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From digest.v7.n470 Tue Oct 21 17:47:17 1997
From: "James Muskopf" <>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 11:52:28 -0400
Subject: What Drivers' schools are, and what they're not.

The National Capital Chapter's drivers' school at Summit Point this weekend was a blast. I only worked the corners, but it was very educational watching the good drivers' lines and the ones who thought they were good. The BMW drivers on the most part were very consistent and took fast lines. The drivers of the other makes seemed to want to turn the school into a race event. The Ruf Porsche and the Viper had to be black flagged and warned about racing. I feel bad for the A group drivers who had to constantly watch their mirrors for them. They weren't even that fast, either. By the end of the second day, the Viper and Ruf Porsche were running 1:29 to 1:30. One of the new instructors turned 1:29's in his E30 M3 on Friday, and the head instructor has turned a 1:30 in her stock E30 M3. One of my friends from VA Tech was running 1:30-31 on Friday, also in an M3.

It seems that people who bring other makes to a one-marque driver's school have something to prove. This weekend, a young man got the scare of his life. He showed up Saturday morning in a nice Sentra SE-R with brand new R1's. All weekend, another young gentleman in an E30 M3 on street tires was just a second or two faster. On the last turn, last lap, last session, last day, the M3 was right behind the Sentra. From the testimony of the M3 driver, the Sentra turned into 10 late and lost the rear of his car. He corrected, only to have the rear swing back to the inside and then off track to the outside. The workers at 10 said that they saw a cloud of dust and watched the Sentra jump above the cloud and roll one and a half times onto his roof. From what we could deduce, the Sentra tried to hold the M3 off just a little more. He tried to turn the school into an ego builder, and so did many others.

The Sentra was totalled. The driver was fine, but very pissed off. The session was red-flagged, and there was no more time to get in the instructor's and the A group's last runs.

So don't go to a driver's school to see how many people you can pass. You'll only end up getting shown up by someone faster (there almost always is) or worst case, losing it and riding home. Learn the lines, the braking zones, how much power you can apply as you dial out the steering, those things.

Us young guys have a problem with ignoring our egos. This is what happens when you let it control you. I've had it happen, too.

(Off my soapbox)

James Muskopf

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