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Old 05-13-2006, 01:23 PM   #1
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Fun times and not so times at DE

My wife and I had the pleasure of doing a 2 day DE at the Mid_Ohio race track in Lexington, OH. The weather was terrible but our '06' was a joy to drive and because of the wet conditions, I gained a healthy respect for the PS2 tires on the car. Despite a lot of water on the track, the car handled like a dream, only getting out of hand when I started to be a bit too aggressive.

We bailed out midway through the second day when the rain was coming down in torrents, but the club decided to hold one last session after lunch during which the runs groups were combined.

I would think the 1 & 2 groups wouldn't have a problem with each other but mixing novices with more aggressive drivers suprised me. One fellow in my group--pic attached-- learned the hard way that despite all the advances in the new cars (997), you can't get around physics when traction is lost. He spun on the backstrech at the kink and did major damage. Hate to see that, but I'm not sure what people expect when there is standing water on the track and it's coming down in buckets.

I posted this on pete's board and asked the question--when does a club make the call that the conditions are too dangerous to allow the event to continue? Or do they leave that to the track managers and individual driver comfort levels?

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Old 05-13-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
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Ouch! that sucks.
I admit I always bail when the track gets wet, Im a wimp
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:41 AM   #3
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Insurance

This may be a stupid question, but do you have to get special insurance on the car if you run it at a track? Does your regular insurance cover a track accident?

If you do need supplemental insurance how expensive is it?
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Old 05-15-2006, 11:53 AM   #4
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Heartbreaking pictures.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:31 PM   #5
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The Chief Driving Instructor for the chapter should make that call. Generally a wet track is fine to drive...you learn smoothness and car control, and Porsches with good street tires are amazingly capable in the rain.

Standing water in the corners should mean red flag.

You did well to leave the event early.
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Old 05-15-2006, 09:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drburton
This may be a stupid question, but do you have to get special insurance on the car if you run it at a track? Does your regular insurance cover a track accident?

If you do need supplemental insurance how expensive is it?

Hi,

Most General Auto Coverage excludes coverage for any Track, DE, Gymkhana, or Timed Events. It depends more on your Policy than the Company, because a Carrier will generally write any Insurance, but reflect the Risk in the Premiums charged.

That said, many people forego any supplemental insurance either because of the added cost, they Feel Lucky Today, or they don't press the point because their individual Policy doesn't expressly prohibit it in writing (even though a Company can well go sideways on a Claim and wear you out in court). But, IMHO, this is not too wise. I mean think about it, you are intentionally pushing the Car to it's limits and perhaps beyond your own.

There are a number of Companies which write Timed or Competition Event Coverage and a good estimate would be about $100-$300 for a day's coverage. I use American Collectors Insurance for my Track coverage and it's about as reasonable as you can get. See them at: americancollectorsins dot com
Hope this helps...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris C Atlanta
The Chief Driving Instructor for the chapter should make that call. Generally a wet track is fine to drive...you learn smoothness and car control, and Porsches with good street tires are amazingly capable in the rain.

Standing water in the corners should mean red flag.

You did well to leave the event early.
Hi,

The CDI may well determine when the Track is closed, but every individual driver needs to assess the track condition against their own abilities. You are the one responsible if you make the decision to take your car out in conditions which are unfavorable, no one else. If the conditions scare you, that's a fair indication that you shouldn't leave Pit Lane until the conditions improve.

I've seen lots of bent sheetmetal at the Track over the years because people didn't have the skill, experience, Brakes, or Tires equal to the conditions at hand. One of the things Track experience should give one is a better developed ability to assess risk and to know when conditions dictate sitting it out, even if others choose not to...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 05-15-2006, 10:13 PM   #8
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Not really on topic, sorry, but isn't that a 996 in the pictures?
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:06 AM   #9
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Follow up to Jim's comment..

