Spring is a long time coming
- Published: 22 January 2018 22 January 2018
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This past October I decided it was time for me to spend a day driving at an NCR DE event. I had done the Car Control Clinic, and the Charity Laps for Make-a-Wish. Those experiences were nothing but positive, so I decided to give it a try.
From a distance the DE program looked to me like a place for “race car drivers”. Folks that wanted to take their car out and thrash it around the track. So I was a bit intimidated. Not trusting myself with my car at high speeds, not trusting my reflexes with such an expensive car. A car that I enjoy driving in its “present condition”. I had signed up for the Monday driving and watched the weather. As luck would have it Monday proved to be a rain day. In my mind I flip flopped back and forth. Should I cancel, or should I go anyway. If I cancel there are no refunds. But if I lose traction in the rain and smash my car, that would prove to be a huge loss. Crashing my car was the last thing I would want to happen. Knowing many of the people who produce the DE program for NCR, I decided to go for the day in spite of the rain. I had to trust that these guys would help me avoid a crash, trust that their instruction would prevent me from having a problem on the track.
From the moment I got to the gate at New Hampshire Motor Speedway I was greeted with smiling faces, and a very warm welcoming. After tech inspection we gathered for the morning drivers meeting. Pat Maloney went over the layout of the track, the various flags and what each flag signifies, and basic rules for safety when on the track. As a green run group driver you are assigned an instructor for the day. My instructor was John Lussier.
Following the drivers meeting the green run group has a classroom session to go over any considerations you may have. To discuss driving technique, and adjust a persons attitude before they get on the track. Penn Young runs the classroom discussions, has extensive track experience, and knowledge. As a new DE participant, I found the classroom time to be very important and helpful. Penn does a great job.
On the track, driver and instructor communicate with headsets. Talk about finding the line, hitting the apex, driving the car smoothly, in the rain no stomping on the gas and no stomping on the brake pedal. Shift at the right time and be in the right gear. John was coaching me and watching my every move. At the end of each session his comment, better than the last, and all 4 fenders intact. Concentration is key at all times. When I got distracted by a car behind me it was blatantly obvious. In time I settled down and regained my concentration. My first DE experience was incredibly positive.
I found the DE team to be supportive, knowledgeable, and serious about safety. Many of the instructors donated their day to helping the new drivers learn how to drive at speed. I had a great time, it was a lot of fun. The NCR DE team is a great group of dedicated people that produce a great program for its members.
Thanks guys! I am looking forward to the new year and our first Spring DE event at NHMS.