Tips for Group NSX Drives
1. Get Gasoline Before The Drive Starts
You won’t make any friends if the whole group has to stop 20 minutes into the run because YOU need to get some fuel. And, while you’re at it, make sure you check tire pressure, water and oil too. The same applies to toilet usage. Plan ahead. We’ll make every effort to have a “chase vehicle” to deal with unforeseen difficulties, but you can help by being
2. Obey Traffic Regulations
Not only is this a good idea for obvious reasons (monetary fines, points on your license, etc.) but also because when traveling in groups, other drivers *will* make assumptions about “those people in the fancy cars.” In the past we’ve learned that angry bystanders were not above picking up their cell phones to call law enforcement bodies to file reports — to which authorities were quick to respond. In this neck of the woods, fines for “speeding,” “reckless driving,” “speed contest,” “exhibition of speed” and even “reckless endangerment” are handed out with glee — sometimes to entire groups of vehicles (remember the Sterling group?). Don’t be a recipient. The bottom line: be on your best behavior. If you miss a turnoff, don’t back up or make an illegal “U”… continue to the next legal venue to do what needs to be done. It’s a long drive/flight back to Ohio to fight the ticket that would otherwise raise your insurance rates to the moon.
3. Be Polite
This is an important point because what qualifies as “impolite” may not be obvious to everyone. For one thing, allow *at least* five car lengths between you and the NSX ahead. This is especially important when driving on multi-lane freeways because others on that road will often need to merge on and off that road by passing through the line of NSX’s. On single-lane roads the same applies because there may be on-coming traffic that needs to turn left through our train. They might not want to wait ’til the last NSX passes by. If arterial “STOP” signs are encountered, allow cross traffic to do their thing. Some NSX’s may want to roll the stops to keep up with the NSX ahead, or to keep other traffic from getting into the caravan line. Both actions are heavily frowned upon. Let the rest of the road traffic go about its business without intrusion from us. If you do get separated from the group, don’t fly low to catch up. Lots of high-speed passing of local traffic is not advised. Be patient. There will be frequent “catch up” stops.
4. Don’t Follow Too Close
You may think we already spoke to this in item #3… but it’s so important we’re mentioning it again. Five car lengths *minimum* — this is due to the “inchworm” effect of a line of cars. The inchworm effect manifests itself when the car in the lead lifts off the throttle. Car #2 does the same, but for a longer time. More so for car #3. A car or so back, a driver will need to tap his/her brakes. The next car will need to brake harder… and so on. Not to far down the line, someone is going to have to come to a complete stop. Of course the converse is true too. If the leader speeds up — just two or three miles per hour — the car at the back of the line *will* have to exceed the posted speed limit to keep up. Then, once caught up, they will have to slam on the brakes to keep from running into the NSX ahead. View this mess from above and you’ll see the perfect likeness of an inchworm making its way along the road. We don’t want inchworms. Not only because they are known breeders of rear-enders, but because driving in an inchworming line of cars is *no fun.*
5. Radio Usage
Those with two-way radios should be dispersed evenly throughout the caravan. The engine and caboose (head and tail) of the train should stay in constant communication — with those in between listening in. While those in between will have a strong urge to say cleaver things over their radios, it’s important to remain silent for several reasons. The head and tail of the beast need to keep track of 1) where they’re going, 2) any road hazards, and 3) any problems or dropouts in the caravan. Oh yeah… the local authorities *will* have their scanners turned on. When they hear, “Wow, Fred’s red NSX just passed me, and *I’m* doing 85!” their eyes will light up with dollars signs. Keep extraneous radio communication to a minimum. Big brother *will* be listening.
6. No Accidents
We hope and pray for no accidents, but in the past they *have* occurred. You need to understand that the “talent level” among participants is wide — from novices to seasoned racers. Know your limits. If someone ahead is in low-level flight, you don’t *have* to keep up. If someone behind you is “pushing” you faster than you feel comfortable traveling, *don’t* speed up… signal them by with a wave of the hand. By the same token, if the caravan is traveling at legal speed, and yet someone continues to fall behind, appreciate their self-set limits. Make sure they have a radio and let them listen in and catch up at the next stop.
There will be a number of stops along the way. Both for photo opportunities and to allow for reforming of the caravan. Stops should occur at least every 25 minutes (plus or minus 5 minutes). They will only take place in safe, well-marked turnouts or parking lots large enough to hold the entire caravan with ease. In those areas where there are a significant number of traffic signals, stops should occur more often due to the greater likelihood of cars becoming separated from the group. Caravans coming to NSXPO ’98 should set their own rules in this regard.
8. Familiarize Yourself With The Route
Read all the instructions, and ask questions of the route planner *before you get in your car.* Don’t clutter the radio channel with direction questions once the caravan is underway. Those passengers acting as navigators: give your driver’s directions in an orderly, timely fashion. Each team (car) should plan vocalized commands ahead of time. For example: “right turn ahead” is preferable to “turn here — right!”
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