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Who was your worst student and what did they do?

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Old 09-29-2016, 05:10 PM   #61
volpenyc
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I have to admit, I was probably one of "those" students..I had driven probably a dozen or so DE's, but all were pretty local. One instance, many years ago I do remember was a DE with Peachstate PCA - great group of guys BTW - at Road Atlanta. My buddy was already an instructor, and he let me drive his 996tt for the event...in the Green run group....Just so you understand, it was speed yellow, x-50 package, GT2 seats, schroth belts, camera, extinguisher, etc.....(oh and slicks BTW). My friend believes in pushing someone into the deep end of the pool to learn how to swim...(I now think he probably did it on purpose...)

So I get to the classroom for class instruction, and as I'm finding my seat I hear the DI state: "So let's say you show up to your first driving instruction, with, I don't know, lets say a yellow twin-turbo.." Oh boy, I thought, I haven't even gotten in the car & I'm already making friends. I wanted to bury my head under my cap.

When we line up, of course I get the instructor who I'm certain is dying to see which a$$hat shows up with a worked tt for the green run-group. He hops into the car and says: "How about we take it easy?". So I proceed to take it really easy for the 1st series of laps; I don't know the track, and certainly have no idea what the proper line is. Oh and BTW, there's that small issue of the slicks needing to warm up... But I hear nothing from the instructor, so I'm wondering how pissed/scared I'm making him.
For the second run, he gets in and tells me: "I know this thing can go faster".
So I slowly start adding speed, a little faster for each lap....to a point where we are steaming down the front straight approaching T1..
Then I hear: "brake, Brake, BRAKE!!" I stomp on the brakes, scrub a ton of speed, then calmly take the turn. I'm waiting to hear the "pull into the pits" comment. Four or five seconds pass and then he turns to me and says, "Wow this car stops really, really well.."
Whew, what a relief, I thought was going to get yanked from the track day.

Later that weekend at one point we are in the car, he is actually giggling and goading me on telling me that he knows we can go faster. As we take T5, I feel the rear of the car unload as we crest the turn. Instantly I feel the stuttering of PASM kicking in; I almost had a Code Brown moment. Before I can ask the DI what I did wrong, the mike clicks on: "Hahaha, I think we finally found your limit". After we pull into the pits he signs me off for solo as he says "you probably shouldn't be in this run group, or yellow either.." It was both the scariest and most rewarding event for me ever, hands down period.
I tip my hat and thank all the PCA DIs.

I'm working on joining the ranks of you fine motoring gentlemen as we speak...
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:25 PM   #62
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After a year of instructing experience, I had my most challenging instructing weekend recently.
It really underscored the value of having advance time to connect with the student before the event.

When I contact the student a week ahead, I get to ask them details about their experience, goals, car etc. AND I get to send them track videos, notes on what I'd like them to focus on, and stuff to read.

It establishes rapport, and my student shows up at track mentally prepared.
And I know what kind of minimal knowledge they have.

In this instance my assigned student dropped, so I met my first student on the day 1, who did OK. He was focused, was making progress, and took coaching well. I'd ride right seat with him again (even though he crashed his car with passenger side into the tirewall).

The second student arrived a day late, was impatient, argumentative, knew more than I did, and wanted to boss me around. She'd had 2 days at track 6 months ago. I encouraged her to consider finding an instructor who might be a "better fit." Happily, it was the one thing I instructed her to do that she actually did!
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:17 PM   #63
Wild Weasel
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You can't just say he crashed into a wall without giving any indication of what happened!!

Mechanical failure? His fault? Your fault??
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:24 PM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Weasel View Post
You can't just say he crashed into a wall without giving any indication of what happened!!

Mechanical failure? His fault? Your fault??
Combination of:

1. new track
2. challenging car to drive (air-cooled G series)
3. first time tracking this car, prev one had "nannies"
4. abrupt throttle input at a wrong point on the track (front gets light there)
5. car got unsettled, then an "instinctive" lift off the throttle
6. the G series punishes lifts

I'm baffled why the abrupt throttle: I kept saying "maintenance throttle"...he didn't exactly say what prompted that and he was so upset after the event I wasn't gonna get in his grill about it. It was not a track prepped car so could be that his foot slipped.

But he was not my worst student!
The one who knew everything and wanted to boss me around was the difficult one!

Last edited by Dr911; 03-20-2017 at 10:33 PM.
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Old 03-20-2017, 05:24 PM   #65
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del
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Old 03-20-2017, 11:43 PM   #66
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Tried to teach my wife (then my girlfriend) how to drive about 30 years ago. Surprised we made it to the alter.

Currently teaching my 16 year old daughter how to drive and it is going much better.

Still a provisional PCA instructor and all my students have been great so far. . . . and I hope it stays that way.
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Old 03-21-2017, 12:12 AM   #67
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Had an older student in a high horsepower modified Vette. His line was terrible, but I was trying to help him. One lap, going around the outer loop at Watkins Glen, he drives over the track out cone. So next lap, I warn him on the back straight that the cone ain't gonna be in the right place any more. As we come down the hill, the cone is in the track but off line. But for some reason he's got the cone lined like he's in a B29 on a bombing run. "See the cone? Move right. Move right. MOVE RIGHT!" WHAP...hits the damn thing dead center and crack his splitter. "Didnt you see the cone?" "Well, I left my glasses at home, but I didn't want to miss driving at this event." Went to the CI and let him know I would never get in that car again.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:58 PM   #68
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Had a student in a 997 Turbo cab last year sporting a "Hillary 16" bumper sticker. Worst instructor experience ever....
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Old 03-21-2017, 08:25 PM   #69
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I've been all of these I think.
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:44 PM   #70
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David, I've yet to see you in "Bossy Latin Chica" mode
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:15 AM   #71
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i'm not an instructor, but as a track-goer, i've learned to stay away from the guy grossly over exaggerating his performance on the track to his buddys. watching people to stay away from and figuring out who the scrubs are is part of the day.
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Old 03-22-2017, 02:58 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roastbeef View Post
i'm not an instructor, but as a track-goer, i've learned to stay away from the guy grossly over exaggerating his performance on the track to his buddys. watching people to stay away from and figuring out who the scrubs are is part of the day.
This is very insightful.
It's happened to me more than once where some of my track buddys (in green) have come over to give me some "good advice" and critique my driving.

Of course, I'm always happy to listen and to learn from anyone.

But when it is always the same buddy in green who is always giving me "good advice" and keeps showing up at each of their DE's in yet another newer higher HP car, I know it's prob safe for me to shut that one ear.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:04 PM   #73
Wild Weasel
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People stay in Green long enough to go through more than 2 cars??

I know different organizations have different group setups. Someone here mentioned someone being solo in Green, which doesn't happen in my region.
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Old 03-23-2017, 01:39 PM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wild Weasel View Post
People stay in Green long enough to go through more than 2 cars??

I know different organizations have different group setups. Someone here mentioned someone being solo in Green, which doesn't happen in my region.
Unlike hard-core crack addicts, there are those who do 3 events a year.
As for me personally? I can quit anytime.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:25 PM   #75
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Im Not an instructor but There was a "Group" of friends in a lower run group that had been signed off, I couldn't see what was happening but My Brother-in law who was in a Different run group said "stay away from that pack, they are racing each other" ....Sure enough, the LAST run of the day, OF the last day the yellow came out,, and a absolutely Totaled car comes in bounced off the wall at the top of the esses at WGI like a ping pong ball, I cant imaging the second guessing that went on in the instructors mind that signed that guy off.
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