What run group should I choose?

When I went to the track with XYZ organization, I was signed off to Intermediate. I should be in the same run group with Just Track It, right?

I have done a few events and never had a problem. That makes me at least an Intermediate driver.

Even though I am new, I have a fast car and I don’t want to be held up by slower cars.

These questions are often asked and we have some general guidelines. If you feel your circumstances are not adequately addressed, please feel free to email us at info@JustTrackIt.net for further clarification. Not all HPDE organizations are the same or have the same expectations. Some are not defined and even let drivers choose what run group they want. Our goal is to make sure everyone in all run groups gets to have fun in a safe event. As you gain more experience and advance through the run group levels, you will appreciate driving with a group that takes driver classification seriously. Additionally, we believe that you get good at anything you practice so if you start off your track driving events with bad habits you will get really good at those bad habits. So, we prefer to start with the basics and build good habits and skills which you can then build on and improve upon.

For all experience levels, patience, courtesy and respect towards fellow drivers are expected and required.

Novice-Instructed: This is the group for drivers starting out through their first 4 events (+/-). Even with a long street driving history, autocross events, and even some Lemons or Chumpcar experience, if you have not driven in a HPDE environment with a certified instructor, this is what you should register for.

Novice-Solo: Typically for drivers with 4-6 (+/-) events that have had an instructor in their prior events. Novice-Solo is on track at the same time as Novice-Instructed.

Intermediate: Drivers in this group should have completed between 6-25 events (+/-). By this time drivers should have knowledge of the line around a track, can figure it out if they are at a track for the first time, and have excellent awareness of cars behind them and the corner stations. Speeds are starting to increase and drivers are working on developing and improving their skills including threshold braking, heel/toe downshifting with rev matching, acceleration through the apex, using the full width of the track.

Intermediate 1: This group is used at our full weekend events. Drivers in this group are solo approved and have completed 6 (+/-) or more events and are ready to move out of the Novice group. At this stage drivers know the driving line around the track, can drive it with relative consistency and have great awareness of corner stations, flags and other cars on track.

Intermediate 2: This group is used at our full weekend events. Drivers in this group have completed 13 (+/-) or more events. At this stage drivers have excellent awareness, can always maintain their line and are ready to pass and be passed anywhere on the track. In this group drivers are working on heel/toe downshifting, threshold braking, apex speed and developing into advanced drivers.

Advanced: Drivers with 25+ events. At this stage it is all about not being in the way because your skills match those on track with you. It is expected that drivers in advanced not be an impediment to other cars on track. Hallmarks of an advanced driver include the following:

  • Technique – knowledge and ability to control the car in all sections of the track particularly from the braking point to the track out point. This includes proper braking, downshifting (heel/toe/rev matching), turn in at the proper point rather than too early, using the entire width of the track, apex – actually hitting it, tracking all the way out and unwinding the wheel, always looking ahead.
  • Smoothness – working with the car rather than against it to maximize performance.
  • Consistency – able to do it corner after corner, lap after lap.
  • In control and predictable – able to maintain your line and not drive erratically. Cool. calm, and free of red mist.
  • Awareness – of EVERYTHING – corner stations, track conditions, flags, other cars both passing and being passed. Drivers must be able to anticipate when they will be caught by a faster a car and be ready to point them by so the driver behind does not have to wait for a point by, anywhere on the track including mid-corner.
  • Apex speed – advanced drivers are quick through the corners. It isn’t about the lap times but is about maximizing available power and handling.

Thanks for reading and we hope you agree with our ideas regarding driver classification.