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Basic Drivers Etiquette


Izzys Cages
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Etiquette ( /ˈɛtɨkɛt/ or /ˈɛtɨkɪt/, French: [e.ti.kɛt]) is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social (or in this case driving) behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class, or group (of crazy individuals known as CHUMPs).

Lets hear it. Make it simple. I'll update the 1st post as we go. Lets keep the flames, he said/she said and off topic stuff to a minimum.

In no particular order....

BEFORE THE GREEN

*) Read the Supplimental rules for the race. There's actually some good info in there.

*) If at all possible, walk the course. Pay attention to skid marks. Pot holes. Marbles. Barriers. They speak volumes.

*) During course walk or initial out laps, pay attention to the corner/flag stations. Look for the black flag station(s).

*) Pay attention in the drivers meeting. 1st driver up, be suited up before the meeting so you can attend the whole thing.

*) Acknowledge all flags. A simple raised finger will do. No, not THAT one.

*) Eyes on start/finish every lap. It only takes a glance.

*) This is NOT a 20 minute sprint race.

*) Avoid driving at 10/10ths. You can't handle it for 2 hours and your car/checkbook can't handle it for 24.

*) To finish first (or even 19th) you must first finish. No one is going to win the race in the first few laps or even the first few hours.

*) As odd as it sounds, make the laps routine. Find a routine that works for you. Exit corner 10, upshift to 4th, check left then right mirror, check S/F stand for flag or signals, check guages, find brake point, then apex, brake, eyes on exit, etc etc. If the basics start off as "routine" every lap, they become memory actions quickly leaving brain power to grow as a driver, find speed, pass cars, avoid etc.

*) Work up to speed. Get reaquainted with the car. Approach it's limits slowly. You'll ultimately have better lap times.

*) Not every car that's faster than you is cheating. Some just might have some driving talent. Try to learn from them... if you can keep up with them.

BEING PASSED

*) Hold your line. Be predictable when being overtaken by a known faster car.

*) Holding your line maintains your momentum. You won't slow down and you won't slow them down.

*) The overtaking car is responsible for completing a clean pass. The overtaken car is responsible for allowing it to happen once it begins.

*) Use hand signals when it's safe to do so. Point cars by. This lets them know you see them, and that you will probably do something predictable.

*) Do NOT expect passing cars to go where you point them. HOLD YOUR LINE.

*) Do NOT alter your line when being overtaken. Neither of you know what the other is actually going to do. Do the predictable thing and hold your line. The faster car has to complete the pass safely.

*) If you are going to make them work for it, you get one move/line alteration. Move again and you're blocking. Don't be that guy. Nobody will give you beer and they'll make endless posts about you on the forum so 20 people can read them.

*) Watch your mirrors but DO NOT drive in them. Be aware of what is going on around you.

PASSING CARS

*) Be Patient. If you can't make the pass safely, wait for a portion of the track where you can.

*) Try to learn something from the car you're trying to pass. You're going to see it many more times. Learn what it can/can't do well.

*) No pass is worth taking out a fellow competitor's car, or your teams opportunity to finish. Pass cleanly.

*) Never assume anything about the car you are passing.

*) The other car is racing someone just as hard as you are. Pass them cleanly and give them racing room.

*) DO NOT expect them to just hand you the corner. You're still racing against them and they might just be a very good driver.

*) Acknowledge your fellow competitors when they point you by. A wave goes a long way to show you are seeing them and appreciate them seeing you. They'll likely do it again when they see your car 23 hours later and your closest competion is closing fast.

*) Look ahead. Look THROUGH the car in front of you.

*) Eyes should be looking where you want to be, not where the car is going.

*) Anticipate. Prepare yourself for what is about to happen. Then do it again.

*) When under caution, pay attention to what's going on in front of the car ahead of you.

*) When in spin, both feet in.

*) When in doubt, both feet out.

*) If you think you're going off, drive off, don't fight it, do not play with your throttle, and, as conditions allow, drive at a reduced speed back onto the course. Be ready for grip differences between pavement and grass.

*) If you're off & stopped look for a corner worker to motion you back on. Enter parallel to the racing line. Never perpendicular.

*) NEVER, EVER drive against the direction of the race. Never back up on course.

*) Avoid contact when at all possible.

*) Avoid "Red Mist" driving. It never turns out well.

*) Be a sportsman. If you do have contact, man up and find the car you hit and apologize. Be prepared for it not to go well. Drink a beer with them at the next race if it does.

*) Under full course yellows (FCY), don't be the guy that holds everyone up behind you. Standing Yellow (the flag is not being frantically waved at you) 70% of race speed. That means, if you do 100mph down the straight when it's green, you do 70mph under standing yellow. 50mph or as the situation warrents for waving yellow. If you see an empty track in front of you, and a train of cars behind you, you're doing it wrong unless you're the pace car or a british car.

