There is an old debate rising up with new vigor lately: is high performance driving getting to be so dangerous that major changes need to be made? There has been a recent major incident (fatality) at Road Atlanta (RA) that seems to be spurring the online commentary and chatter. Heavy hitters like Ross Bentley (one of my favorite authors, of Speed Secrets fame) and Don Salisbury (founder of Blue Ridge SCCA region, Blue Ridge PCA safety head) have weighed in. And they say that horsepower is too high, speeds are too high, and danger is too high. And that changes need to happen.
These two highly-knowledgeable instructors propose that speeds on the straights at tracks for cars without roll cages be potentially limited. Ross Bentley says, "We either make cars have all the safety equipment, or we control speeds." When asked how he came up with the idea to limit speeds on track, Don Salisbury states, "That is easy: Structural integrity, kinetic energy and years of watching high speed incidents "tearing apart" and "balling up" cars in club and pro races with a large part of that being the heavier Showroom Stock cars. You have street cars without rollcages doing 150+ at some tracks. They were never designed to crash at those speeds."
There was an interesting counterpoint made by Mark Hicks, General Manager at Chin Motorsports.com, one of the largest private organizers of track day events. He contends, "In the last 5 years, I'm aware of 4 fatalities nationwide in track day/HPDE events: 2 involved running-off into trees after loss of control in a corner at tracks with inadequate safety barriers. 1 was a crash at corner exit that resulted in an injury that was exacerbated by an undisclosed medical condition (a normally healthy driver would have likely survived). And, the incident most recently at Road Atlanta, which happened on a straightaway. Applying a straightaway speed limit cannot be demonstrated to have a mitigating affect on a single one of the incidents described above. Even though the nationwide numbers of participants has increased in recent years, there's not a sudden spike in fatalities. In fact, fatality probability, as a factor of track miles driven, is probably at an all-time low."
Personally, I have enjoyed many side conversations (often on Facebook) on a related range of topics such as, "what exactly is the educational component of high performance driving education (HPDE)?" and "how is progress measured, especially if lap times are no longer applicable?"
What about lap times?
My personal experience is that lap times are the de facto measurement of skill in performance driving. Time is the measure in racing, of course, so it would be logical that it would factor into less competitive sides of the sport as well. Driving efficiency is all about the fastest way around a track. But driving fun is not always directly correlated to lap times. Just observe the growing popularity of Formula Drift as evidence. Going sideways has often been more fun for me than putting up the fastest time. Going just a bit beyond the edge of control (in a safe environment) has, perhaps, been the most fun I've had on four wheels. It is one of the many reasons I really enjoy attending the education and autocross events at ADSI.
Is the sport of high performance driving on race tracks at a cross-roads?
I find it unlikely. The reality I observe at the track is that all the folks I know who take their cars out have a strong sense of self-preservation. They don't wish to crash or get hurt or be highly competitive with others. We do, however, use lap times as a measure of progress and pace. The times are not comparable between us due to variations in so many things. We have different experience, different cars, different engines, different tires, different amounts of sleep...the list goes on and on. Most of the time we are comparing our times to our own prior times to judge progress or whether money spent on a change was "worth it." But it is also fun to see what drivers and cars are significantly faster than your own - and to dream about getting there. After a recent ride in a full-on Porsche factory race car with a real racing driver, I can tell you that the different experience of going that quickly is night-and-day different than being in my car.
As a hobby, and one that we'd like to be safe and fun, how exactly should the sport change?
I would propose that the sport needs to continue to seek a balance of fun and experience that builds driver skill in a safe manner. The fun must continue or it won't be attractive. Experienced drivers normally become safer over time as they know their limits, but they also can become far faster and more aggressive, and they can get closer to the edge of the envelope and stay there longer. Which may give them more chance of going beyond the edge. Which leads us to track safety and equipment safety. I don't think either of these things can be guaranteed, no matter how hard we want to be perfect here. New tracks offer significant runoff to mitigate spins and brake failures. But the old tracks - Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, even Thompson Speedway - have an allure of history that keeps us going back. Even at the pro level, tracks like the Nurburgring, famed for its unforgiving nature, still host many high-level events per year (although speeds were temporarily limited by officials at the Nurburgring 24 Hours after a car flew over safety barriers into the spectator area resulting in fatalities).
