did get hurt...or maybe we are Paul Lambert..who was an instructor in a 325i street car that rolled at turn #1 at Thunderhill. I was with a student that spun at the turn in to turn #1 at Sears Point and we hit the wall. I didnt get hurt...but I could have easily.
Signing off people is totally up to us...if we think there is something to add..we keep going..if we think you are doing good and maybe another instructor can give you a different perspective...then we may suggest that the student have a different instructor for a session or two. Anyway, I dont think there can be guidelines on who goes solo and who does not.
One thing is for sure...we have to learn how to attract and retain good instructors in the club. Charging them $350 per event to instruct is NOT the way to do it.
10-23-2007, 09:53 PM
10-23-2007, 10:28 PM
Maybe you are thinking we should have some one with years of driving school experience teaching the instructors course. We don't have anyone like that in our club, at least any one that has stepped forward to volunteer. Anyway, we aren't training race drivers but training driving coaches. It's something a Senior Instructor should be able to do. Since we are only a club of volunteers we do the best we can with the resources we have available. Right now we are "good enough" but have a lot of room for improvement in teaching and in course materials. We get very little support from the national club when it comes to driving schools and instructor training by the way.
Since our club has been holding track events for only a few years experienced club members are at a premium. If you have some suggestions for people that would be better qualified to teach clinics in socal please let us know.
10-23-2007, 10:36 PM
Lol, I agree with your thoughts. John has more experience than any instructor we have in socal.
It's funny being an ACNA instructor how little time you get to practice your skills and talk about it with other instructors. We are planning to have a little instructors-only event this year, probably at Streets of Willow because of the price. A full day of track time and class time. Focus on more in depth teaching and role playing as well as some track time to work on advanced instructor skills. We have a great core of instructors here but we all have room to improve.
10-24-2007, 06:50 AM
every student i've had is different, some are experienced at a particular track and therefore don't "need" to have someone in the passenger seat....some are advanced drivers that handle themselves accordingly on the track....some are newer students that just get it and i'll let them solo if i feel they can play safe and not hurt themselves or someone else....every student is different, every track is different so i can't tell when i introduce myself to a student if they're going to solo before the end of the event or not....i always tell my student two things when i get into the car for the first time....don't try to impress me, cause you won't and don't try to scare me, cause i already am
10-24-2007, 08:21 AM
"One thing is for sure...we have to learn how to attract and retain good instructors in the club. Charging them $350 per event to instruct is NOT the way to do it."
I couldn't agree with this more and this is probably the main reason I don't teach with ACNA anymore.
10-24-2007, 08:31 AM
10-24-2007, 08:34 AM
My instructors have spent the Saturday AM learning the line, and then the afternoon and Sunday getting me through it safely. I've always felt good about how I got matched to an Instructor who new a little about my car, and who could tell right away I had a lot of autocross, but no track time. He coached me well and my times fell as my smoothness and "line" improved.
Can't speak to your experiences, but you leave no facts to assess.
10-24-2007, 09:02 AM
I usually have a different approach for each level I instruct. Then when I realize that a driver has now exceeded my limited expertise of a certain thing, I pass him to another instructor who I feel is " the next level" on that issue. Kind of using a "subject matter expert" for a particular task.
I will not sign off anyone I feel is not safe out there. I do not care if they are a great driver or a good driver.
I believe I have done this when you are at the event instructing and have asked for your help either in reigning in a rogue driver or verifying that a driver is ready to go solo.
Kind of hard to type about this stuff since alot is lost in translation.
I know my limitations and I realize there are many many people out there that are better than I, and I am not afraid to ask another instructor who does something better than me, to show my student while I take their student for a session.
Yep, too hard to type this stuff out. : )
10-24-2007, 09:06 AM
of course i drive "group appropriate"
10-24-2007, 09:15 AM
drivers have a chance to compare notes and discuss driving and teaching styles....it's like everything else in life....you get out what you put in....i've had a few scary students but i've managed to reel them in....if they don't listen then it's my responsibility to make sure the event master knows what's going on....i just won't sign someone off because i'm lazy....when i was a student i can count on one hand the number of sessions i took alone without another instructor in the car with me....i liked hearing others perspective on how i was driving the track and what i could build on....the instructor selection/training process is not perfect but the one we put on here in chicago is pretty darn good....
10-24-2007, 09:37 AM
As I understand it most clubs look to their advanced run group as a talent pool for future instructors. Now if you are not instructing your advanced students advanced driving techniques two things can happen.