*)Remember, that YOUR 50% of race speed may be 60mph, whereas... for that 1985 Yugo ahead of you... 60mph IS their race speed! So, their 50% of race speed now becomes the limiting pace for all cars behind them... and you can't pass them just because they're observing the rules, as they apply to them. Fall in line, check your guages and be ready for the green flag.

*) Just because the starter stand went green doesn't necessarily mean ALL the yellows dropped. Pay attention to all the corner stations after a restart.

IN THE HOT PITS

*) Loan a tool. Lend a hand. Help push. What goes around comes around.

*) Work WITH the teams around you. Be mindful of when they're coming in for driver changes or maintenance.

*) Obey the pit speed limit. It's there for your teams safety as well as the workers and CHUMP staffs.

*) If you're in the pits a lot, be mindful of the other teams around you. Push starting a car for 80' only to push it back to your pit stall may impact others pit strategies when you do it every 20 minutes.

CORNER WORKERS

*) Corner workers are you friends.

*) Pay attention to the flag stations. They'll know more about what's in front of you than you do and they'll at least be able to warn you when something is happening.

*) If you crash and you're OK, give a big thumbs up. You may not see them, but they're trying to see if you're ok.

*) Unless it's on fire or you smell gas, STAY IN THE CAR. There is nothing that you can magically fix in full race gear, and there may be more cars join you at race speed shortly. STAY IN THE CAR.

*) Do NOT argue with a corner worker/safety crew.

*) Go out of your way in the paddock to give 'em a big thank you!

*) Breath & Relax

*) Have Fun

Edited by Izzys Cages
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Guest the_turk

8) Look far and wide. What's immediately in front of you is not as important as seeing were you'r trying to go (and who sideways in front of you).

9) Know your cars limits and those you are approaching or being approached by.

10) Be as consistent and predictable as is possible (given that traffic will dictate a lot of you track position).

11) Never assume anything about the car you are passsing.

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Guest davisriley

12) When under caution, pay attention to the car in front, but do not stay so close that if the slow up quickly, you don't have room to slow up.

13) Use hand signals, when possible. Point cars by to pass, show the corner workers you see them.

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Guest the_turk

15) During practice, make mental notes of the location of the corner worker stations, they'll know more about what's in front of you than you do and they'll at least be able to warn you....and if you meet one in the paddock give 'em a big thank you!

Finally going home for the day, ciao. Good stuff.

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Guest madfaber

From the Vol.3 NO-2 April 1960 issue of "Foreign Car Illustrated and Auto Sports" Page 26

driver.jpg

right%252520drive.jpg

Apparently, this "Etiquette" you speak of has been around since the early 60's. wow , who knew?

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18) acknowledge your fellow competitors when they point you by. a wave goes a long way to show you are seeing them and appreciate them seeing you. B)

most of the waves i received were from BMW guys. imagine that. :P i think the EC Civic waved once also.

YES. Makes me feel like letting you by easily was worth it. Be polite, and hopefully you'll be treated the same way.

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19) spend three times as much time looking in to your rear-view mirrors as you do looking out your windshield. plan your passes with oncoming traffic in mind. eventually your car will need to share the same space as those behind you and those in front of you. plan for it.

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PASSING CARS

*) Be Patient. If you can't make the pass safely, wait for a portion of the track where you can.

*) Try to learn something from the car you're trying to pass. You're going to see it many more times. Learn what it can/can't do well.

Be respectful of slower cars. Some of us corner fairly well, and we don't think kindly of cars that make sketchy passes into turns that force us onto the brakes and/or an unplanned change of line to avoid contact.

@dogtired #18, I always wave thanks when someone waves me by. Maybe partly because it's so rare. :P

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Hold your line through turns. In traffic, if you are on the inside on entry, try your damnest to be in the inside on exit. It's not rocket science, a lot of accidents could have been avoided if drivers would think a bit instead of taking up the whole track. (Like some BMW folks have been known to do in the past)

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Guest the_turk

We've all been the new driver, first time on the track or on this track, which is what my.......

#20 With your new 'never-been-a-race-driver-before' driver. Do a chalk talk about the track and what to expect out there and what you expect from them. Bring them up to speed on passing, being passed, courtesy, reactions to other drivers, etc.

(It'll keep you from getting stressed as much as them)

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18) acknowledge your fellow competitors when they point you by. a wave goes a long way to show you are seeing them and appreciate them seeing you. B)

most of the waves i received were from BMW guys. imagine that. :P i think the EC Civic waved once also.

Lots of waving @ BMW Cub events in our neck of the woods. Audi too.

Not to much at the Mustang Club events.

Its almost a must at a BMW club event.

It can be tough going wheel to wheel on the short tracks with a lot of traffic and give a wave.

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  • 5 months later...

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