So how do we keep the fun, build experience, and still enjoy the racing experience without being named Andretti?
I am not opposed to limiting speeds for cars without full cages and safety equipment, especially as I get older and wiser. But I don't think it will solve the problems that people seem to be most worried about. The biggest danger with speed is more related to brake failure. If you can't stop from those speeds, it is going to get ugly. But the majority of what we are trying to do on a track is go through corners as quickly as possible. That is where the real, consistent danger lurks. Sliding off the track at 60mph into an unforgiving wall can be rather injurious to both person and machine. Speed limits on the straights won't solve this problem. They may even subtly encourage drivers to try to "make it up in the corners," leading to more spins and crashes.
I think the better approach is a more structured educational approach. I've long been a fan of data and instrumentation as a way to measure progress. Ross Bentley actually is the one who turned me onto this approach through his books. Being able to carry more speed through a turn is an indication that your line was better - and that you read the track better. Being able to corner consistently with both line and speed is one of the tenets of Bentley's teachings. I was rather surprised when I went to my first track day years ago with the Porsche Club to New Hampshire Motor Speedway and was told that personal timing devices and cameras were not permitted (a stipulation that has since been reversed). I'm not looking to "win" since there are no trophies, but without any sort of data, it would appear that progress would, at some point, become very hard to distinguish from merely repeating a less-skilled act. When a person recently proposed a service for putting instrumentation in cars at events to be reviewed by professional racers as coaches, I was compelled to seek more information. Hopefully it will become an offering. There needs to be a progressive curriculum and a set of skills that can be practiced and theoretically mastered for the "educational" component of HPDE to ring true.
Rental race cars and extra safety equipment (head restraints and such), are also a place to look. But the costs can easily go up enough to exclude the first-timers or people who may want to just test the waters, should they become a requirement for entry. After two years of this hobby, I will say that I'm interested in adding as much safety equipment as makes sense. But putting a roll cage into my street car is a step too far. I'd rather build up a track-only car than make it so I can't drive my current car on the street. And I would never have put a cage in my car before going to the track for the first time!
Your enemy - the steering wheel
My, somewhat, tongue-in-cheek proposal for increasing skill and safety would be to measure rotation of steering wheel angle around a track as a measure of progress. The less you turn the better. It probably sounds silly to most folks who are not too deep in this world. But for those of us who are into it, "the steering wheel is your enemy." Each turn of the wheel is like hitting the brakes. The less you turn the wheel, the faster you can be. This over-simplification neglects the accelerator pedal, of course, but I think it does accurately represent a strong path of early instruction. If you can drive a very clean line around a course, you can then maximize your speed. Conversely, if you cannot drive a clean line, each additional amount of speed you try to add will result in unnecessary extra danger and risk of losing control. I learned this quickly when driving the new Palmer Motorsports track and thinking I had figured something out. I learned that my shoddy line was actually keeping my speeds artificially lower and that I would have to improve my line to safely add more speed. I needed more smoothness, focus, line, and vision (TM, Ron Savenor) and I didn't even know it until I was educated further.
There is currently no instrument that I can easily add to my car to measure steering angle, sadly. So its a bit of a pipe dream. Watching the video replays are about the best I can do for now. And its rather like watching paint dry at times.
A more realistic solution is to get drivers and their instructors in touch long before an event so they can develop a game plan, and goals, and a safety understanding. When the instructors are volunteers...and there is no real defined curriculum to slot a student into...and there is no real history of their progress...this becomes a huge investment of time for the instructor. One that usually doesn't happen. But the clubs could change this and track the info and do a far better job of it than they do now. The Porsche Club has some rudimentary tools, but they are even inconsistent across regions! We can do better.
