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Old 11-23-2020, 11:27 AM   #1
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Indy DE Oct 16-18

Better late than never. Here's my Indy DE report.

Visiting Rogerís New Digs

Registration for the annual Indy DE occurs in the Mar-Apr time frame. I registered and was looking forward to the DE even more so than in the past. In previous years, the organizers determined which run group to place you in. This year you could select your run group. Previous years had me running in an expanded passing group, which I liked, but in the high horsepower group, which was not good. I would be running against GT4s, GT3s, and race cars. My puny 303hp was a knife at a gunfight. My selection of the expanded passing low HP run group was approved. Perfect! All I had to do was wait for Aug 7.

Then Covid hit with full force. Everything went into lockdown and on hold. Somewhere along the line 2 things happened: the Indy 500 was rescheduled for Aug 23 and the Speedway was sold to Roger Penske. The latter was excellent news, the former not so much. For a while the DE appeared to be still on, but that seemed odd since it would be just 2 wks before the 500. Then the DE was postponed with no date announced. Finally, new dates were chosen: Oct 16-18. Rats! That was the same weekend as my club's Octoberfest DE at RPM. I was slated to do the novice classroom training (my 1st as Chief Driving Instructor), on track instructing, as well as registering all entrants at our event. But I canít be in 2 places at once. Our club's president was open to selecting a new date for our DE but negotiations with RPM didnít bear fruit. Once again our prez stepped up and said he would handle the registration portion and our regular CDI was available to do the classroom training. That opened the door for me to participate at Indy. Thanks a bunch, guys.

About 10 days before Indy, I answered an email from the MORPCA organizers and mentioned if they needed an extra instructor, I would be available. I immediately got a response back that I could instruct and they assigned me a female student. I was pumped, as instructing at Indy is a bucket list item for me. Sent an email to her, asking questions about her and her Subaru. Crickets. Sent 2 more emails. Nothing. She finally responded saying she didnít think she could attend since she didnít meet their 1 DE requirement prior to Indy. I suggested she contact the registrar to let him know. She did and the registrar responded back saying with all the DE cancellations, theyíd waive their requirement and let her participate. I chimed in saying if the organizers were OK, then I was too. All set. I emailed her my number before I left for Indy.

Thu Oct 15, I left dark and early for Indy. Arrived at the track at 4:30 pm to register and go thru tech inspection. Got my car unloaded in my Grand Prix garage and was all set for the morning. Checked my studentís garage and no Subaru. Sent her an email saying Iíd arrived. I grabbed a bite to eat at the track and waited for the morning fun.

Fri morning arrived with very chilly temps. In the driverís mtg, we were told we HAD to wear our masks 100% of the time. The only exception was if we were eating / drinking or wearing our helmet. With Covid positives spiking, the county would be patrolling the facilities and were itching to shut us down. Roger Penske (who was supposedly driving the track on Thu) did not want any negative pub, so everyone had to comply. Message received.

When I lined up for my 1st session, my outside temp read 35deg. There were about 40% less cars lined up Ė maybe because of the temps, maybe Covid (there were fewer cars in the garages). My car ran very well but I didnít push it. I kept waiting for the thundering herd to run me over, but was pleasantly pleased when it didnít and I was able to pass as many cars as passed me. This was fun. When my session was over, I contacted the registrar about not hearing from my student. They gave me her phone # and I called. She said she didnít think she could participate because of their 1 DE rule. I explained that that had been waived. Then she said sheíd made other plans for the w/e. OK, whatever. I contacted the registrar and said I was available. They had all students assigned to an instructor, so they said I could do black flag area on Sun if I wanted. As the day warmed up, more cars appeared on the grid but I was still able to pass many cars.

Sat was a carbon copy of Fri with cold temps in the morning (35 again) with sun and warming to 55 by mid-day. The 3rd session was my best of the w/e with lots of fast laps and consistent driving. The day ended with 3 parade laps around the oval, which is always thrilling. During the Sat afternoon driverís mtg, we were told someone was sent home for not wearing a mask. They were serious about enforcing the rules. At the end of the mtg, they announced that they needed 2 instructors for Sun. I rushed up and volunteered. Supposedly my student needed a bit more work before he could solo. The registrar took me to my studentís garage and introduced me.

Sun began at 55 deg but it was very cloudy with a bit of rain. The 1st group out on the track at 8am was in the dark and needed headlights to see their way around. That looked like a ton of fun and I was jealous. My run group was next up at 8:20 and it wasnít totally dark but not light either. I enjoyed that run immensely. I then hopped into my studentís stock í83 944. He had a very good understanding of corner lines but had serious issues with jerking the wheel at corner entry and braking very hard at the entry of a corner Ė so much so he almost came to a stop, then over accelerated thru the corner. After the session we talked about trail braking, being smooth while cornering, and slow in / fast out. I invited him to ride with me in my next session, which he did. He really digested the info as he was order of magnitudes better during his next run. He was trail braking like a pro and was much smoother turning into the corners. His tires were much happier with him too, as they were howling much less than our 1st run. He still needed a bit of coaching on the slow in / fast out, but he understood when he messed up. I released him to solo the last session. Afterwards we talked about things he could work on for his next DE Ė getting a GoPro to film what he was doing, learn how to heel / toe, and working on holding the wheel at 9 & 3 to prevent shuffle steering.

It was a great time at the track. The worst part of the w/e was driving thru snow from Iowa City to Des Moines on the return trip home on my summer tires. Not fun, but I roll with some great guardian angels.

Here are some pics.

Tech inspection in Gasoline Alley


A few cars that thankfully weren't in my run group.




Sydney with her garage & run group mate.


Indy in the dark.



__________________
PCA National HPDE Instructor
2008 Boxster S Limited Edition #005
2008 Cayman S Sport - Signal Green
1987 928 S4 - Granite Green Metallic (Felsengrun)

Last edited by husker boxster; 11-23-2020 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:44 AM   #2
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Here are a couple of videos. They're a bit long. Bought a new to me GoPro7. Have a bit of wind noise. Enjoy.

Sat session 2.


Sat session 1.


Indy in the dark - Sun session 1. We tip-toed around early due to the cold & rain.
__________________
PCA National HPDE Instructor
2008 Boxster S Limited Edition #005
2008 Cayman S Sport - Signal Green
1987 928 S4 - Granite Green Metallic (Felsengrun)

Last edited by husker boxster; 11-23-2020 at 11:51 AM.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:44 AM   #3
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Great write up Husker! Sounds like an amazing experience!

Another thing added to the bucket list..
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Old 11-29-2020, 02:26 PM   #4
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I can't wait to watch these!

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