To everyone who’s had issues with my driving in the White group over the past couple of years, I sincerely apologize.
As not a single person has ever come up to me and complained or asked me to do anything differently, I honestly had no idea I was ever doing anything I wasn’t supposed to. I just like to go out and drive fast.
I’ve gone and talked to people now and then to get to know some of you and had a lot of fun out on track with many of you. I never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable out there.
If you ever do have issues with someone, PLEASE go talk to them or let the staff know so they can go talk to them. Hopefully there aren’t other drivers who are oblivious to their bad behavior as well.
Kevin, there seems to be a lot of that going around. Drivers have to speak (respectively) to other drivers when there’s no instructor in the car, or at least bring the issue to the attention of the chief instructor, who will have some other instructor mention the alleged bad-habit. But, get a car number.
Sounds like you were closing in on people too fast, or perhaps crowding while waiting for a pass signal. Yeah, that can make other newer, maybe slower drivers uncomfortable. Good someone told you or asked you to correct something that made them uncomfortable. Also kudos for standing up and saying, “My Bad!”
It’s so important to get to know the guys in your run group. Go chat each other up. Build friendships. Share your on track experiences. Get to recognize each others cars on track. It’s too easy to be impatient or aggressive with people in other cars when you or they are anonymous. The moment you actually recognize each other it’s so much easier to have empathy and consideration for each other. You’re also less likely to behave like a knob when all you buddies know what car you re driving. 🙂
Maybe there should be a policy that any time a driver or instructor makes a complaint about another driver’s behaviour, that driver is approached with the accusation and given a chance to explain themselves.
After our very last session last weekend, an instructor came over to my car to ask me it I was “trying to pass his student” on the second or third lap. I explained that I hadn’t passed anyone all weekend without a signal, and if I was warmed up and he wasn’t or if I was just faster, then I’m sure I was hoping to be let by, but I certainly didn’t “try” to pass anyone that wasn’t specifically letting me by with an arm signal. My instructor was still in the car and confirmed what I had said, and the other instructor seemed to be content with the answer, said “all good” and walked away.
I would certainly much rather have someone ask me to my face about an alleged incident, then have people talk about me being a bad sport behind my back. We’re all there to have a good time, and building up animosity and resentment isn’t coducive to that.
This was my first weekend back with PCA after over a decade off and I had a really good time. I was specifically looking to get good coaching to improve my driving. I certainly learned a lot from my instructor, and I’ve finally found a decent line through 5!
I was very impressed with how courteous all of the drivers were. I’ve been to a lot of private track days where the other drivers are either oblivious that you’ve showed up on their back bumper in a faster car, or are too proud to let you by. I certainly made sure to keep an eye on my rear-view mirror and signal past anyone who caught me up.
In the instructed groups (Green & Yellow) it is usually the instructors that, if they see a problem with another driver, will approach them or their instructor directly and make them aware of it. Once you are in the solo groups, it is up to the drivers or the corner workers to bring problems to my attention and then depending on the circumstances, I will have Attitude talk with them or arrange for a Check-out ride by one of our senior Instructors. Of course, if it is a safety issue we will Black-Flag the driver and deal with the issue immediately.
The White run group has the largest speed and skill level differential of any group and therefore a great deal of respect and patience is required by all drivers to make sure everybody remains safe and still has fun. Passing is usually the most common issue, either because drivers aren’t checking their mirrors or faster cars are being too aggressive behind slower cars. Hence the ‘Passing Classroom’ last weekend.
I want to relate my experience at my last session in June. My instructor moved me up from Yellow to White and rode with me the rest of the weekend. First session one of the 944’s spun off in turn 9 and we all got red flagged – my instructor said “Welcome to White Group!” I immediately found a huge differential in speed between White and Yellow. Next run I had another 944 on my tail after turn 2 and waved him by – he immediately swerved in front of me in turn three and I had to brake heavily. My instructor commented that was bad behaviour. Since the fellow was parked just down from me I talked to him after and he was pretty aggressive and said I’d been holding him up since turn 1. I apologized and shook his hand, but he later came up to me and apologized for his behaviour.
I guess my point is that, as Andy says, white group probably has the biggest differential in ability and I am on the low end.. I want to have fun out there but not risk endangering me, my car, or other participants. It has to be fun and safe or I;m not interested. That being said, I can happily wave anyone by except between 4-5, 8-9, 9-10.