And don't get me started on the fact that I'm now in a "solo" group - so I don't have an instructor! (But I have been prevailing on the kindness of past instructors and friends to supplement my learning...)
At the end, most of us like to see progress in our hobby, just as we do in our lives and careers. How we measure that progress and how we achieve that progress may be the aspect of our sport that appears to need to evolve and mature. There will always be nuts out there trying to see how fast their car can go. Or who will cheat tech inspection and have something fail on track. That is unfortunate but hard to stop. Those folks usually do not show up regularly - so aren't more than a momentary issue. I'd hate to ruin things for the majority to deal with a very concentrated issue that could be solved in a more targeted manner.
Or maybe we all just need to buy drift cars instead!
The Discussion (pasted from High Performance Driving and Racing Enthusiasts)
I normally wouldn't pull in content from elsewhere but it's been great to hear what so many people think...and why, and new questions have come up that make sense to evaluate too!
- Devin Kelly Great article. A knee jerk reaction is not going to fix any problem someone might feel exists. Improvements can always be made. Speed limits or mandatory cages will not fix anything except limit the number of participants. Make cages mandatory and you will see owners of mustangs, camaros, corvettes, Porsche, m3s, and pretty much any other late model car with the exception of a miata disappear. Teach people the ways to be safe, monitor them closely. Show videos and pictures of accidents in safety training to encourage more saftey perhaps but I can assure you the majority of people with a new 40, 50, 60k + car will turn around if you say they can't go faster than 90. We all know most people do that on the street in those cara at some point anyways. As stated in the article, this is not an epidemic. 4 deaths on how many years?. Most of which involve loosing control in corners. I have never spun out going straight and not sure I have actually ever witnessed it either. I really hope this dumb idea of speed limits gets put to rest sooner rather than later
- Moti Almagor This is madness.There's a need for updated safety standards, no doubts, but I literally feel that we are watching HPDE being murdered right in front of our eyes and for what?
In the name of false sense of safety?
Without any need to prove that speed is indeed the one factor that is to blame nor a way to show that this is indeed the solution?
Killing the sport for a leap of faith that this might be the solution to something that can barely even be considered the problem?
The damage that this will do to the sport is irreversible.
- Kyle Tilley The speed limit notion seems odd to me. If you have a 90mph limit, and someone tries to carry that through a 50mph corner, the result is going to be the same as no speed limits.
- Andy Wimmer I think the best that we can hope for is education. Even with the proper safety gear, a crash at 150mph has the chance of being fatal. I think a certain amount of HPDE classroom needs to be spent explaining safety. Why we have the rules in place that we do, and why we need to pay meticulous attention to the mechanicals of our cars. We are big boys and girls here, I understand the risk. I do the best to mitigate the dangers, but at the end of the day, I'm not as interested in table tennis as I am in racing. ^^^ a crash sideways into a barrier at 50 mph could be lethal. Speed limits aren't going to help. I agree with you.
- Moti Almagor Quoting someone else's post about the subject from the discussion on the subject at the TrackHQ forum -"What about personal responsibility? What happened to be held accountable for your own actions?
Some groups have insurance to run track days to cover their ass because of people not owning up to their responsibilities. I expect a organization that runs a track event to do these things:
1. Let me drive on track at speeds I cannot safely do on the street.
Beyond that, I expect nothing else from the organizers.
Forced speed limits is beyond mental.
We go to the track to AVOID speed limits, not pay to embrace them."
- Andy Hope It's a good conversation to have.I don't believe the numbers in the article. I've seen two passengers and a handful of drivers die in the hundreds of events that I have attended. The odds are low but consequences high. It's actually really gross when it happens.
Among the fatalities that I've witnessed, properly mounted and fitting 6-point harnesses, seats with side impact head restraints and Hans type devices would have likely prevented all of them.
