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Old 04-15-2016, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default NASA at Thunderhill August 2016

Hey guys, never done a NASA event, but I've run Thunderhill 3 times now. What is the general layout of a NASA event and how would I fit in in the HPDE structure.

~12 track days, intermediate driver.
~160hp, Xidas, slow driver mod.

Last year my buddy and I did a 2 day event with trackmasters and we want to do another 2 day event, but it seems like trackmasters didn't get any of those this year. So instead were looking at doing the NASA event. I see it listed on the Thunderhill schedule, but the norcal nasa page only has an april schedule listed (unless im just blind)

Info/guidance appreciated.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:36 PM   #2
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Everything below applies to NASA Norcal region only.

It's a pretty different experience from other groups I've been with. LOTS of people there, so 4 sessions per day, which may be fewer than you are used to getting. Also no self tech. If you have a cage, they will potentially make you do race tech to run in HPDE, which took about an hour for my car and cost $100.

They have a lot of download meetings and run a pretty tight ship. HPDE-2 runs with HPDE-1, which is the beginner group, so traffic is quite common. They will let you do a check ride for HPDE-3 with an instructor if you ask for one; they specifically frown on moving off-line to make more room or relying on giving point-bys to let people pass. In the driver meetings, the NASA Norcal HPDE leaders make it pretty clear that they are not big fans of point-bys -- they're really thorough in covering all the other differences from other groups.
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Old 05-23-2016, 05:44 PM   #3
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Wait, so its open passing in HPDE-1 and 2?

I have a roll bar, no cage. How will i know if I have to do race tech?
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:25 PM   #4
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4-point roll bar will not be race tech. Full cage technically doesn't have to be if you're running HPDE, but sometimes they make you. I did it anyway since my tech lasts for 1 year with it. Tech will be free for you since you're driving from far away.

It isn't open passing until HPDE-4. Designated zones only in 1-3, but point-bys are not strictly required with NASA Norcal (even in 1/2). They change the passing zones throughout the day, but you'll have 9-10 and 6-7 at the very least even at the start of the day for any solo group. They will cover the exact passing zones before every session.

It's an interesting dynamic the way they talk about passing rules and their mixed enthusiasm for point-bys. They definitely want politeness, but they want people to learn to be predictable rather than relying on point-bys to communicate. In HPDE-3, moving off line to get "out of the way" and giving a point by won't be looked on favorably by most of the instructors. In HPDE-2, it's a lot more holistic since they understand that faster people are mixed in with with very unpredictable HPDE-1 drivers who will do exactly that very frequently.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:28 PM   #5
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All the track days I've done they tell you to hold your line and let the passer go off line around you. But haven't done one that isn't passing without point bys.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:30 PM   #6
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Quote:
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But haven't done one that isn't passing without point bys.
Too many negatives. My brain hurts.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:31 PM   #7
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passing with point bys only*

that is passing without point bys*
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:45 PM   #8
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Truthfully, my answer for you is "don't". I've done one or two NASA HPDE days and it's a small amount of track time and a huge amount of meetings, hassle, tech BS, etc. Especially if you're an experienced driver but a newcomer to NASA, their HPDE1/2 group is just painful. Find a Thunderhill day that is run by SpeedSF or NCRC and run with them instead. More track time, less hassle.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:48 PM   #9
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Dang, not what I wanted to hear.

We are doing a trackmasters day on the friday before the NASA weekend. We have always done trackmasters and had a great time. Sad that they only have one day there this year. I will look at the other 2 you listed.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:51 PM   #10
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Looks like NCRC is having a 2 day event the weekend before that. And its cheaper.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:55 PM   #11
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I doubt you'll have a hard a time given that the passing zone progressions are similar to other groups. Lots of pointing by happens anyway in some groups. I'm a big fan of careful grid ordering and pulling off for gaps, so YMMV. Thunderhill is a nice roomy track though.

Trackmasters is running East on the Friday the day before, too. Just to throw that out there.

EDIT: just saw your posts. I would totally agree that NASA is expensive and less time.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:56 PM   #12
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Yeah, see above. Plan was to do trackmaster+nasa. But that may change based on the NASA reviews. Might do NCRC for a weekend instead.
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Old 05-23-2016, 07:59 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aidandj View Post
Looks like NCRC is having a 2 day event the weekend before that. And its cheaper.
NCRC is always a great time. And their prices are really good.

Flip side is a few more slow people in fast cars (you will see a ridiculously bling-bling paddock). But that's also my favorite part, since it gave me my one shot in life at passing a GT3 in my V70R at Thunderhill.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:00 PM   #14
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Main benefit of NASA for me is lots of time at Sonoma. There is a lot (lot lot) of meeting time.
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:02 PM   #15
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Does NCRC usually fill up quickly?

Waiting on a license suspension letter to see which day I can make it to
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Old 05-23-2016, 08:04 PM   #16
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Only the one time you want to wait

But unlike NASA, they have a red->yellow->green "fullness" progression indicator on their website for each group. Don't wait if it's yellow and you'll be good -- it's not a >92db Laguna day.
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Old 05-30-2016, 02:43 AM   #17
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Still waiting on a license suspension letter (****** speeding tickets) but still exploring options. Anyone have experience with PCA GGR? No price listed but I looked at their laguna day and $445 for 2 days isn't a bad deal.
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Old 05-30-2016, 06:25 AM   #18
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I would email the registrar and make sure they'll let non-Porsche owners in. I've looked at the PCA autox before and it was only for Porsche drivers or owners driving second cars. Track days might be different but they do run at least some Porsche-only track events.
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Old 05-30-2016, 11:54 AM   #19
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NCRC is a great group for running on track. Dave and Luc put good events together and cannot beat the prices.
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