1) The students can get frustrated like myself and stop driving w/ that group
2) and a loss of talent that the club could tap as a future instructor.
All clubs stress safety. This is always the first point made at the driver's meetings. For ACNA to use that as a reason not to teach advanced driving techniques is illogical and does not serve the club well.
10-24-2007, 12:58 PM
... skills; and I do not see much correlation between racing experience and teaching talent. Granted, I'm still a relative novice, so I am still working on the "big" issues.
Two notable examples, both at VIR. In 2006 I had an instructor with 40+ years of racing experience including IMSA. He was/is VERY fast on track, but could not convert the "doing" into words. I learned very little. In 2007 I had an instructor who was just getting into Spec Miata, but he was a high school teacher and a devotee of the Skip Barber racing book. He told me what to do, and importantly why. He conveyed the physics in plain english and "if-then" examples.
You never know who's going to be a great teacher. That's why they have evaluation forms.
10-24-2007, 01:29 PM
ACNA's problems attracting and keeping a qualified pool of instructors is of their own doing. They've pissed in their own pool one too many times in this end of the country, and probably have out west, too.
I'll disagree with your blanket assertion that "ACNA and other clubs don't have the benefit of picking from a pool of highly skilled and highly trained instructors". Nonsense. PCA ? BMWCCA ? Ferrari ? They all have a large contingent of qualified instructors...and it's pretty much one BIG pool. Half the guys instructing at the Ferrari national events aren't members and have never owned a Ferrari. BMWCCA instructor ranks are infested with Porsche owners who aren't BMWCCA members. I can go on and on. I'm talking about volunteer "club" instructors with hundreds of days instructing on-track (yes, multiple "hundreds"), who instruct with any and all clubs, if the attitude and event makes it worth their time.
Why are you having problems finding instructors in Socal ? You'll have to answer that yourself. I recall discussions about bizarre "window-up" rules being instituted at CA or Miller ACNA events, without explanation. Are you charging instructors to attend ? Are you loading instructors up with a bunch of students ? Is there any value that instructors take away from ACNA events, other than a t-shirt and a stale donut ? There are many causes for poor instructor turn-out, or low overall instructor #'s, but they all point back to the hosting "club", its philosophy and its atmosphere. If a club can't get a large enough pool of qualified instructors, then they shouldn't be doing HPDE schools, period. In the old days, many clubs used "instructor" status as a "good attendance award". In the days of 100-200hp cars at HPDE's, you could get away with that. Not anymore.
Instructing is WORK. You don't understand my position when I say "I never sign anyone off". There is a difference between "student" and "sign-off candidate". Drop in cold on a student, novice, intermediate or advanced, on Day 1 and in 3-4 sessions you'll NEVER get a sense of their total skill package and skills at "crisis management". Until you know those things, it's just irresponsible to sign them off for solo. If an instructor thinks that a student has progressed beyond his own ability to guide them, then maybe that "instructor" isn't really qualified to be sitting in the right seat. The "sign-off" discussion should be had between the individual instructor and the Chief Instructor. With the groups I instruct with, nobody gets a sign-off just because their instructor is tired of riding with them or wants to go play with his own car...but there still are clubs where this behavior exists and is tolerated.
10-24-2007, 01:43 PM
Hell, I even use it going onto off ramps that I know well enough.
10-24-2007, 03:14 PM
Hey Eric, wish you could have stayed for Sunday, I took out my fire breathing daily commuter, the white bone stock Honda Accord DX during the last session. Was a blast to just go out and see what it could do. i was kinda shocked at the speeds it was reaching out there.
We need to head out and have some fun at an event during 08.
10-24-2007, 07:19 PM
<ul><li><a href="http://forums.audiworld.com/other/msgs/3156576.phtml">History Lesson</a></li></ul>
10-24-2007, 07:27 PM
West coast ACNA charges instructors the full registration fee? If so, I can see that being the major reason no one would want to instruct. It's tough enough as it is to run from one car to another all day long while missing out on your own instructor run session because of lack of time for various reasons. It might be a privilege to instruct, but I'm not so sure it's worth spending $1,000 (entry fee, gas, hotel, etc) a weekend for that privilege.
Whoa, deja vous....I think I remember having this discussion before.
10-24-2007, 08:07 PM
Regular attendees - 2 day event - $545?
Senior Instructors - 2 days - $250
Instructors - 2 days - $350
Now, you might think that if you have been teaching for the ACNA for a number of years..you would qualify as a senior instructor, right? WRONG. It had to do when WHEN you signed up whether or not you have been teaching for them for 7 years. I was able to get the $250 rate.
