Category Archives: Thoughts on HPDEs

Recommended: Hooked on Driving

Hooked on Driving has been around the Pacific Northwest for a number of years.  I never was able to connect with them back when I had my old SVT Focus, but finally got a chance to attend an event at The Ridge last weekend. What a great group.  The day was very well run with the right balance of structure and driver freedom. After a few events where I was starting to lose my sense of why I was attending track days, this day really helped me remember why I liked these days.  There was enough open track to really practice adjustments to certain areas of the track.  There were knowledgeable instructors who were able to provide insights without needing to control every moment of the experience. Just the right balance for me.  The run groups were relatively small, so unlike, say, Audi events, there was room to breath on the track.  I’d rate them right up at the top of the organizers for my purposes.  YMMV, but for my $300, they’re a good investment.  Kudos to Paul, Lane, and team.

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Open Passing with a Point By

I am now an advocate for open passing at track days with mandatory point-by.  I used to think that open passing with a required point-by as being iffy at HPDE events, but once people get the hang of it, well, it keeps things moving SO much faster.  Most clubs limit let-by/passing to designated straight zones, even for advance drivers.  I think that’s a mistake.

The Cantrell Motorsports events run with the open-passing model and I really like it.  I have a momentum car.  When Colin’s fast turbo Porsche (and supercharged BRZ) clients rumble up, it’s great to be able to point them around under braking.  Less instances of long throttle-off gaps on the straights.  Although many of those cars can easily pass with a simple lift and back to WOT on a long straight, letting them around in an (appropriate) turn is awesome.

Some turns are not suited to passing/let by. The sequence might involve too much variability.  It’s a judgement thing and managed by the car letting by. I’m thinking of the T1 to T5 at The Ridge.  But all through the back there are great options for let by, including the long bit where there is normally no let-by permitted from T6 to T11 (although getting the passing done before T9 I think works best).

In any event, I’m a convert. YMMV.