Sunday, September 14, 2014

This Weekend Was a Mixed Bag

This weekend was a mixed bag.  There were good parts, and bad parts. The good included Chrissy doing another Friday at the Track (this time in the Rabbit) and doing really well.  The low included almost getting rear ended by another instructor (while I had a student in the car to show him part of the line), almost getting hit in the door by another instructor (because he thought it was open passing) and other activities by instructors that are unacceptable.

First, HPDE (Even in Advanced/Instructor run groups with pass anywhere with a point) is not a race.  You aren't winning trophies, almost pushing a car off the track in the braking zone while a debris flag is showing in that corner so you should be on the lookout for the debris is not acceptable.  In fact, I knew where the debris was (coming out of the turn) so I didn't give him the point there either but he jutted over to pass me and then had to swerve back behind me to avoid the debris. Another advanced students described that person as a maniac. There were repeated cases of advanced students AND instructors giving point-bys and not letting off the gas. I'm sorry, but I caught your M3 in the corners with my Rabbit, not the straight, but when you point me by in the straight you have to give me a little help and lift.  The instructor who almost rear-ended me never said a word to me, but did apologize when asked about it by the pit marshal.  The person who dive-bombed me and another car in 1 doing a double pass sans-point-by (because he thought it was open passing) apologized and said he realized as soon as he did it that those weren't the rules of that group. If the group had open passing, that would be ok....but still a dick move because he didn't get up next to me until my turn in point.  Again, not a race.  Lots of instructors take their students out during the instructor group so they can explain things.  We are supposed to set good examples of how to do things properly and safely.  Neither of these cases were either.

Second...Instructors who leave before their students.  Don't solo your student so you can leave.  If you do, you are an asshole who shouldn't be instructing.  If you absolutely have to leave, make sure another instructor is covering.  Even if the person is ready for solo, someone should always be on stand-by if the change their mind or have any concerns or problems.  Now, if you had let your student go solo at the end of day 1 and check rode with them at the start of day 2...missing the fourth run may be ok....but leaving after their third run and just soloing them right there (and not even getting them the sticker before you leave) that is a dick move. It is so prevalent that last weekend when I told a student I was soloing him for the last run of the day he said "yeah sure, I will let you pack up and leave."  My response was, "I'm not leaving, I really want you to run solo the last session.  I will be standing on pit road with my helmet in hand your entire session in case you decide we want me to come out with you or have some question."  The fact that the student assumed I was soloing him so I could leave shows there is a problem.

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