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Old 09-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #4
husker boxster
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Omaha
Posts: 2,270
Thanks Tom for sharing. Very good article for self-assessing one's habits. Without question my biggest area for improvement is accelerating sooner, esp on a track that's new to me. I'll watch my videos and make lots of mental notes where I could be on the gas sooner. I'm getting better at new tracks at trying to accelerate at the apex or sooner, but it takes some getting used to. I tried to honestly evaluate the coasting / light lifting and I don't think I do this but will be sure to keep an eye out for it next time I'm on the track (may be a while as I may have 2nd gear synchro going out). I think I'm braking well and feel I sometimes out brake faster cars than me. I did make the mistake of driving a friends 981 Cayman S - man the brakes were miles better than mine. Guess there's been lots of progress in 6 yrs.

I taught my first student this last w/e. She is an 18 yr old just starting college. I also found out in our pre-session interview that she's had an instructor for 2 yrs, so she really wasn't a novice. She just hadn't been thru novice training to drive at a PCA event. She was a real treat. The car she had on Sat was a 2001 Mercedes e420. She had amazing car control. Since she already had a feel for proper lines thru the corners, we worked on finding the proper braking points, what causes a missed apex, and how / where to pick up speed. She was very good at self-analyzing (I missed that apex didn't I?, or that brake point was too early, wasn't it?). There were several corners where I encouraged her to accelerate at the apex and some I suggested smooth and precise was the best approach rather than more speed. By late Sat afternoon, the other instructors said they were thinking of letting their students go solo and if I was ready to. I said she was ready, but I enjoyed riding with her so much I didn't want to let her go by herself. She ran the penultimate session by herself, set a time that was well over a second faster than she'd ever done, and then ran out of brakes on the Merc.

She came back the next day with a 2012 Mercedes C class. She said she didn't want to drive it hard and I said that was OK. I suggested she take the first few laps to get to know the car on the track. By the 3rd lap, she had her brake points figured out and found she could drive more of the "Porsche" lines thru corners. Amazing. She started to catch an older red 911 and I could tell her driving started to pick up. She caught the 911 and was pointed by. A lap or two later we got the checkered. On our cool down lap she said she hadn't planned to drive that hard. I laughed and said yeah, but you hadn't planned on catching that red 911. I explained the red mist theory to her. Later that afternoon during a solo session, she knocked 4 sec off of yesterday's time. She has set a very high bar for my next students to clear.
PCA National HPDE Instructor
2008 Boxster S Limited Edition #005
2008 Cayman S Sport - Signal Green
1987 928 S4 - Granite Green Metallic (Felsengrun)
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