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Author Topic: HPDE Instructor Question
Teamfour Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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HPDE levels 1 and 2 require an instructor. Does this mean an instructor who rides in the car with me? What if I don't have a passenger seat?

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
Team Four Racing

Mike C Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Yes, instructor in the car.

Your passenger needs to have the same level of protection as the driver.

Typically if the driver has a racing seat and 5 or 6 point belts the passenger needs them as well.

--------------------
Mike Collins
MEATHEAD Racing
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It might be different in other regions, but in the NASA SoCal and NorCal regions, HPDE 2 drivers don't require an instructor. They will be on track with the HPDE 1 drivers (who will require an instructor).

Not to contradict Mike Collins, who knows a heck of a lot more about this stuff than I do, but back in my NASA HPDE days (2006-2008) I saw a number of cars that had a racing seat and harness for the driver and a stock passenger seat with street seat belts for the passenger/instructor. Having said that, I did a number of HPDE events in a Spec Miata that had racing seats and 6-point harnesses for both driver and instructor. I think it's only fair to your instructor that they get a safe seat and harness, too. [Smile]

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Often times you can find used race seats on racejunk.com or craigslist. then use your slightly expired seat belts (or ask your friends) for the passenger side. I found an old kirkey for less than $100.

Plus this will allow you to take friends out on "sh*t your pants" demo rides (Tim Gibson!?!).

Don't forget to get some more roll bar padding to cover the rollbar on the passenger side.

P.s. If you have racing or track experience you may be able to "pass" out of HPDE 1 or 2 with a simple lead and follow with an instructor.

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31st in the nation. If I could keep the car on the track and put on the oil cap I could be in the top 20.

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The rule is that the instructor must have the same type of seat and belts as the driver. If the instructor is willing to accept less, that's his or her choice, but don't expect that to happen.
Regardless of HPDE group, the instructor can sign you off to drive Solo. Don't expect that to happen right away either.

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Darrell Wheeler
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WBR Graphics
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quote:
Originally posted by SWDouglass:


P.s. If you have racing or track experience you may be able to "pass" out of HPDE 1 or 2 with a simple lead and follow with an instructor.

I have a fair amount of experience. Regional autocross championship driving a Factory Five Cobra in A Prepared; raced dirt modifieds; One Lap of America driver in a 700hp 'Vette with experience at Daytona, Sebring, and Autobahn; two days of personal training with Brian Smith at Carolina Motorsports Park; currently drive a formula car. Does any of this experience have value?

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
Team Four Racing

SWDouglass Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Darrell,
Not to argue the point, as you are correct in that an instructor may decide not to ride with the student unless he feels safe; but it is not a rule in NASA.

My Understanding of the rule is that the passenger's seat does not have to match the Driver's Belts or seat.

I usually rely on my racing lawyer (where are you gibscreen) for the legal interpretations but this is what I (being a funeral Director) could pull up.

Per NASA CCR:
11.4.8 Seatbelts and Harnesses
The seatbelts should be in good condition. No damage may be present on the seatbelts
and they must be the factory configuration. Any harness or any restraint system, other
than factory stock, shall conform to CCR section #15.5, in all respects* except for the
expiration regulations. Harnesses that are expired for racing may be used providing that
they are in at least very good condition. The use of a lap belt without any shoulder
restraint is not permitted. Passenger seatbelts must meet the same minimum
requirements per the CCR as the driver seatbelts if being used by a passenger. Note-
passenger equipment need not match the installed equipment on the driverís side.
*Aftermarket DOT-certified belt sets, installed to the manufacturerís specifications may
be allowed. Proof of DOT certification and proper installation is the driverís
responsibility.

11.4.12 Seats
All seats must be securely fastened to the structure of the car such that they are strong
enough to withstand a major impact. If replaced, the replacement seat should be
installed according to the manufacturerís instructions.

If stock seats are to be used with a roll bar/cage, care should be taken to prevent the
seat from submarining under the rollbar. Care should also be taken to prevent the
occupant from hitting his/her head on the roll bar/cage.

Passenger seats must meet the same requirements, per the CCR, as the driver seat, if
used by passengers. Note- The passenger seat does not have to match the driverís
seat.

