1 (edited by squidrope 2018-10-28 01:08 PM)

Topic: Evaluating Driving

I'd like to improve my Hooptie skills and was wondering if there's a website/qualified individual that can tell me what I'm doing right and what I'm doing wrong using in car footage?  What does it cost?  Was it worthwhile?

Batman

Winner "We Got Screwed" award NHMS 2017
#847 Batmobile  aka-"Beulah"
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Re: Evaluating Driving

There are enough real racers and HPDE instructors here that you should be able to get some good feedback. Upload the video to YouTube and post a link.

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Evaluating Driving

You could do that, but you'll get at least as much bad feedback as good.

I've never heard of a service such as you describe.  Mostly people hire driving coaches or go to one or more of the established racing schools.

Unsolicited opinion: the best way to get better at crapcan racing (which is to say managing heavy traffic in an environment with wildly varying car/driver performance) is to become very very comfortable driving cars at speed on tracks.  Meaning paragraph two above, or doing a bunch of track days, or doing some "real" racing" would pay dividends come Lemons time.  Assuming one can keep one's head screwed on straight.

Anyway, once operation of the automobile and navigation of the track becomes second-nature, it frees up a lot of time for dealing with (and laughing and/or marveling at) all the other stupid crap going on.  Being too focused on the driving sort of locks a driver up, and that leads to mistakes, oversights, and accidents.

Re: Evaluating Driving

What is your goal?  That would go a long way in giving you better advice

I see lots of these posts of FB and forums and I think it is hard to give good advice from watching a video.   If you just want basic feedback on hand position and using the track then a video will suffice. 

If you are 7 secs off the fastest guys and want to be 3 secs off the fastest guys then this basic feedback may help. 

If you are 3 secs off the fastest guys and want to be the fastest guy, then you need someone who is legitimately quick and experienced in giving feedback to drive your car with you in the passenger seat and then you driving and them watching. 

There are lots of guys who like to sit in the right seat and give advice who are slow... avoid them.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Evaluating Driving

Join a club like:
Audi Club
BMWCCA
Lotus Club
To name a few off of the top of my head.
Usually, cheaper than an HPDE type track day, but not always.
Lots of instructors with all of them. YMMV. Two of my teammates instruct.
Many instructors do so in order to get free, or low-cost track time.
Not every instructor is a good fit for every student, so don't feel like
you have to stay with just one instructor at an event.

Also, there is nothing wrong with quality driving sims. They can teach you the racing line,
somewhat useless in 24HoL racing, but at least you can see if changing line makes you faster.
Lap times in these respond fairly realistically, so late braking, early- or  late-apexing, etc will have an effect.

My 2¢.

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6 (edited by squidrope 2018-10-29 08:12 PM)

Re: Evaluating Driving

TeamLemon-aid wrote:

What is your goal?  That would go a long way in giving you better advice

I see lots of these posts of FB and forums and I think it is hard to give good advice from watching a video.   If you just want basic feedback on hand position and using the track then a video will suffice. 

If you are 7 secs off the fastest guys and want to be 3 secs off the fastest guys then this basic feedback may help. 

If you are 3 secs off the fastest guys and want to be the fastest guy, then you need someone who is legitimately quick and experienced in giving feedback to drive your car with you in the passenger seat and then you driving and them watching. 

There are lots of guys who like to sit in the right seat and give advice who are slow... avoid them.

I'm not interested in getting into a debate about two HDPE instructors differing advise.  I'd like someone to look at the video and tell me where I'm doing things wrong or right.  I don't want to do HPDE event as that has little in common with a Lemons race.  I was looking for what I'd hoped would be a simple "send video here and get feedback solution."  Lemons doesn't allow passengers so having me in the passenger seat isn't an option.
  If you're a "qualified" driver. Here's a business idea to help fuel your career (minus 10% royalty)... 
I'll keep searching.

Here's my video for S&G  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OuuTNJq … e=youtu.be  Let me have it!

Winner "We Got Screwed" award NHMS 2017
#847 Batmobile  aka-"Beulah"
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Re: Evaluating Driving

Every Lemons event has a practice day prior to the race.   Make friends with an experienced fast guy.  Screw HPDE’s.  Not enough seat time for the money IMO.  Most practice days prior to a Lemons race are open track in the Midwest for minimal cost.


