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Thread: Open Passing Track Day Run Groups - Bad Idea or Good?

  1. #21
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    That's the thing, the block pass doesn't require awareness or mirror checking on the part of the car being passed.

    0 chance of contact unless they are in the habit of turning in with their eyes completely closed.
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  2. #22
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    In racing especially mixed class racing I agree with Rob! Call it a dive bomb or call it a block pass the bottom line is if the faster car makes it to your door by the corner entry, regardless of speed differential, you each get racing room and the slow car gets passed. Itís all legal and the slow guys around you expect it and want you to commit to that pass so you donít interfere with their race.

    Now in an open passing group you just don't know the experience of drivers and I think you have to be careful with your speed differentials. Also, you have to know that open passing groups just don't have the standby emergency crews of an SCCA race weekend including no qualms about flying in a medical helicopter.
    Ignoring Carl's hysteria:

    If I get my nose past yours before turn in, it's a block pass. There is no leaving room. It's not needed. You can't turn in. Pass completed before the corner even starts.

    If it's a race to the apex, that's probably a bad idea for a track day.

  3. #23
    AROSC Comp. Director Slaysman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I love open passing and while I don't have statistics, I think it can be argued that it is safer in an advanced Open Passing group than point-by intermediate.
    I am curious as to why you think open passing is safer than point-by? In theory, drivers in open passing should be better than those in the lower classes. In my experience is that the drivers in the lower classes are the ones that have more offs, and have even seen several rollovers with them, so they may be of more danger to themselves. On the other hand, I see a lot of high risk passing in open passing, and for what purpose? When things go bad, they usually mess up two people's day.
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    Terry Watson
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    AROSC Comp. Director Slaysman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olitho View Post
    I know where you are coming from Steve, but I have been doing track days in addition to racing for a long-time. It is pretty common for my car to set the fast time of day, sometimes by a decent margin.

    I drive with the understandings that the:
    • passing car has the responsibility to pass safely
    • that it is a track day so give a bit more room than racing
    • be more cautious than when racing
    • presume the driver does not know I am there
    • if the car has a license plate and temporary numbers give them a really wide berth as they are driving that car home
    • and if the car has race sanctioning stickers, i.e. SCCA/NASA, then I am going to treat them more like a race driver and presume they are more aware, with the caveat that a less-wide track day berth is appropriate.
    Amen! Unfortunately, a lot of drivers don't seem to think at that level. When you start racing, this stuff gets drilled into you head.
    Terry Watson
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  5. #25
    AROSC Comp. Director Slaysman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robburgoon View Post
    I'd like to take this moment to mention that the definition of a dive bomb varies wildly, and one of the safest possible passes to make is by physically blocking the other car from turning in.

    If I shoot up ahead of your nose under straight line braking, you didn't get dive bombed, you got block passed.
    I have to agree with anorexicpoodle on this one. Dive bombing makes no sense in open passing to me. Fine in race group. Unnecessary in non-competition sessions.

    Seems like most of the responders here are racers. Any non-racers have inputs?
    Last edited by Slaysman; 04-04-2017 at 12:09 AM.
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    Master of Disaster SteveLevin's Avatar
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    Another funny quote/situation .... this time running the SRF during a Shelby Club weekend at Thunderhill; happened after a session where I whipped past a car (wasn't close or dangerous) heading into turn 1.

    Shelby Driver: "I thought we weren't passing in brake zones!"
    Smartmouth (me): "you brake for Turn 1?"

    I'm a bad, bad boy

    steve

  7. #27
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    I agree with OP. Even though I don't own porsche, I love to run with porsche club. If I run intermediate group ,95% is cayman so that every car has very similar lap times. I don't have to worry about 100hp in front or 500hp behind.
    VA(15) STI/FRS

  8. #28
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaysman View Post
    I am curious as to why you think open passing is safer than point-by? In theory, drivers in open passing should be better than those in the lower classes. In my experience is that the drivers in the lower classes are the ones that have more offs, and have even seen several rollovers with them, so they may be of more danger to themselves. On the other hand, I see a lot of high risk passing in open passing, and for what purpose? When things go bad, they usually mess up two people's day.
    With point bys only, you have cars that pack up behind a moron. More cars in close proximity means more contact. You also have ambiguity on whether a point by has been given for each car in a train, and people nailing the brakes as they stick their finger out.

    Safer to just get the passes done ASAP and prevent cars from clustering.

  9. #29
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaysman View Post
    I have to agree with anorexicpoodle on this one. Dive bombing makes no sense in open passing to me. Fine in race group. Unnecessary in non-competition sessions.
    Once more, a dive bomb is not beating someone to the turn in, it's beating someone to the apex after they have turned in and forcing them to evade.

