Bill Griffin has worked his way up to through the HPDE ranks to where he is a racing driver as well as an instructor, actually Jennifer’s instructor from GingerMan a few weeks back.Â We talk with him about his history and progression from having zero experience in performance driving to where he competes regularly with NASA and Grid Life as well as instructing when he can.Â Bill grew up liking racing as many people who grew up near Indianapolis did and eventually began driving himself when his work and family life allowed, proving again that it is never too late to start to enjoy performance driving and even racing.Â He is a very relaxed and knowledgeable driver and Jennifer loved having him as an instructor.Â We cover how the NASA Great Lake GingerMan HPDE classes went without being able to have in car instruction and offer several options that may be ways to improve the teaching methods without right seat instruction as an option due to COVID 19.Â The event was awesome, but as with everything else, you can always improve, in everything.Â You can follow him on Instagram at Bill Griffin.
On one of our simplest episodes of Dominating with Dawson we review crabbing or cheating into a corner.
We hope you enjoy the episode!
Bill, Vicki, Jennifer, and Alan
Hosts of the Garage Heroes In Training podcast and team members in the GHiT Immature Endurance Racing Team
Highlights from the episode include:
1) We cover Bill’s progressions from newbie track driver and not terribly mechanical to a regular racing driver and instructor (who has been to the track 5 weeks straight and counting) (Very jealous)
2) What is a competition (or race) license, as well as several methods and paths towards getting one.
3) Bill seeks guidance to how to schedule a season of racing with the rest of our team. Perhaps an appointment for hearing testing is in order.
4) Bill also goes into a quick review of some of the exotic sports cars he gets to drive with Extreme Experience and their clients. This is especially useful if you are taller, like Bill who is 6′ 4″.
5) Bill (the other) also goes over the potential limits in size for a driver in a Mazda Miata MX-5. We have seen one with a cage that fits the owner that was 6′ 8″ and swallowed Bill up quite easily.
6) Bill even goes over why he chooses to remain instructing the HPDE 1 group of students.
7)Â We cover how the NASA Great Lake GingerMan HPDE classes went without being able to have in car instructional and offer several options that may be ways to improve the teaching methods without right seat instruction as an option due to COVID 19.Â The event was awesome, but as with everything else, you can always improve, in everything.
8) Suggestions included 1) potentially using in car radios to communicate to the students, 2) lead follow groups of only two students, 3) only using partial lead follow (allowing students to assume lead position and instructor to follow), 4) perhaps grouping the instructors and cars to match performance, 5) using better/more universally defined hand signals, 6) more use of different cones for initial track learning, 7) perhaps adopting an unofficial “HPDE 1.5” level/group within the HPDE 1 population, 8) incorporating the use of in car video, 9) positioning instructors with notebooks around the track to view at significant turns or areas of the track to provide feedback to the classroom or debrief sessions, 10) potential pathways to getting increased options for right seat/in car instruction.
9) The tricks and differences in being an instructor in a lead follow environment versus being in the right seat and the potential for lead follow groups to become longer groups, which can make some of the instruction into a bad game of telephone.
10) Riding a bike vs walking the track during a track walk.
11) Several tips for new to track or high performance drivers.
12) Bill unprompted supports Bill with the prep required before coming to the track as well as using 2-3 max goals and a few comments for each track session, especially during an HPDE event. Now if we could only get the Wilson sisters to agree, lol.
13) How your first few HPDE events can feel like your brain is drinking from a fire hose and how to potentially reduce this effect (like following the ideas from #12 above)
14) Bill F. tries to sneak in a Good, The Bad, and the Ugly segment on how Jennifer did during here HPDE event. Bill G. is much too nice to comply, but we will keep trying.
15) How driving in a lead follow instruction environment make lengthening your vision particularly difficult.
16) Tips for everyone (and us) on their next HPDE event. Ours will be at Pitt Race in late July with NASA Great Lakes.
17) The importance of focusing on consistently hitting your track marks and letting the speed build naturally. Because it will.
18) How teaching and instructing has helped Bill’s racing and how Racing has helped him as an instructor. Hopefully, it will help our Bill when he gets there, lol.
GHIT 0123: Bill Griffin NASA Racing Driver and Jennifer’s HPDE Instructor from GingerMan