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Old 09-19-2016, 12:26 PM   #1
TXE36
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Default Ever had a student...

like the one I had? Guy shows up in a bone stock 2014 Stingray at TWS on worn run flats. First time instructed on the track. He had done a couple of lead-follow sessions at other tracks and a few autocrosses. The run groups are Green (newbie), Blue, and Red (advanced/instructor). Progression goes something like this:
  • Saturday Warm Up: Here is the line, there are the flag stations, what to do if you drop a wheel, etc...
  • Sat Run1: Drive the line, be smooth. Needed to get his hands at 9 and 3. Some early apexing and too late braking. Decide to work on vision.
  • Sat Run2: Instruct by simply telling him where to look. No shifting, but speeds coming up.
  • Sat Run3: Have him drive and narrate what he is looking at and what he is trying to do. Less feedback from me seems to make him better.
  • Sat Run4: More of the same. Start noticing he is one of the quickest greens and he is not using the power of the motor, catching most people in turns.
  • Sun Warm Up: Learn shifting. That takes less than 1/2 the session, then drive some laps w/o traction control. Takes about 3 laps to get used to it w/o traction control. Speeds are high enough where he could really use trailbraking.
  • Sun Run1: Lets do some trailbraking with traction control on.
  • Sun Run2: Line up in front of all the other cars, yes even in front of that Z06. Get out first. Two laps later, the Z06 is gone, and by the end of the session he has lapped over 1/2 the field.
  • Sun Run3: I need to run him in Blue because I don't know how well he will be with overtaking traffic as nobody in Green can catch him. Winds up passing about 1/2 the Blue field.
  • Sun Run4: Line in in front of all the Blues. Finally someone passed him, but only 3 cars got by the whole session and he passed quite a few Blues. Must have been some sight out there mixing it up with Chin Blues with the "X"es on the back of his car. I wouldn't be surprised if some thought an instructor was driving his car.

Great attitude, extremely good judgement and a whole lot of fun to ride with. No autocross roughness to tune out. Harassing Miatas in the twisty bits and about as opposite of the typical "Corvette Douchbag" as one could be. Didn't really use the motor and never went over 130 MPH. Had absolutely no problem giving a point by to a Blue BRZ that managed to catch him.

The biggest problem I had is I couldn't really determine how well he could handle overtaking traffic. This morning I wake up thinking I should have run him in Red.

All and all a joy to ride with even though he was proof life is not fair - it took me nearly a year of DEs to get where he was at in one stinking weekend.

-Mike
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:43 PM   #2
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I used to categorize my students as "Natural", "Trainable" or "Clueless" (alt. Hopeless). Thankfully, the vast majority were in the middle group. At least one of the Naturals went on to win a national championship. Only had a few of the last ones over the 16 years I instructed.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:48 PM   #3
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I read "2014 Stingray" and thought it would end differently.

You sure Chevy didn't send a test driver out in green just to do damage control for the "douchey vette driver image"?

Well done.
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Old 09-19-2016, 12:49 PM   #4
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no better feeling to help someone with natural skill that is willing to learn.
nice work.
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Old 09-19-2016, 01:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuigiVampa View Post
I read "2014 Stingray" and thought it would end differently.

You sure Chevy didn't send a test driver out in green just to do damage control for the "douchey vette driver image"?

Well done.
I actually rolled my eyes and thought "Ugh Corvette" when I saw my instructor assignment, I may have even thought that last part out loud.

When I had him line up in front of the already established grid I joked that it's okay, they probably already though he was a douche anyway because of the car.

Without the "gold chains" option, these cars are quite nice track machines.

-Mike
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Old 09-19-2016, 04:26 PM   #6
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Cool story...

How do you assess how much of this was driver, and how much was car?

A 2014 corvette is a pretty formidable car... Not surprised he was passing lots of other vehicles...

Can't beat natural skill...
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mark kibort View Post
no better feeling to help someone with natural skill that is willing to learn.
nice work.
This is the truth!
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:00 PM   #8
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Nice story. Thanks for posting
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:27 PM   #9
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Upon reflection I can only conclude that my DE instructors had similar experiences




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Old 09-19-2016, 06:29 PM   #10
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Upon reflection I can only conclude that my DE instructors had similar experiences
with other students
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:33 PM   #11
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I had a young kid in an evo and another gent in a car I cant remember. The kid was a former karter and the gent did bikes. They took to it like fish to water. I usually try to nudge them towards the limit of the car on corner entry when there is no one to pass them. I rarely take someone to Red from Green though. Mostly because blue is almost as fast as Red many times at Road Atlanta. Blue guys are just worse with traffic both passing and being passed.

That being said give him some time to be the best in the (blue) group and gain some seat time and possibly encounter some unforseen circumstances. IMO if they are going in Red, unless its a fairly slow group, they need to be ready for side by side, reading and anticipating trffic patterns, and adept at significant corrections. Also not tightnening up after a mistake.
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Old 09-19-2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veloce Raptor View Post
with other students
Bwahahaha!
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Old 09-19-2016, 07:01 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpu699 View Post
Cool story...

How do you assess how much of this was driver, and how much was car?

A 2014 corvette is a pretty formidable car... Not surprised he was passing lots of other vehicles...

Can't beat natural skill...
Not the car. As I stated in the OP, he really wasn't using the motor and never went any faster in the straights than I do in the E36 - the car is capable of way more than that. I had some fears it was the traction control, but that went away when I had him turn it off and be careful. He knew traction control going off was not a cool thing, but an indication of a mistake.

One thing that did help him was the autoblip, he did not have to heel-toe, but he did still have to row the gears, so it's not like it was a DCT. He did manage a couple of passes in turns, but yes, I wouldn't trust him solo because I had very little idea how he would handle other cars close and keeping pace. Oh, one thing I forgot, I even had him completing passes off line.

He kind of got away from me, in retrospect, I should have done flags and traffic management earlier when he was slower. Oh well.

-Mike
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Old 09-19-2016, 08:55 PM   #14
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with other students
..
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Old 09-20-2016, 07:00 AM   #15
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After maybe 200+ DE students, I recall 2 novices who were incredibly naturally talented, displaying wonderful skills in slow cars. Both were under 18 years old.
I was more than a little jealous--make that, I was incredibly jealous of their natural skills. From the right seat, it was incredibly rewarding and fun.
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