Vid review:

15 seconds in to you rolling.   Hands are close together, you shuffle steer and you let the wheel spin as it unwinds.  IMO, you shouldn’t do any of those.  I always suggest 9 and 3 at all times.  Yes, you can rotate the bottom hand under the wheel even in tight turns.   If you are constantly driving at the limit of grip you need to be able to feel everything you can.

You will at times keep your hands still, but then you go back to sliding them around the wheel.  Just keep them planted.  It’s easier to feel what the car is trying to tell you.

Quit driving around with your right hand on the shifter.  Make your shift when it’s time and get back to the wheel. Resting your hand on the shifter suggests either you are unsure of when you need to shift or laziness. 

5:00 mark you are shifting and turning with one hand in a tighter corner awkwardly while scanning your mirror for the faster car coming up.   You should know what gear you take that corner in and have shifted down to the gear and have both hands on the wheel already accelerating.  Drive your car, the faster cars will get around you.

5:22 you pass a car with one hand on the shifter and you don’t appear to ever shift and you essentially are passing them with one hand on the wheel.

By the 10:46 mark I have seen plenty of one hand driving and one hand resting on the shifter. 

Hand movement on turn in looks rushed at times.  Almost a little unsure.   

I haven’t driven this track in real life, or the with the chicane on the oval, but I have done 1000’s of laps on here in iRacing (LOL....).  Your line in open corners looks fine, you could use more track and carry more speed.  You don’t have any mid corner corrections which tells me you likely aren’t on the edge of grip. 

11:30 is an example of where you tend to keep your top hand planted and move your bottom hand up and then turn the wheel.  It tends to result in a quicker hand movement and will limit your ability to maintain grip.   Smooth and deliberate is what I am always thinking.   But to be smooth and deliberate you have to be precise on when you start to make a movement.

12:38 you do a much nicer job with your hands and keeping them apart with a smooth deliberate movement st turn in. (Does it help you to chase/follow a similarly paced car?)

This track is tight, and for two similarly paced cars is very hard to get a pass done.  I think you do a nice job of managing traffic.   It’s hard to know if you are in normal average enduro mode or if this is aggressive for you.   This would be considered to be average to me.

I didn’t watch beyond 15 mins or so due to time...

I hope something I typed helps.  Just my opinion.  There are lots of guys faster than me who may have some other suggestions.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

8 (edited by DirtyDuc 2018-10-29 10:08 PM)

Re: Evaluating Driving

Something I've been taught since I learned to drive, not to put my thumbs inside the steering wheel. I do it occasionally on the road, but my track stance is thumb aligned with the top (towards the driver) of the wheel.

I was taught that wrapping the thumb around promotes broken thumbs when things go awry.

I'm not particularly fast, but I've never broken a thumb.

That guy

9 (edited by VKZ24 2018-10-30 05:16 AM)

Re: Evaluating Driving

squidrope wrote:

I don't want to do HPDE event as that has little in common with a Lemons race

Most all of the corrections mentioned by TeamLemon-aid would have been made in-car, in real time, by a qualified HPDE instructor.  Driving with one hand is a huge no-no.  You won't find a single person that can drive better with one hand vs. two.

While it's true that HPDE won't teach you race craft, you will learn a LOT, that is applicable to driving a car on track at speed.  Once you have that part down, then you learn to deal with traffic, which is pretty much 99% of Lemons racing.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: Evaluating Driving

HPDE can be beneficial. I did one in the Saab this summer after Thompson because I wanted someone to sit in the other seat and look for bad habits. The issue is that instructors at those can be hit or miss. Some are amazing, some are just there because it gets them cheap track time.

I did get some habits corrected. For example I don't tend to turn in fast/soon enough. Probably because Lemons has taught me to drive off line so much. I also tend to screw with steering more than I should. Meaning I'll do the classic saw the wheel back and forth a little like I'm searching for grip. Except I'm not past the limits when I do it. Honestly didn't notice I was doing that until it was pointed out, now I'm trying to break the habit.

Don't rule out HPDE's value if you go there with the goal of simply breaking bad habits.

