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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My very first HPDE event! It was held at the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. I signed up for two days, April 18th and 19th. Some light rain on the first day, but not enough to create any problems.

It was HARD! All my "boy street racer" skills were worthless and I was totally depressed after my first badly botched run. I told my wife Sandy, who came along as a spectator, "God, I really suck at this." By the fourth run on the first day, I was doing better and gaining some confidence. The first run the second day I felt nervous, and managed to totally butcher my first run. My instructor called it "overload." Luckily, by the next run I had regained my composure and concentration and put together three good runs with just a few bonehead moves ... like missing my second gear shift gate and winding up going into a hard right switchback in 4th gear. That was not one of my better moments.



The early morning tech line ... check tires, check lug nuts, check for loose objects in the car, check helmets ...



I couldn't believe how this car tracked and got me through what seemed like impossible high speed turns. How do you go into 90-120 degree turns at 50-70 mph and come out on track with no skidding or sliding? It scared the heck out of me the first few times, but then I realized the instructor and the car knew a lot more than I did. I never spun out, and only had one minor correction for oversteer when I went into one turn braking too late. The instructor started to yell, then stopped as I got out of it and returned to the proper line in a second or too. After the run, he said that correction was very well done, and he didn't think I'd be able to hold the car in at the speed we were going. So, plenty of mistakes, and a new reality as far as my driving ability.



Very, very different than street driving and, in many ways, counter-intuitive. My street driving instincts worked against me, and I had to learn a whole new way of driving ... and thinking. I'm still a rank novice and will likely stay there for many more sessions. I always had an instructor with me, and would not want to be on the track with other cars without him. I did drive myself during our Make A Wish charity laps, and that was fine because we had to keep it under 60 mph on most sections of the track. I drove a few laps with Sandy, then took four different MAW kids out for about 3-4 laps each. That allowed me some time to run the course with no self-imposed pressure, and it felt good. On the other hand, when you're pulling 100 mph on the straight and have a row of cars coming up fast behind you to pass, that's not such a comfortable feeling. I got very good at giving the hand signal to pass ... which I used very, very, very often. I kept up fairly well in the turns, and even managed to pass a few slower cars being driven by 90 year old nuns, but I was definitely out-classed even in my "Green" novice run group.

There's always somebody coming up on you.



The Make A Wish parade was one of the highlights of the weekend, and gave us a chance to make some kids really happy. Smiles all around ... drivers, kids, and their families. I took one severely disabled young man around for a few laps. Afterwards, his family caught up with Sandy and told her how much it meant to all of them. He loves cars, and his dream car is the Boxster S. While in the car with me, he never stopped smiling. They said they had never seen him smile this much. Sandy cried when she heard this.







Karen (KCZ) came down for the MAW parade laps and thrilled some of the kids with old "TWEETY."





Some of the older cars didn't hold up quite as well ... brakes are really important.



There were quite a few non-Porsche cars there, including many sponsored race cars.






What an experience. I have a new appreciation for what my 981 is capable of, and a new understanding of what I'm not capable of. Each run was 21 minutes, and we did 4 runs every day for the two days. I went through a half tank of gas every day, and my tires are coated with tar/asphalt. I did have enough headroom with a helmet on, I did not need to engage Sport modes at all, and PASM did an amazing job of keeping the car planted over track imperfections and pavement variations. It never lifted a wheel ... never. I can see where PDK would be a speed advantage, but I really enjoyed the shifting ... it felt great in spite of the driver input errors. Most of the course, except for one really tight uphill turn, could be run in 3rd gear with no problems at all. I don't have PSE, but I can assure you there is no sweeter sound than that Boxer six wailing away on the straight as you get up to 100 mph in 3rd gear, then brake hard and hit the line going into a sweeping left turn.

Today I'm just unwinding. The whole night all I thought about was braking, squeezing the throttle, finding my line, and hitting the apex. Gawd! I'm ruined.
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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Great stuff. It takes a few seasons to get competent, and it's a lifetime of learning. The old 10,000 hours rule.
 
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Congrates Stan,

Experience well said, a wonderful cause for sure and your frankness and humble thoughts are only what I would expect from you.

Hope you stay with it but as you so desire. My cousin's son who tracks his Viper says it takes more than a few sessions to get it all together and get ability to go it alone. Then Sandy can ride shotgun for you. I know she is just dying to do that.:hilarious:

LG still not motivated - who knows maybe some day.

:cheers:
 
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Even if you have done a ton of track days it always takes some time to get your mo-jo going. I ran Big Willow three weeks ago. Over the years i've probably done 60-70 days on that track. I haven't been on it for about two years and it was like starting over. Funny true story the first time i ran it i had a GT3. i was so slow i got picked off by an instructor driving a 4cly auto nissan rental car!! carl
 

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My very first HPDE event! It was held at the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon, NH. I signed up for two days, April 18th and 19th. Some light rain on the first day, but not enough to create any problems.