Jim I agree with everything in your post but would add the following caveats:

-Novices, either first time out or first time at a new track, really don't have much of a knowledge base to help them make a decision regarding go or no go. You see cars out there, your instructor is ready to go or you've been signed off on. The indications are it is safe to go--no crashes yet-- despite any natural aversion you might have in gettng the car on the track. Combine that with an instructor that may be pushing to you to speed up or take a more agressive line can lead to a newbie doing things that he/she might not ordinarily do. Nobody likes to look like a candy ass at a macho event, especially after they've spent [B]all[/B] that money on the car and the event.
To sum it up, what you're saying makes perfect, logical, sense except that there is an emotional component to this that can tip the balance for the novice to roll the dice rather than step back from the table. I think the more experienced driver will have a better feel for his and the car's capabilities to help him make those critical decisions.

-Mixing skill levels in run groups--especially the novice group--i think is a big no no; even worse when the weather gets bad. The novice ends up looking at his rear mirror more than the track. At this event, there were race prepared cars that were sprinkled in both the C & D groups that looked to be tuning up for the PCA race on the weekend. I had a 944 blow by me--roll cage,guttted interior,race exhaust--on wet track driving and cornering like he was on rails. I'm guessing a true 'C' class driver doesn't circle the track in that kind of rig.

Anyway, my wife and I survived, learned a lot and look forward to another DE at this track; I just hope it won't be raining.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:32 AM   #10
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@MikeOH,

There certainly can be a Candy *ss Factor which comes into play at Track, Auto-X or DE events. But, in my experience, this is often self-imposed. I respect anyone's opinion to go out or not. They know their skill level and their Car. This is especially true with marginal, or less than ideal, Track conditions.

Cost can also add pressure. But, think about it, waste $300 for a Track Day, or $25k+ because you pushed too hard. Not too tough to come to the right answer.

As far as the Instructor(s) pushing you, a good Instructor won't do this. People rarely learn anything in a state of panic.

You are the one controlling the WOW Pedal. If it doesn't feel right to you, you need to make the decision to back-off despite what anyone says. An alternative would be to swap seats with the Instructor and watch them as they push the car harder, at least then you'll know the car can handle it and this eases the tension quite a bit.

The risk of being called a Candy *ss pales in comparison to the feeling one gets when they watch their Car being peeled off the wall or towed into Pit Lane.

Certainly, one can feel the pressure you describe, but you need to resist it as best as you can and only do what you feel comfortable doing, particularly as I said, in marginal conditions. Realize that everyone standing at the Track was also at the Bottom of the Learning Curve at one time too, even though many of them may have forgotten this...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

Last edited by MNBoxster; 05-16-2006 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:10 AM   #11
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I have hardly ever been to the track without seeing some form of Novice Wreck. The problem is that we all overestimate our abilities in the beginning, no matter how many logical arguments we go over in our heads, no matter what advice we are given.

I can tell every guy out there to drive within their limits, to brake way earlier than they think they need to, etc etc etc and they'll still have an off-roading incident at least once during the day.

I blame video games.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:38 AM   #12
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MN Boxster - I wasn't in any way implying that individuals are not able to or responsible for exercising their own judgment. That always applies. Still, the PCA group is responsible for determining when it's not safe for anyone to be out on the track, and standing water in the corners is generally when they make that call.

I have never been to a track event where the CDI did not express/exert his responsibility to monitor individuals' decisions for the good of all.

Miken - good instructors will not only not push someone beyond their capabilities (not necessarily the initial comfort point of an individual) or those of the car, but they will also bring them in if the track is too dangerous - sometimes conditions change quickly enough that each driver has to make that call intra-lap.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:43 AM   #13
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Pictures like these are why I race karts and not Boxsters...
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:04 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris C Atlanta
MN Boxster - I wasn't in any way implying that individuals are not able to or responsible for exercising their own judgment. That always applies. Still, the PCA group is responsible for determining when it's not safe for anyone to be out on the track, and standing water in the corners is generally when they make that call.

I have never been to a track event where the CDI did not express/exert his responsibility to monitor individuals' decisions for the good of all.

Miken - good instructors will not only not push someone beyond their capabilities (not necessarily the initial comfort point of an individual) or those of the car, but they will also bring them in if the track is too dangerous - sometimes conditions change quickly enough that each driver has to make that call intra-lap.
Hi,

It's all good - no disagreement here...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99

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