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Re: Evaluating Driving

If your only track experience is Lemons, sign up for some HPDE with in-car instruction.  Even though a good driving school will have clear boundaries between their driving school and racing practice, every lesson learned directly translates to car control and line selection when surrounded by Speedycop creations and British cars on fire.

Avoid any organization that "offers" optional instructors.  My first recommendation is your local BMWCCA chapter (no BMW required).  They have been honing school safety and instruction since they hosted the first club driving schools at LRP in the 70's.

Attend a bunch of autocrosses as well.  You will learn a crap load about car control at safer speeds with more runoff.  Experimenting with throttle input vs weight distribution while doing 100mph three feet off the armco can be expensive and painful.

After a few (or few dozen) days of HPDE, ask the chief instructor of your BMWCCA chapter if you are ready for a competition school.  BMWCCA offers these school for students thinking about racing.  They cover more advanced driving, basic race craft, and put you into race conditions such as rolling starts surrounded by other cars.  They also run a few simulated races.

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12 (edited by VKZ24 2018-10-30 07:53 AM)

Re: Evaluating Driving

TeamDFL wrote:

Avoid any organization that "offers" optional instructors.

I'd agree with that and also add to avoid the for-profit clubs, assuming you have that option in your area.  Most, not all, of those organizations care more about the money in their pocket than whether or not you learn anything.

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

Re: Evaluating Driving

Thanks for the input.  I've been trying to be better about shuffle steering.  At 5:00 mark I was between gears (couldn't get car in gear) and was looking in mirror to be sure the following car didn't hit me. lol 

Will work on keeping both hands on wheel at all times except when shifting.

I do tend to drive quicker when following a faster car as they tend to leave a hole in the traffic and I guess it motivates me a bit.

I would say at the beginning of the video I was not pushing very hard.  Towards the middle-end I was in what I'd call normal endurance mode.  Definitely not blitzing it.

Thanks for the advise.  It will definitely help.


TeamLemon-aid wrote:

Every Lemons event has a practice day prior to the race.   Make friends with an experienced fast guy.  Screw HPDE’s.  Not enough seat time for the money IMO.  Most practice days prior to a Lemons race are open track in the Midwest for minimal cost.


Vid review:

15 seconds in to you rolling.   Hands are close together, you shuffle steer and you let the wheel spin as it unwinds.  IMO, you shouldn’t do any of those.  I always suggest 9 and 3 at all times.  Yes, you can rotate the bottom hand under the wheel even in tight turns.   If you are constantly driving at the limit of grip you need to be able to feel everything you can.

You will at times keep your hands still, but then you go back to sliding them around the wheel.  Just keep them planted.  It’s easier to feel what the car is trying to tell you.

Quit driving around with your right hand on the shifter.  Make your shift when it’s time and get back to the wheel. Resting your hand on the shifter suggests either you are unsure of when you need to shift or laziness. 

5:00 mark you are shifting and turning with one hand in a tighter corner awkwardly while scanning your mirror for the faster car coming up.   You should know what gear you take that corner in and have shifted down to the gear and have both hands on the wheel already accelerating.  Drive your car, the faster cars will get around you.

5:22 you pass a car with one hand on the shifter and you don’t appear to ever shift and you essentially are passing them with one hand on the wheel.

By the 10:46 mark I have seen plenty of one hand driving and one hand resting on the shifter. 

Hand movement on turn in looks rushed at times.  Almost a little unsure.   

I haven’t driven this track in real life, or the with the chicane on the oval, but I have done 1000’s of laps on here in iRacing (LOL....).  Your line in open corners looks fine, you could use more track and carry more speed.  You don’t have any mid corner corrections which tells me you likely aren’t on the edge of grip. 

11:30 is an example of where you tend to keep your top hand planted and move your bottom hand up and then turn the wheel.  It tends to result in a quicker hand movement and will limit your ability to maintain grip.   Smooth and deliberate is what I am always thinking.   But to be smooth and deliberate you have to be precise on when you start to make a movement.

12:38 you do a much nicer job with your hands and keeping them apart with a smooth deliberate movement st turn in. (Does it help you to chase/follow a similarly paced car?)