Wow that's a track I know quite well and I don't recognize the section of track. I'm guessing the (non oval) on track photo is of the up hill section after you come around the NASCAR oval and brake hard before turning right into an up hill into the road course section? Or maybe I'm just a couple decades out of touch and the track has been redone.

Very, very different than street driving and, in many ways, counter-intuitive. My street driving instincts worked against me, and I had to learn a whole new way of driving ... and thinking


When I first switched to shifter kart racing I was 28 years old and I started in 80cc shifters that were for people 16 and up. The vast majority of kids I was racing were 16. I used to have people say to me 'Oh that's not fair, a bunch of newbie drivers they are probably too afraid to even floor it'. What they fail to realize is that these 16 year old drivers have never had their skills watered down by street driving. The only form of driving they know is at speed on a race track and they've been doing it since they were 6-8 years old.

So I totally feel you on the street skills being more wrong than right on a race track.

Glad you had fun, but be careful, this stuff is addictive.
 

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Can I be honest here, Stan?

I enjoyed reading your paragraphs and looking at the pictures, truly, till I got to see that yellow Boxster S... there I stopped reading and went on admiring it. So I scrolled down looking for more shots of the yellow Boxster but found none. I stopped at the 458. Something was not right about it. It looked ugly. Not sure if it's because of being lowered too much or what.

The bottom line, don't post pictures of yellow 981s or 458s if you want my attention in the future. ;)

PS CONGRATULATIONS for enjoying your two days and charity event.

EDIT
I just read the plate! TWEETY !!!!! That guy has a taste in cars and words... I salute him. And love his tweety... MUCH!!!
 
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Well done - great post!
Great observations from a first timer perspective...more people should do events like this.
 
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EDIT
I just read the plate! TWEETY !!!!! That guy has a taste in cars and words... I salute him. And love his tweety... MUCH!!!
The guy is actually a girl. lol. :)
 

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AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME !!!

The Make A Wish is the single best idea I've ever heard of for a DE and I will do everything in my power to duplicate the experience at our next event.


The Make A Wish parade was one of the highlights of the weekend, and gave us a chance to make some kids really happy.










What an experience. I have a new appreciation for what my 981 is capable of,.
 
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Glad you enjoyed it! And you clearly were a good student. Keep posting on your progress, you'll enjoy seeing your lap times drop.
 
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WOW awesome event!!! Its easy to take for granted the gifts that life has bestowed upon us and being able use those gifts to make others happy like that is excellent! It probably didn't effect your weekend at all but gave those kid an experience they will never forget.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)


BryantH, that picture was taken coming into number 7 on the map. The "Bowl" is at 6, and the "Wall" at 10. Hope that helps visualize what the course looks like now. On the right side of the map, the white dots represent cones that mark the end of the road course there, so we stay inside and use the inner esses. 3 to 4 is all uphill, and that's where I blew my 3-2 shift. The instructors all describe this course as "technically challenging."
 

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Discussion Starter #18
AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME !!!

The Make A Wish is the single best idea I've ever heard of for a DE and I will do everything in my power to duplicate the experience at our next event.
You can get in touch with the folks at NCR (North Country Region)/PCA for more information. The MAW Parade is open to all for a $40 registration fee, all of which I believe goes to MAW. The cars line up about 30 minutes before the track parade, which gives the kids a chance to sit in the cars, get pictures taken, and decide which cars they want to ride in. Then the cars line up in the pit row, load a passenger, and go around for a few laps. Then back to the pits for a change of passengers, and around again. It's a great experience and very emotional for both the drivers and the families.
 

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That picture was taken coming into number 9 on the map. The "Bowl" is at 6, and the "Wall" at 10. Hope that helps visualize what the course looks like now. On the right side of the map, the white dots represent cones that mark the end of the road course there, so we stay inside and use the inner esses. The instructors all describe this course as "technically challenging."
Awesome, Okay I see it now, man I remember there being lots more trees heading into 9 on the left hand side (which doesn't mean there were actually trees there 18 years ago, just that I remember them). The bowl was a cool turn, you had to corner-work it to appreciate how banked it was as that is a much faster corner than it ever looked from the car. Nice walk down memory lane. I remember they always had the NASCAR templates up against the wall in the garages by the air tank.

Cool stuff.

NER PCA guys always treated me very well (this was a long time before I had bought a Porsche) to drop a name a few NER guys would likely still know. Jim Selders, who's a PCA driving instructor and otherwise quite active in the PCA actually got me started on HPDEs with the NER PCA when I was an intern in college.
 

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Oh and that is the same layout from back in the 90s. There was a track there prior to NHIS (Briar Sports Park? is in my head as a name) but I never drove that.

The layout we ran the most was the Esses on the (I'm guessing) West side as shown and the oval on the (also guessing) East Side as optionally shown. Both infields was also not uncommon. I think one time we got to run the West oval and east infield, which made turn 10 coming down that hill off of the dedicate road course portion challenging.
 
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