Lead-Follow Instructing Procedures

TEMPLATE

This document is to be used a template, adapted by the individual organizations using Lead-Follow Instruction at their HPDE events. Use this as a starting point to develop a Procedures Guidelines resource for all instructors and event personnel. You will notice that every topic and sub-topic consists of a series of bullet points, with one blank one. That’s the trigger for you to add your own (as many as you’d like). Again, this document is meant as a starting point. Feel free to edit, change, add, delete. But most importantly, make it useable by instructors – simple and to the point.

OBJECTIVES (What are the key objectives for using Lead-Follow Instruction)

INTERNAL COMMUNICATION PLAN (How will the program be communicated to instructors)

INSTRUCTOR TRAINING & PREPARATION (How will instructors be trained to conduct L-F)

PROCEDURES (How will the L-F sessions operate)

Lead Instructor-to-Student/Car(s) Ratio:

Staging: (How and where will the L-F groups be lined up and staged)

Key Pre-Session Messages: (What must instructors tell students in paddock prior to session)

On-Track Communication (What will be communicated to students, and how)

If there is no reliable communication system (radio, phone), describe hand signals that will be used:

Number of Laps per Student/Session:

Rotation Procedure

Emergency Procedure (What do if something goes wrong)

Post-Track Session Debrief (What should be communicated and drawn out of the students)

INSTRUCTOR

Your role:

Driving pace:

  1. Slow
  2. Medium
  3. Moderate

There are no high-speed L-F sessions.

Notes for Instructors: Remember that “slow” can feel very fast to a new driver. When the student is able to drive on their own, they will drive at what they felt was the same speed – but will likely drive faster because your Lead pace felt fast.

Never forget the objectives: To demonstrate the ideal line and the timing and position of various use of controls (when to brake, end braking, turn into the corner, begin to accelerate, etc.). The objective is not to demonstrate your superior driving ability.

As the Lead instructor, you must drive the ideal line, while observing your student(s) in your mirrors. Drive at a pace that you can do both at a high level, even if that means you slowing down. It’s more important to demonstrate the right line and techniques, and to be a model for your students, than it is to drive quickly.

This task takes a high level of concentration. However, this should not be any higher than what you use when doing in-car instruction; just different. Because it’s different, it may take a little time for you to get comfortable with it. It’s a great skill to learn for yourself!

Notes to Chief Instructors/Organizers: Communication of the purpose and objectives for the Lead-Follow instruction is critical, and it needs to be understood throughout personnel (in-car instructors, classroom instructors, registrars, turn workers, etc.) and all students (whether they’re participating in Lead-Follow or not).

The tone of the communication is also critically important, as it contributes to the culture of the event. If the message is, “Lead-Follow is only something we because we can’t do what is the right thing to do,” you’re sending the wrong message. If it’s, “This is a valuable addition to our instructing methods,” you will be more successful.

The objectives and procedures for Lead-Follow instruction must be communicated early and often, and that includes in the classroom sessions.

The success of Lead-Follow instruction comes down to the ability of the instructors leading the way. Like any skill, Lead-Follow instruction takes time to develop. It also requires training. But, once again, it begins with communication of the objectives and procedures.