This track is tight, and for two similarly paced cars is very hard to get a pass done.  I think you do a nice job of managing traffic.   It’s hard to know if you are in normal average enduro mode or if this is aggressive for you.   This would be considered to be average to me.

I didn’t watch beyond 15 mins or so due to time...

I hope something I typed helps.  Just my opinion.  There are lots of guys faster than me who may have some other suggestions.

Winner "We Got Screwed" award NHMS 2017
#847 Batmobile  aka-"Beulah"
https://www.facebook.com/squidroperacing/

Re: Evaluating Driving

The shuffle steering and right hand resting in the shifter is a widespread common habit.  Most of it stems from our street driving habits.

A comment about improving skills and some other rambling thoughts. .  Be purposeful with any practice time you can get.  Never turn laps to just turn laps.  Work on something every time you have a chance to get on track.  Learn to go to your limit (9/10ths or whatever) from the time you enter the track.   Too many guys talk about taking it easy till the tires or car warms up.  Drive to the limit of grip that the tires and surface are able to achieve immediately.   Doing that at all times is what makes someone quick.  The phrase “cold track, cold tires” is said repeatedly by instructors to remind those who aren’t able to drive to the limit of available grip to not expect the car to grip like it did when warm.

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Evaluating Driving

I told my wife about my lazy hands and she's now coaching me as we're driving around town...  PITA but gotta keep 2 on the wheel, so it's worth it.

Winner "We Got Screwed" award NHMS 2017
#847 Batmobile  aka-"Beulah"
https://www.facebook.com/squidroperacing/

Re: Evaluating Driving

That’s exactly what you do to build a habit.  Do it at all times. 

LemonAid - Changing kids lives one lap at a time.

Re: Evaluating Driving

Definitely do anything you should do in your race car in your street car unless there's a specific reason not to. I learned to double clutch this way and still do it every day. I have never had any problems shifting any of the many cars that I have raced and I believe it to be largely because of this. It gets me in the habit of rev matching very efficiently. Same things for hands and steering. Plus it is still safer on the street even if a little unnecessary.

Re: Evaluating Driving

I was reading an excellent article by Jack Baruth https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsport … on-moltke/ and apparently there is a service that does what the OP requested:  https://racers360.com/

Everybody grab your brooms, it's shenanigans!

Re: Evaluating Driving

rmcdaniels wrote:

I was reading an excellent article by Jack Baruth https://www.roadandtrack.com/motorsport … on-moltke/ and apparently there is a service that does what the OP requested:  https://racers360.com/


That’s cool, but what shoes/watch/bespoke shirt was Jack wearing when he wrote about and/or used that service?

It’s aparently very important at all times that we know that.

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Re: Evaluating Driving

I work on the 2 hands on the wheel on the street, too.  My new DD has 6 (forward) gears and it's a real temptation to rest ol' Righty on the knob, but I avoid it.  9 and 3 unless I'm making a change.  Pretend the knob is hot, or spiky, or something.  Or, if you're not into penises, one of those.

New advice out says the old "10 and 2" is no longer recommended.  9 and 3.  Partly this is due to airbags being nearly ubiquitous now, but even without bags, it's still a bad idea to have your hands/ arms all crossed up in front of you if/when the fit hits the shan.

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Re: Evaluating Driving

mechimike wrote:

New advice out says the old "10 and 2" is no longer recommended.  9 and 3.

The most meaningful analogy I heard about 10 and 2 versus 9 and 3 was that gripping the wheel at 10 and 2 is like trying to stand on a basketball... So, I encourage endurance racers to work the bottom of the wheel, which is more like 8 and 4. This is essentially like standing on the bottom of the basketball. Here are the advantages for me:

  • first, my arms and hands are more relaxed when down low. In my preferred driving position, my forearms practically rest in my lap;

  • when making a turn, you can slide into 9 and 3 very easily by moving only one hand (in the case of a right turn, you can slide your right hand up and pull the wheel down into a 9 and 3-ish position) for the corner;

  • I find pulling down is less tiring than pushing up on the wheel...YMMV;

  • lastly, I think lower hands means steadier, slower inputs--I can pull down with my fingers and wrists rather than steering from the elbow or shoulder, giving more fine motor control...