But again to re-solidify what you probably meant: AN INSTRUCTOR MAY DECIDE NOT TO RIDE WITH YOU IF HE FEELS HIS SAFETY IS AT SAKE. So although you may be correct by the rules, you may find slim pickings when it comes to instructors to ride with you.

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31st in the nation. If I could keep the car on the track and put on the oil cap I could be in the top 20.

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Lee,

When you are at the track, get to know the SM drivers and ask them to do a lead/follow with you.

You have to get the permission of the group leader to have a non instructor/racer running in HPDE 1 or 2 but the experience will give you a head start in finding the correct SM line (not always the same as the line the higher hp cars run). This will eliminate at least 1 variable when your trying to learn everything at once.

JMHO,
Sean

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31st in the nation. If I could keep the car on the track and put on the oil cap I could be in the top 20.

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Thats what I figured with the F500 so they will probably send you directly to HPDE 3 to get signed off to enter HPDE 4. You can probably go straight to the race group with your licensure. But check with you regional director.

Otherwise, Make sure you tell the HPDE leader when you sign up and he will but you where you need to be.

Sean

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31st in the nation. If I could keep the car on the track and put on the oil cap I could be in the top 20.

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In what sanctioning body do you drive the F500? If you have a license in that organization, NASA will probably honor it.

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Do I turn my 99 Hard S into a killerfast SM or seek a donor?

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quote:
Originally posted by Kent Carter:
In what sanctioning body do you drive the F500? If you have a license in that organization, NASA will probably honor it.

My F500 is only legal for autocross in SCCA. However, I drive it during lapping days at No Problem Raceway. I also have an SVRA license, but I think that is pretty useless.

BTW, I am not looking for a shortcut to getting a license. I don't mind paying my dues. I was just assessing the need for a passenger seat and harness.

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
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Need for seat and harness is probably minimal at this point as you will probably be able to pass right into hpde 3 with a probable pass into 4. The key for you probably isn't an instructor in the car but rather an experienced SM leading and following you.
If you are concerned about the tension in your driving style then an in car instructor can really help to make you more aware of those times wher you have the death grip on the wheel.
Welcome to SM!!!
Sean

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31st in the nation. If I could keep the car on the track and put on the oil cap I could be in the top 20.

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Lee,
I haven't done NASA but with SCCA it was somewhat confusing what I needed to do for a license since the general instructions weren't really geared towards people with prior experience. 5-10 mins on the phone with the national office and I had all my questions answered. It's definately worth a call tomorrow morning to get the info right from the source instead of our speculation.

I'm sure they'll be very friendly and helpful. Not only do they want you to come play with them, it's NASA so they want your money too. [Smile]
Keith

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

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Whine alert!

Just to update: I contacted a registration official with NASA about an upcoming HPDE event. I explained my level of experience. I was told that I would have to start in HPDE1 with an instructor. After a session with two instructors, I would be OKd to move up a level (I assume to solo status). When I explained that my SM didn't have a passenger setup, I was advised to bring a street car. There is no way I would drive 7 hours, rent a street car (I own a truck), and then find that I was allowed to solo after one session.

This is not a rant against NASA or the official. Just wanted to let other newbies know how hard it is to get involved in the sport.

SCCA isn't going to be easier, but at least they have a school, although mine isn't until December. I also received the OK to take a FAASST class (October) with a waiver for the second class from the divisional licensing official.

Kind of sux that I have to wait at least 4 months to drive my car, but I knew it would be hard getting track time living in Lousyana.

Whining over.

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
Team Four Racing

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I think it all depends on each region. I have been instructing with nasa for about 6mo and have been with them for over 2 years now. I have seen a few times where a preped car had been allowed to run in group 1 with out an instructor. The only problem was that if the driver made any mistakes or there were any complaints the driver he was warned or sent home. I don't remember any of those drivers beeing sent home, but they may have been warned. Please don't quote me on this. It seams all regions are different.

That is to bad they are beeing so harsh. Yes this sport is very dangerous and we all want to go home unharmed and in the same physical shaep that we avived in. As Sean has stated above with your experiance you should not have any problem getting into the higher groups. Did you contact the official incharge of your region or was it a national official? If it was not you rregional official then try them. You can also try to contact the group 1 leader and let him know what you plan to do before signing up and may be he will let you join with the understanding by you that if someone complains and or you are doing anything that is not correct then you will have to go home and come back with a pasenger seal and belts. I have had very good experiances with most all NASA people. I have not gone out with SCCA.

