Run Group Guide

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This material is a core part of our proprietary curriculum and is protected by copyright. You may not sell, alter, reproduce or distribute any part of this material. You may only print it for your own individual study and practice within the AutoInterests HPDE program. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and banning or other penalties.

What run group do I belong in?

Proper placement of drivers in run groups is absolutely critical to provide a great experience for all drivers and a successful event. We don’t base run group placement on arbitrary numbers of “track days” (with or without instruction) or subjective sign-offs from instructors. Instead, we use driver skillset and competencies.

For any drivers going to a new-to-them track for the first time we recommend stepping down one run group from what you normally drive in.

How do I move up a level?

If you feel you have the skills required to move up a level, please email events@autointerests.com to let us know you would like to have an instructor ride-along to evaluate and potentially approve you at your next scheduled event.

Advanced notice is requested, however you may also let your run group leader know in your morning breakout session that you would like an instructor to ride-along and evaluate for a potential run group advancement.

Please review the skills guide for your current run group level below:

FIRST-TIME Driver Competencies

FIRST-TIME drivers need to work on the below competencies, and prove to have mastered them before being approved to move to the (solo) Novice group.

In this run group, the first two sessions are pace-controlled for acclimation and learning purposes. If you sign up for an event in the FIRST-TIME group, these competencies are what you will work on with an instructor:

Ability to accept criticism constructively/good attitude, coachabilityAbility to learn and apply instructor feedback
Acknowledging flagsAppropriate grip on steering wheel
Consistently seeing and appropriately responding to flagsDriving position - seat position/ability to reach pedals, etc.
Following all rules and directions as set by policies and event officialsGood sportsmanship and demeanor with participants and officials
Hand position on steering wheelKnowing corner worker locations
Knowing what flags meanMental preparedness/focus
Mirror positionNot getting competitive
Passing on correct sideQuickly and appropriately responding to flags
Safely executing a passSafely re-entering the track after going off
Situational awarenessVehicle performs adequately and safely prepared
"Safety First" attitude 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This material is a core part of our proprietary curriculum and is protected by copyright. You may not sell, alter, reproduce or distribute any part of this material. You may only print it for your own individual study and practice within the AutoInterests HPDE program. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and banning or other penalties.

NOVICE Driver Competencies

NOVICE driversshould have already mastered the FIRST-TIME competencies and then will begin to work on the additional ones listed below.

Drivers in this group must be previously approved (by our organization or a compatible one) or have prior successful experience and comfort with driving solo.  If you've NEVER had formal instruction for driving on a road course you MUST start in the First Timer or Acclimation group.

In Novice you will get several sessions of instruction throughout the day, but will NOT have an instructor for every session. Drivers in this group should be working on mastering the below competencies:

 

Adjusting target/reference points as instructed (turn-in, brake, etc.)Appropriate brake inputs while cornering
Appropriate throttle inputs while corneringAppropriate timing of point-bys or other communications
Basic mechanical knowledge of carChecking gauges
Clarity of point-bys, pit signals or other communicationsCommitment to a turn
Commitment to throttleConsistent straight-line braking
Determining appropriate passing sides when giving a point-byDownshifting
Engaging in consistent, predicable drivingFinding appropriate braking points
Following an appropriate driving line and understanding its importanceGenerously giving point-bys as appropriate
Handling 2-wheels offIdentifying early apex
Identifying late apexIdentifying lift-induced oversteer
Identifying when NOT to shiftIdentifying when NOT to take a pass
Identifying when to shiftIdentifying when to take a pass
Knowing when car behind is faster and giving point-by promptly and in appropriate zoneLeaving nannies on when appropriate - traction/stability control
Looking far enough aheadLooking where you want the car to go
Maintaining appropriate car spacing, enough to get a point-by but still safeMirror tap to indicate imminent point-by for car behind
Mirrors - watching but not dwelling inNot being pressured by traffic behind
Not braking in corners (excl. trail braking)Not coasting
Not following car ahead, driving own lineNot over-driving or being overly-aggressive
Not shuffling on steering wheelNot target fixating
Passing flag drillsRecognizing hazardous conditions and adjusting accordingly
Recognizing signs of a mechanical failure and limping inSelf-awareness and communication of learning preference - audibly, visually, example, etc.
Successful ability to create achievable goals per session/day/eventThrottle lift after giving point-by, not drag racing
Throttle technique - smooth delivery vs. punchingUnderstanding corner types - decreasing radius, standard, double apex, etc.
UpshiftingWhen to accelerate (give the car gas)

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This material is a core part of our proprietary curriculum and is protected by copyright. You may not sell, alter, reproduce or distribute any part of this material. You may only print it for your own individual study and practice within the AutoInterests HPDE program. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and banning or other penalties.

INTERMEDIATE Driver Competencies

INTERMEDIATE drivers should have mastered at least 75% of the Novice competencies and been approved (by our organization or a compatible one) or have prior demonstrated experience in Intermediate.

Intermediate drivers will continue to refine and work on any remaining ones PLUS the below Intermediate competencies. Instruction is generally only provided by request to intermediate drivers and is not always available.

 

Appropriate tire pressures/ability to adjust as neededHandling a slide or spin
Handling adverse weatherHeel-toe shifting
Identify and manage weight transfer of vehicleKnowing when to save vs. let the car go off-track
Managing going off-track safelyOverall mastering of car control
Predicting behaviors of other driversRecognizing imminent over/understeer and appropriately correcting
Smooth overall transactions - braking-to-steering-to-throttleThreshold braking
Throttle steeringTrail braking
Turning nannies off when appropriate - traction/stability controlUnderstanding on-line vs. off-line and when to use each
Using all of the track surface 

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This material is a core part of our proprietary curriculum and is protected by copyright. You may not sell, alter, reproduce or distribute any part of this material. You may only print it for your own individual study and practice within the AutoInterests HPDE program. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and banning or other penalties.

ADVANCED Driver Competencies

ADVANCED drivers must have been approved (by our organization or a compatible one) or have prior demonstrated experience in Advanced and are expected to have mastered at least 80% of all of the previously listed competencies before driving in the advanced group.

Advanced drivers should continue to refine their skills from all of the previously listed items and beyond. Any advanced drivers who feel they have mastered the listed competencies and have demonstrated practicing them consistently for at least 2-3 seasons of 7 or more driving days is encouraged to fill out an instructor application if they have any desire to give-back to the sport and enjoy the benefits of our instruction program.

COPYRIGHT NOTICE: This material is a core part of our proprietary curriculum and is protected by copyright. You may not sell, alter, reproduce or distribute any part of this material. You may only print it for your own individual study and practice within the AutoInterests HPDE program. Failure to comply with the terms of this warning may expose you to legal action for copyright infringement and banning or other penalties.