A nugget Randy Pobst once offered: "Fast hands fix foul form." Otherwise, slow steering inputs are more gooder. One downside is that I might no be able to react as quickly with low hands. Low hands may not allow fast hands. Not sure. Never tested this out.

One last anecdote:
I do know a guy who drive with one hand and was very fast. Neal Sapp and I raced together in the 90s. His in-car baffled me. One hand and a lot of movement. But he was very quick.

bb

Re: Evaluating Driving

mechimike wrote:

9 and 3 unless I'm making a change.  Pretend the knob is hot, or spiky, or something.  Or, if you're not into penises, one of those.

I'm a trackday instructor.  I tell students not to rest their hand there.  After about the 3rd time, I start reaching over and caressing their hand with mine if they leave it there.  It cures them real quick.

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Re: Evaluating Driving

RobL wrote:
mechimike wrote:

9 and 3 unless I'm making a change.  Pretend the knob is hot, or spiky, or something.  Or, if you're not into penises, one of those.

I'm a trackday instructor.  I tell students not to rest their hand there.  After about the 3rd time, I start reaching over and caressing their hand with mine if they leave it there.  It cures them real quick.

I'm an HPDE instructor as well and when I notice students reaching for the shifter when they shouldn't be, I place my hand between them and the shifter almost like a safety guard.  After a few attempts, they cease doing it and it's not usually a problem in the future. 

I find a lot of students who want to be sure they are in the right gear while right in the middle of braking.  I tell them it won't matter what gear you're in when you blow the braking zone and we go flying off the end of track!

Captain
Team Super Westerfield Bros.
'93 Acura Integra - No VTEC Yo!

24 (edited by mobius911 2018-12-17 02:15 PM)

Re: Evaluating Driving

squidrope wrote:

I don't want to do HPDE event as that has little in common with a Lemons race.

The traditional path to racing pre-Lemons was HPDE beginner, then move to HPDE advanced, maybe try autocross or time trials, then race school and licensing, then racing. Lemons turned this on its head- now with just a driver's license you can go racing! That's been awesome and exposed a lot of new people to this intoxicating sport.

But once you're hooked, it makes sense to build your foundation. Saying "the only way to get better at racing is to race" is like a beginning skier spending all his time on the triple black diamond runs to get better. It may work, but probably won't, and is guaranteed to be a long and painful process.

If you know you love this and want to get better, going back to the fundamentals will pay dividends:

1. Basics: seating position, hands, shifting, heel/toe, mirrors, flag locations, situational awareness on closing speeds, flags, not having tunnel vision, lead/follow to get the basics of the line, etc. HPDE is great for this. Nice controlled environment.

2. "The line": braking points, threshold braking, turn-in, apex (late/not), turn exit, acceleration out of turn, where to focus on improving time, basics of passing/being passed, driving at limit, using the whole track to increase turn radius and carry more speed, putting together a "qualifying" lap, etc. Again, HPDE is perfect.

3. Racing/racecraft: Positioning on track, setting up for the pass/being passed, maintaining rhythm and flow, closing speeds, driving on limit in traffic, etc. Lemons is great for this, and review of your in-car video by, e.g., Racers 360 is great for this.

I've read great things about Racers 360. Given that this site recommends it, it may not be cheap... https://rennlist.com/forums/racing-and- … rvice.html

I've seen good racer/instructors at NASA events. 2 days at Sonoma (my local track) in HPDE is $350, for about 3 hours of track time. Seems reasonable. Ask for a real racer for some instruction.

I also think Harry's Laptimer is a great, inexpensive teaching tool. It's an app that takes advantage of your phone's GPS- $20 and you become your own instructor! How's that work? Drive around the track and Harry records your laps. Set one as your reference lap, or better yet, have a friend or instructor set a quick lap. As you drive more laps, the timer is giving you immediate feedback on whether you're going faster or slower than the reference lap. Go into a turn with the same time, but come out behind? Whatever you tried in that corner slowed you down. Now try different things to see how they affect your laps, or review your video (Harry can do that and overlay data) to see where you can improve (g force, turn angle, throttle position, etc. can all be monitored with a cheap Bluetooth OBDII dongle). Ideal for HPDE self-improvement.