Hope you get out there. Hope this helps.

Have a great day,
Jared

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quote:
Originally posted by Teamfour:
SCCA isn't going to be easier, but at least they have a school, although mine isn't until December.

SCCA wasn't too bad. With a Skip Barber license all I needed to do was pay Skippy for a certificate of compliance, pay SCCA for a license, and get my physical. I did the SCCA school though too and I thought it was great. No second seat required which is good because I don't think anyone had one. We started with a drive around in someone's tow rig but after that it was lead-follow, go practice your passing, keep an eye on the flags, (and don't speed in the hot pits [blush] )

It may depend on if you can show something on paper that documents your experience and I'm pretty sure it must include passing, starts, and restarts which it sounds like you have. I don't think purely solo experience buys you much with getting the license.

--------------------
Keith Novak
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Dude, you can't be serious.
If you don't have a petty bar, just get a seat. You can get a Miata seat on sliders from someone building a race car for about $50. Money well spent in my opinion if all you are interested in is "getting on track" and doing HPDE events.

If you want to race with NASA, they typically require you go through their HPDE ladder because you actually will learn lots by doing so. With SCCA, I have heard of people that have never once been on a track getting into a comp school and getting a license (and you WON'T need a pax seat to do that).

The people who run these clubs that do HPDE hear how much experience people have all the time and I can't tell you how many times these people lie about their experience (Not saying you are lying BTW). By requiring people take the proper steps, it is a CYA type thing for them and makes sure these people are going to play safe and by the rules.

You can rent a race car for about $400-1300 for a HPDE weekend, why not try that if you don't want to spend the $50 for a seat?

Where are you looking to do track events (not sure what tracks are 7 hrs from where you live)? Come to VIR this weekend (www.mazdadrivers.com). I am sure DW from just above would rent you his '99 for around what I mentioned above. Hell, I could be convinced to rent my car. If you DO come to VIR, I have a seat for you, $50.

Dave

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Dave, I hear what you are saying. I am not trying to circumvent the process; just trying to maximize the bucks. I live in New Orleans so a track like Road Atlanta would be a 7 hour tow, plus gas, plus hotel, plus HPDE fees. Houston is 6 hours, and Dallas about 10. I have been racing for a while in other forms, so I know this is an expensive sport.

Not sure about the $50 seat concept; I'm sure the passenger seat needs to be comparable to the drivers, so more like $250 for a seat, belts, mounts.

The description about HPDE on the NASA site, says experience counts for something and would be verified. I understand that folks make stuff up and I respect the wariness in that approach. I just think a little more dialogue about my experience would have been nice before being told I need to start at square one.

Having said all of this, I am looking at putting a seat in the passenger side so I can follow the prescribed course of action.

Just frustrated with having a car and nowhere to play.

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
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I hear ya!

Well, if you still have the 3 pt belts in your car, a stock seat will do just fine. If not, yeah, you should get a proper race seat and harnesses. I feel you on the money savings, I am building a car right now and whenever I get a little money to spend on the car, I look only to see the wife has spent it on something like pillows or curtains.

I am sure you have records of your experience, like race results and all. Bring that up to the event director, and I bet you will get a group 1 or group 3 check ride (instructor in the car just to be sure you know what you are doing and know the rules) and then you will be on your own for the rest of the event. I did a check ride for someone at the last NASA event at Summit Point for a guy that had SCCA experience, signed him off in the morning in an HPDE 3 group and he was racing Spec Miata in the afternoon.

It is all up to the event director though.

I'd bring up the One Lap. I am fairly certain you need to have a good bit of track experience or some sort of license in order to get into the event as a driver. I doubt the autocross expereince is going to help you any though. It is a completely different game with completely different rules.

Good luck! Come play at Summit Point or VIR any time! Would love to meet you.

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Thanks Dave! I have driven SP in my Cobra years ago, but that was parade laps which I know don't count. The track was cool! VIR is on my list of tracks to do. I will also mention to the event director I have experience in flagging and communications as a road course corner worker; at least I know the flags!

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Lee Tilton
1993 Meowta #04
Brimtek Motorsports/ Team Four Racing
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