Just in time for the upcoming NASA Great Lakes event at GingerMan, Chief Instructor Eric Meyer was kind enough to join us and discuss his past and current association with racing and instructing, as well as the genealogy and philosophy that has led to the current NASA Great Lakes HPDE program curriculum. It is by far the best of the HPDE instruction we have attended across the country and we think highly enough of it that we regularly attend their HPDE events that are sometimes well over a 10 hour drive each way from us. Eric also is another great counterexample of the false age-old adage about “those who can do, and those who can’t teach” as he has won a ton of racing trophies in Grand Am, World Challenge, and Touring cars, among others. Our Dominating with Dawson segment goes over the practice of left foot braking, its potential advantages, and how to try to begin to incorporate it into your driving repertoire.
We hope you enjoy the episode and we would love to see you at the upcoming NASA Great Lakes event in GingerMan!
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) How he originally started racing at a track and how quickly and deeply the hook was set.
2) Some of the issues that he encountered when first entering the sport and how they shaped his interest in helping others
3) Where he sees opportunities to continue to improve our sport and how he can give back to the racing community.
4) How NASA Great Lakes history has led to their focus on the educational path has led to the current HPDE structure. It is a great balance of driving on the track with the classroom and download education.
5) Eric turns the table on Bill to answer Bill’s own question. It was tremendously fun and allowed Bill to brag about the NASA Great Lakes HPDE.
6) A discussion on the priorities of teaching driving skills and situational awareness as foundational aspects of the NASA Great Lakes HPDE.
7) We believe that we may have uncovered Eric is secretly competing in sewing. We may be wrong.
8) Eric also goes into some of the philosophy of what his team is looking for to progress through the levels as well as some of the criteria in transitioning from level one to level two, as an example.
9) We discuss several of the drills that you will do within the various HPDE levels, some of which we have lovingly stolen and use on our track day practice sessions.
10) We even go into some of the educational techniques former podcast guest John Santiago uses in the HPDE 1 classroom and track sessions. Vicki and Jen will be getting the full experience next weekend. Bill is jealous and will attend as many of their classroom sessions as his HPDE schedule permits.
11) How has the COVID related challenges and rules impacted the event and the HPDE sessions specifically, especially the traditional right seat style in car coaching and the various group classroom sessions. It sounds like things may be even better than the prior structure.
12) One of the surprises we may see at GingerMan may have been revealed.
13) Eric says that we need to add Mosport to the track bucket list and Bill is already pondering how to possibly get to the Chin event at Barber in November.
14) Tips and tricks to the upcoming GingerMan event, both on track and off. Jen is thrilled with the runoff areas GingerMan affords to assist with learning with less potential detrimental impact.
15) We have an informal agreement to meet at the local microbrewery. Now we just need to have time and energy.
16) A Pinto makes a podcast appearance again, much to Vicki and Jen’s pleasure.
17) We aren’t absolutely sure if Eric really liked our Fast and Furious questions but he really faked it well if he didn’t.
18) Eric has a weakness, and apparently it is Mazda rotary engines.
19) If you are ever at a bar and need to know how many kegs you can fit into a 1964 Oldsmobile Cutlass, this is the podcast for you!
20) Bill forgets to thank Eric for an earlier long conversation they had related to Bill’s goal of becoming a qualified instructor as soon as possible.