Lets break the numbers down for an instructor.
Hotel: $159 plus tax per night X 2 nights - $350
Entry Fee: $250-350
Gasoline: 3 fill ups at $50/fillup - $150 (two at the track..and one to get you there and back)
Lunch meals: $20-24 over the 2 days
Raffle tickets/auction: $10 - ??
So, it comes to $800-900 for a weekend to instruct.
I cant continue to do this at this rate.
10-24-2007, 08:19 PM
10-24-2007, 08:45 PM
to me it feels totally unnatural NOT to heel-toe, but you can still rev-match without heel-toeing, but you have to do the shift before or after the braking.
10-24-2007, 08:49 PM
"I know how to control a car if it gets wiggy..and can counteract certain things. Can I get you to obtain those feeling and actions to keep you safe? I try...sometimes I do good..and other times I think I could have done a lot better."
interestingly, I think whatever ability I have to do this from the passenger seat is actually from instructing low-speed clinics (winter driving schools) more than it is instructing track events. That is, I'll find myself telling a student to countersteer, lift, gas, very quickly based on 'seat feel' -- but while I can do that on a track, I don't think I could have developed that skill on the track. I developed it from 10mph to 20mph slides in winter schools, at exaggerated slip angles.
10-24-2007, 08:52 PM
specifically, NHIS and Lime Rock require it; Watkins Glen does not. Now, maybe some clubs ignore the track requirements, but that's not a good way to go.
10-24-2007, 08:55 PM
The instructor clinics I've been at have been taught by either the Mid-Ohio School instructors (among them, Adam Andretti and Elliot Forbes Robinson) or the Jim Russell Racing School instructors. Please don't try to say they're not qualified...
10-25-2007, 05:45 AM
Sounds like fun...I can see where that would help.
10-25-2007, 06:01 AM
the front pass seat. Yeah, of course you haven't... maybe your random sample has shown it, but your blanket statement isn't true.
When I was at MidOhio in 2004, the instructor's clinic was taught by the MidOhio instructors. I don't know if that was something that ACNA seeked out or if that was something that MidOhio itself does for every club that shows up to MidOhio, which all tracks should do the latter, imo. It fixes what your blanket statement implies. And, as a fact of how well that worked, my instructor had been on MidOhio for 1000s of laps and he learned from the MidOhio instructors enough to pass it on to me (isn't that the point of all of this?) when he was teaching me the rain line while it was pouring during session #2; taking the rim shots around corners and mostly staying off of the concrete patches and slowly working your way in as the course dried throughout the first day (day 2 was completely dry).
10-25-2007, 06:07 AM
10-25-2007, 08:12 AM
As an instructor fee's ~$100 and now $250, The 250 was for a national event, but as Steve pointed out
it was a $1000 dollar weekend and you worked your tail off, for some track time. Lets see what you think it should cost. This is just a guess.
Track= ~$16,500 per day
EMS= ~$800 per day
corner workers=~$2500 per day
Insurance= ~ $1250 per day
Dinner= 100 @ 38.00 $3800
Badges numbers misc 1800
Lunches 200@15 3000
Garages ?? 5000?
PA rental 300 per day
Traffic cones 300 per event
Breakfast food watter 1200
Meeting rooms 250
Drivers meeting food 1000
all the other things i forgot 2500
Total event ~$64000
40 instructors @$250 each $10000
60 students @$550 each $33000
at this price point the club will have to spend
$21000 to have this event
10-25-2007, 08:14 AM
but my Instructors have been, for the most part, exemplary. You have your POV (just as I have mine), and I won't argue about it.
10-25-2007, 08:22 AM
or was this different for a "national" event, whatever that is.
10-25-2007, 08:36 AM
It's all a guess, read the hole thing, call a track
see what the fee's are.
10-25-2007, 08:41 AM
Have you ever see the trash left behind after an event? It's like most of the attendees think that clean up is by others. I've see people leave old track wheels and spent tires be hind.
10-25-2007, 09:05 AM
when it comes directly out of the pocket of the student such as the banquet fee (dinner) and the use of a garage.
10-25-2007, 09:16 AM
How do they make it work for instructors? Maybe
some of the all knowing could give some advice instead of just bagging on the ACNA and our instructor pool. lets take some action and make the pool a better place to be, safer place to play.