  10. #30
    Kam
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    Open Passing doesn't mean you don't give a point-by, just means you don't have to wait for one.

    Years ago, I made a pass on a silver Miata down the straight. Was mid-corner chasing a caddy when I started turning into the apex. Wouldn't you know, that Miata showed up.
    It caught me off guard and gave me an immediate lesson on open passing groups. Just because you passed a car, doesn't mean it's no longer there.

    This is the video of that pass (first 10-15s):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ig_6kzz63zY


    On the flip side, a group was running Chuckwalla this past weekend.

    I found this video of a guy who got bumped into inter-high, where it appeared to be open passing. He is following a train of cars, gets a point-by, moves over while a M3 from behind is making a pass too.
    Cam car tucks in under the M3 REALLY close, M3 hard on brakes, cam car bumps the M3:
    https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZeWuEDw3R/

    Cam car is a 90s accord.


    Point is... I like open passing, but it really depends on the group. For the accord/m3 group, I'll stick to point-bys. For the SV open passing groups, I'd be ok running in their red groups, depending on the track (SMMR, yes. LVMS, yes. SOW, no.)
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  11. #31
    Chest hair required Olitho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slaysman View Post
    I am curious as to why you think open passing is safer than point-by? In theory, drivers in open passing should be better than those in the lower classes.
    In my experience is that the drivers in the lower classes are the ones that have more offs, and have even seen several rollovers with them, so they may be of more danger to themselves.
    On the other hand, I see a lot of high risk passing in open passing, and for what purpose? When things go bad, they usually mess up two people's day.
    It has been my experience that "red groups" with open passing are not inherently chaotic. In fact, as Rob alludes to, there is more order because of open passing. A faster car can zoom up on a slower car and pass safely off-line instead of having to hit the brakes and slow if a point-by is not timely. This then causes further disorder in traffic following that car. The same with in-corner passing. A good driver in a good car can easily drive around the outside line or inside as the situation may dictate.

    Open passing itself is not risky or chaotic. What creates risk and chaos is unexpected, inconsistent and unpredictable behavior. That is what we most often see in beginner and intermediate groups. Beginner groups themselves don't have many issues as the drivers are so unsure and so cautious as to be slow and very spread out. They give excessively wide-berth when passing. Intermediate drivers on the other hand is the land of chaos. They are starting to gain speed and they begin to think they are a b!tchin' driver. Yet, they have
    usually not found the limits of their car the hard way, they don't know the warning signs of handling dynamics and their car control skills are poor. The experienced driver can drive right up to that thin gray line dividing fast from violence. For the intermediate driver, they don't know where that line is until they find themselves in the dirt. Hopefully they don't collect anyone else in the process.

    In summary, open passing itself is not the problem. The problem is the driver who does not know where their thin gray line sits.
    Last edited by Olitho; 04-04-2017 at 09:17 AM.
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  12. #32
    SeŮor Member b3d3g1's Avatar
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    This all sounds like a whiny red group download session. Makes me feel like I'm at the track on a Tuesday. Thanks!
    -Anthony
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  13. #33
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    I whined at last weekend's Red download. a M3 held up a train of 6 cars. cars were swarming behind him, kinda dangerous.

    this was at WSIR, so it is a left (T1), followed by a right. then left, up narrow Omega, a left down T5, right T6, power out of T6, right at T8... because of left and right, it was difficult for everyone to pass him (not sure when he is gonna dart across the track, he was completely unaware of surroundings) till T8/T9 stretch.
    he was bumped down a group.

    it is the driver. track organizers need to listen to whiners and boot the bad drivers out of those group.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 04-04-2017 at 10:36 AM.
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  14. #34
    RaceTape Ninja Force McCocken's Avatar
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    The outfit I do HPDE with, only the advance group has open passing. Yellow and Blue must point by. Green (beginner), no passing except on the straights with a point by. We have had too many misinterpreted lines and close calls in lower three groups to allow open passing.

    I am best suited for yellow, but I run in blue for a few reasons. First, in my 1.6 Miata, I recognize a vast speed differential between the other cars I see in yellow and red. I'm fine with it, but some tracks we run, I would consider myself a hazard if I were in the faster car. Second, blue group requires the most babysitting. I am afforded deep discounts to help the owner of this outfit to watch for unsafe practices, and blue group is the most dangerous for reasons described in the posts above. I guess you can consider it quality control or whatever. I'm not the only staff member doing it. I'm usually keeping up with 80-90% of that group driving at 6-7/10ths. It's more like track lapping for me, which I still enjoy for the sheer thrill of it, but I may do a session in a higher group if I want to test myself. Sometimes I will be asked to shadow a driver that has either caused a complaint or is requesting a bump to yellow. If they have a history with the driver, a staff member may ask to ride with him or her without giving them the real reason other than to sign them off. If they DON'T know the driver asking a bump, they start a casual conversation about their previous events. Most often, drivers requesting a bump they cannot vet, are ignored or requested that they respect the decision for safety purposes. Some do understand why and enjoy the day. Some don't, constantly beg or insist to be moved up, and are mentally flagged for discussion when the staff meets later. There has been an increasing number of these, unfortunately.

