Pontiac G8 Forum banner
1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been wanting to try a Homestead HPDE for a while, after being told it's much less punishing than Sebring. But I just learned I'd be running with this group in the Porsche Club event this weekend:

The run group you would be in includes the following cars
BMW M3
BMW M3
Chevrolet Camaro - ZL1
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Dodge Charger SRT
Hyundai Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track
Porsche cayman R
Porsche 997
Porsche Carrera s
Porsche 994
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 4s



Meaning I'll spend a lot of time looking in my mirror at Porsches wanting to pass after curves, so I pull over to slow down to allow them to pass on the straights -- where the G8 shines. Right? Doesn't sound like much fun. However, if the Dodge and Camaros and I end up together, it might be more interesting. Has anyone here had fun running with a similar group?


Tires are another issue. My PS2s in front have 7/32 remaining, with 6/32 on the slightly wider rear Super Sports (both Michelin). Which should be enough, right? The woman I asked at the club had no clue; my GM dealer said not to worry until around 4/32nds. Also, and maybe more important, the tread pattern of little cuts on the shoulders is all gone on the passenger side in front, and almost gone on the driver's side, due to improper front alignment earlier (too much "toe in"). So I wonder, with that wear, if the stressful turns of a track event would make a blowout more likely. Any thoughts?


I realize I may need new rubber soon anyway, but I'd rather beat up these older treads than a brand new set -- as long as I'm not compromising safety.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
Just do it. Trust me, 10+ years of track driving have taught me nobody's slower than their cars are capable of in corners than about 85% of Porsche drivers you'll find at an HPDE. Just don't follow too closely in the braking zone, because that same 10 years has also taught me that nobody uses their brakes as hard to slow down so much and so unnecessarily as that same group of Porsche drivers ;).

As for tread, it's only there to channel water. The 4/32 reco is for street driving where rain is a reality. As long as you have some when you start and you don't wear down to the outer cords, you're good to go for the track. However, I would swap the fronts and the rears. You will punish the outside edges of the front tires.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Can't swap tires cuz rears are wider, but I resolved the issue today by visiting my dealer. Two techs thought my (more expensive) rears are fine, but front shoulders were too thin. One pointed out wear marks are gone on passenger side tire's shoulder, meaning less than 1 mm of rubber remains before I run into steel. So we checked but dealer could get only one tire, not two. Then I called my sales associate at Tirerack for over 10 years, Luke, who came up with a pair! They should arrive Thursday, at which point I'll get them installed, balanced, and aligned, plus put in fresh DOT 4 brake fluid. I already have ss brake lines and may switch pads, rotors too. I have slotted DBS rotors but they seem too scarred by the one HPDE I attended at Palm Beach and I don't know why. That's the only time I used them; pads were Hawk Performance ferro-carbon. I checked them just now and they have plenty of dust but nothing that seems gritty enough to scar rotors, and by scar, I mean that one day track left grooves deeper than anything on my stock rotors after 68K miles.

Now to my next task: Inquire about HPDE insurance, possibly through Haggerty. If that works out and weather still looks good, I'm good for at least Sunday at Homestead!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, MFE. Searches led me to the same two sources Tuesday. Both offer insurance on my car, but what I really need is liability insurance -- and both specifically state that they don't offer liability coverage. I left messages, offering to pay more if needed and asking for other sources if they can't help. But I'm not optimistic.

Various blogs make clear that after a period of relative freedom to take part in HPDEs with no insurance worries, that party is over. Insurance companies have "caught on" to the risk, real or imagined, and started in recent years to specifically decline coverage for not only racing, which they always disliked, but now HPDEs too.

It's sad, really. As a last resort I may ask my independent Michigan agent to search for me. But if I can't do HPDEs anymore, I'll find another way to speed legally, like maybe driving an earlier generation NASCAR racer at Michigan International Raceway this summer. Unless lawyers and insurance companies have ruined that fun too!

:The_Villagers:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
264 Posts
You need to study your policy exclusions and see what's covered and what's not. Many years ago, they'd make exclusions if the claim was incurred during a "timed event". That's the genesis for HPDE's...they're not timed, they're driver education events, so it was likely that the insurance company would cover the insured for damages incurred during an HPDE, even if they dropped you immediately afterward.

But a few years ago, after more and more people started balling up more and more expensive cars, and specifically after a guy crashed his Porsche Carrerra GT at a track day while trying to avoid a Ferrari that had entered the track improperly (killing himself and his passenger in the process, and incurring a multimillion dollar settlement against his estate), a lot of insurance companies started changing their exclusions. At that point, many of them stated that nothing would be covered if it happened on a racing surface. Didn't matter if you bumped into somebody at 10 mph on during an exhibition parade lap, if it took place on a race track, you weren't covered.

All that said, insurance companies are still covering damage to cars at HPDE's. One guy I know totaled his 2010 Camaro SS and his passenger (wife) broke her collarbone in the process. Both car and medical got covered under their existing policies. But if the track bills you for having to repair their K-wall, or if somebody gets injured in an incident you're involved in and their medical insurer comes after you for the expense, I'm not sure if they will over it under the usual PLPD type coverage. These track day insurance programs specifically will not cover that kind of thing, they're coverage for your mechanical chariot, and that's it.

And all that said, IMHO you're more likely to suffer a loss from a houseguest falling in your bathtub than you are from somebody claiming injury against you at a track event.

I say do it, drive within your limits, live to see another day and call your life richer for the experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My independent agent already told me I'm not covered, but I'll try to find the policy and look for myself. Heck, I may become a FL resident before this is over, if that helps. But I've already learned that in FL, long term medical costs are limited to $1M, which isn't a lot in today's health care world, while in Michigan there's no limit.

Someone on another thread suggested lying to get a claim through. That's not an option for me.

Thanks for your encouragement, though. I'm still thinking about it. But waiting for Michigan International Speedway, and driving an older generation NASCAR racer, sounds like fun too -- if it's still being "allowed."

Other than that, has anyone thought of convening a lynch mob for the surviving Porsche or Ferrari driver who apparently spoiled it for the rest of us?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
390 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Never made it to Homestead. NASA had another event scheduled there this coming weekend, but it was canceled. Also, no luck finding liability insurance, at Lockton or anywhere else. Collision, yes; liability, no -- not any more at least.

MFE is right that many years ago, insurance could be had as long as you weren't "racing," which could be defined by timing your laps. For a while insurers bought into safety aspects of an HPDE -- start with instructor, limited passing, no racing, must wear proper helmet etc.

Now, though, apparently insurers don't want to cover liability at any high speed event, racing or not, timed or not. My guess is that they finally "caught on." HPDEs still are a relatively new popular phenomenon, starting around 2000 or maybe the late 90s -- right? So it took a while to pile up some claims. But now that has happened, and here we are!

As a retiree depending on assets to support me, I can't afford the unsinsured risk. I mean, I love HPDEs -- they're my last big thrill! -- but not worth the risk of lawsuits that could ruin my remaining years. Even if claims against me have no merit, defending myself could take years and big bucks in court.

One way to cope might be to still sign up and drive, but start behind the pack and try to work my way up. If I reach traffic, back off and try again; if traffic reaches me, let 'em pass. In other words, avoid traffic accidents by avoiding traffic! Not as much fun as running with the pack, maybe, but it's still a blast to drive triple digits legally!
:driving::gears::driving:
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top