I'm sure we all have ideas and opinions, but you know what they say, "Opinions are like as*holes"
everyone has one.
I am not the best instructor, I could improve in lots of areas but so could everyone. From the sound of it, everyone is scared to get in a car with a driver that we don't know, and have to pay a large fee to do it.
How do the PCA, BMW, and others buy track time and give it away to the instructors.
10-25-2007, 09:24 AM
Are you talking about the garages at VIR?
10-25-2007, 09:49 AM
And the rules further defer to the rules required by the track.
Also, I've been to ACNA events where they waived the long sleeve requirement because the weather was so hot.
10-25-2007, 10:02 AM
At events run by the Ohio and Potomac Chapters, most of the instructors are from other organizations (BMW, PCA, NASA, SCCA). I would say only a small portion of instructors are Audi-Club only instructors.
10-25-2007, 10:09 AM
I'll keep it simple. To have a track event (Are you with me so far?) you need to have a place to have said event, a place to talk to the group, and a place to feed them. Have auctions, advertise sponsors, etc. Right? OK, then that cost money, and the money comes from the people that want to drive the cars on the track, (you and me and some sponsorship). I'm my example I was just showing that in order to have an "event" and have the amenities (Nice things and comforts) that we need to spend money.
No, garages are not free to the club or us. The dinner is not free to us, the water that is at the track is paid for with money. Money that comes from the entry fee's paid by us.
(I hope you are still with me.)
We could have a no frills (No nice things and no nice comforts) event and get the cost down.
The student has never paid for the garages (unless he has paid for one for his use) and yes dinner is included in the entry fee.
If you want a garage you will pay for it. If you want a good dinner you will pay for it. The things I listed in the earlier post was, just a list I made to come to a mathematical
price point of what a track event would cost. If I'm wrong, oh well.
Please read the post and do not put word in my mouth.
10-25-2007, 11:09 AM
For the HPDE section, 11.3: "Non-synthetic fabric clothing (i.e. cotton). At least footwear, a T-shirt and long
pants must be worn. Individual track requirements may be different."
10-25-2007, 12:07 PM
the price of the entry fee (still with me?)
thus, ACNA does not directly pay for those items from the entry fees collected.
maff is hard.
10-25-2007, 12:14 PM
When I went to VIR, I was asked if I wanted one of the open garages, but that was by someone of VIR, not ACNA. I realize if you stay in the suite (which I did with Eric), you get the garage below you, but there were some open ones too that they were charging for if you used them. Of course, I did use them the night before and then swept the place clean ;) and then used it again to swap back and swept the place clean again ;)
Either way, ACNA doens't pay for the garages from their pocket. We, as participants, pay ACNA who pays for the garages. It's a fee above the price of the event fee.
If ACNA paid for the garages, then everyone would be using (fighting for) the garages, which obviously isn't true.
10-25-2007, 12:27 PM
all this to point out that track events are expensive.
Can you tell me how other clubs get instructors
in for no charge? Please I'm trying to make the situation better, and not just complaining about the sad situation.
10-25-2007, 12:35 PM
The garage doesn't come with the Suite. You have to pay separately....about $100/night for a Suite, and another $100/night for a garage. I think you were sharing a Suite with Eric, and I was sharing the garage with eric.
If the garage came with the Suite everytime, I would be all over it!!! That would be a sweet deal!!! (Pun intended :P )
10-25-2007, 01:05 PM
this is the most I ever paid to rent a garage for a weekend.
10-25-2007, 01:08 PM
I have not seen instructors charged at any other event I have been at or instructed. Nor heard of.
I have run and or taught with the following clubs:
SCCA Street School
Northern California Racing Club
None of them charged instructors..except the Audi club.
10-25-2007, 01:23 PM
Steve who did you pay the money to?
The track or the club?
10-25-2007, 01:26 PM
I usually rent garages..during the last 4 years at most of the Audi club events I have gone to (NorCal) Laguna/SearsPoint/Thunderhill...I pay the club. Exception would be when I was at Miller Motorsports in Utah..we paid Mitch Wright at the track.
10-25-2007, 01:29 PM
10-25-2007, 09:30 PM
10-25-2007, 09:31 PM
They only pay for the garages that people rent. That money is paid by the student/instructor, which is filtered through ACNA to take their cut.
please just stop posting on the subject or get correct info to post.
10-26-2007, 05:39 AM
10-26-2007, 08:39 AM
10-26-2007, 09:30 AM
just to swap pads/wheels before and after.
10-29-2007, 06:47 AM