    The track for us that gives us the most trouble, in terms of disparity in driving talent, is Road Atlanta. We get the most unknown 'flatout' types showing up because it's a fast track. The corner and safety workers at RA, Tom Cruise bless them, are extremely professional. Even at our amateur hour HPDEs, they are very good at pointing out behavior we may miss. These RA events are where we have the most people trying to bend the rules, making poor decisions, and making our events look bad. We have locked that **** down since last year, and the tolerance for it is nil. I think I should point out that we have more armco barriers that the west coast tracks, which the individual drivers are responsible for should they damage them. This is brought up a couple times during the events, publicly, including the pricing. It's a helpful deterrent to help remind the participants to be courteous and safe.
    Yer pal,
    Force

  15. #35
    The Real Captain Slow Red_5's Avatar
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    I'm also against point-by only passing because I've been in those groups and have had Vettes and 911s not want to point by my lowly Miata. Its bad enough getting by some of those cars in open passing groups. Bad driving along with big egos that are the bigger problems I think.
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  16. #36
    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Why is there whining in SV Red group? If a car is slow he isn't dangerous he is a rolling chicane. I say people need to figure out how to pass others. If they can't they should not be in Red and if they don't want to pass there is always the hot pit "in n out" that solves all problems. You can't outlaw miatas in Red group because they are slow and hold up traffic. You also don't want a slow car being unpredictable and moving out of the way who knows where. You want a predictable Red group open passing driver to do what needs to be done and you want the slow car to hold his line and drive his predictable line. That's also the only way you teach future racers the rules of the road.

  17. #37
    Senior Member robburgoon's Avatar
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    Also it should be noted that the finest open passing group drivers are never passed without a pointby.

    Their awareness is so good that they are planning the pass well in advance and helping set up the pass with an early point.
    markn and ETK like this.

  18. #38
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Why is there whining in SV Red group? If a car is slow he isn't dangerous he is a rolling chicane. I say people need to figure out how to pass others. If they can't they should not be in Red and if they don't want to pass there is always the hot pit "in n out" that solves all problems. You can't outlaw miatas in Red group because they are slow and hold up traffic. You also don't want a slow car being unpredictable and moving out of the way who knows where. You want a predictable Red group open passing driver to do what needs to be done and you want the slow car to hold his line and drive his predictable line. That's also the only way you teach future racers the rules of the road.
    Miata does not hold up traffic even if lap time is slow. Because it isn't slow in corner, just slow on straight. Which is not an issue for overtaking.

    If there is one Miata and one Mustand both doing slow 2:10 lap. It is the Mustang that's holding up the traffic every time.
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  19. #39
    Senior Member bellwilliam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatbillybob View Post
    Why is there whining in SV Red group? If a car is slow he isn't dangerous he is a rolling chicane. I say people need to figure out how to pass others. If they can't they should not be in Red.
    No. There isn't enough whining as is. Bad drivers should be moved out of open passing group. Solution is not to tell everyone to suck it up and make dangerous passes in HPDE.

    how else are Aaron of SV or Terry of AROSC gonna to know who the bad driver is if no one whined.
    Last edited by bellwilliam; 04-04-2017 at 04:00 PM.
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  20. #40
    Senior Member fatbillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bellwilliam View Post
    No. There isn't enough whining as is.
    I'm a paying customer. I can make a mistake just as quickly as I could find another driver's mistake. Who am I to be the Red group police? Aaron needs to set ground rules and watch the action maybe get a report from some key Red group regulars. When you make each other the police I want to pick my own doctor and you might want to pick him for me because you know what's best for me. Nope I think Oli has it right in his posts.

    To Terry's point it's AROSC's job to decide how we play. AROSC used to have race licenses and time trial licenses and those ment a certain level of expectation. At the very least AROSC needs to watch new drivers in open passing and slap their hands if they do bad things. Even in TransAm pro racing Oli quickly found out the guy getting passed always think he is getting wronged. Do you really want that guy complaining all the time? Worse do you want that whinner deciding how you are going to play?

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