Limiting top speeds would not have prevented any of the problems other than it making timing useless. I don't believe that street cars should be timed. In my opinion drivers push harder when the clock is running.
- Sterling Vernon To use time as a teaching tool or not - a very interesting question indeed. Personally, I find I like having the times after my on-track sessions. But I try not to watch them when driving. I usually can tell if I'm faster or not. And normally there is so much traffic that the times end up being non-representative anyway. But if I do get clear track and a good run, it's nice to know if I've improved at all. But if I'm tired or my tires are too hot, I know to back off and take it easy. The clock doesn't drive my judgement. But I'm old (43). Can't say I would have thought that way 20 years ago.
- Scott Miller I too think driver education at these events is the key. So, how do coaches/instructors quickly and effectively impart wisdom to those attending the events before they develop bad habits. Right seat instruction has been the go-to solution, but there's just not enough instruction to go around. Maybe an affordable, portable, in-car data and analysis system? A system that allows one instructor to monitor several drivers or an entire run group at the same time? I do know that one of my local HPDE providers is actively looking into the possibility of leveraging technology to do this.
- Sonny Tu There are some of us who also take classroom instruction very seriously. Our organization mandates all DE1-DE3 students to attend classroom. Otherwise, they don't go out on track. I think the curriculum we offer is also pretty valuable & augments the in-car instruction.
- Sterling Vernon Sonny Tu - is that NASA? Is there a link to the curriculum somewhere? I sometimes run across items like this:http://www.mytrackschedule.com/HPDE_Novice_Guide.html which would have been good a while back, but being in the middle gray zone of instruction, it's hard to know what comes next for development (aside from times and such). any info you can provide would be great!
- Andy Wimmer The other thing I have often thought, is that there is a total lack of any sort of a car control clinic to give true novice drivers a basic understanding of handling at the limit... For instance, why isn't it a standard thing to have a session to teach people what you brakes can actually do, and more importantly, not do. Put them on a wet skid pad, and let them feel the car getting loose or breaking grip at low speeds. One of the best experiences I had prior to racing was a day at the BMW performance center learning how to handle a car in structured exercises. Often, we are forced to learn by exceeding the limits, and if we've never been there before, it likely won't end well for you or machine.
- Sterling Vernon Thanks, Andy! I agree that car control should really be a pre-requisite for most track events. I found that fear of crashing held me to lower speeds at first, but then I went and did a ton of car control educational events before going back onto the track. And it made a huge difference. I tell everyone the same thing. But again, I am very surprised that that there is no pre-requisite knowledge before a student gets on track. No required reading. No basic friction circle knowledge test. To me, that seems a little irresponsible in retrospect.
- Timothy Hilliard Thank you for posting this Sterling Vernon and Andy Wimmer. Skip Barber Instructors can not agree on a line but they all beat into you to spend time on a skid pad. Which I did. and as you both stated it is extremely valuable. I learned more about car control in my particular car in 2 hours than I would have on a big course. Sterling Vernon, You obviously have more respect here so thank you for discussing it. I purposely finished off a worn tires on the skid pad and AutoX course and was berated for asking for suggestions on tires. I have tried to bring up car control clinics but coming from me it was ignored. I have also been berated for referring to HPDE as a 'sport' so thank you again. As an aside: Ron Savenor was actually very encouraging to me for my lines at Palmer. There is a different line for every platform. Laptimes and data (entry/exit speed, straight speeds between turns, sector times (compromising a section/turn for the next) are the only way I know of to see where improvement can be made. As you say, how would you know otherwise that you are not just going the wrong way on an approach to a turn if you can not put a metric to it? "Even though the nationwide numbers of participants has increased in recent years, there's not a sudden spike in fatalities. In fact, fatality probability, as a factor of track miles driven, is probably at an all-time low." <<<<This, let's not get crazy about safety gear, train better drivers to be safe, understand their limits, the cars limits, how do avoid getting in trouble but more importantly how to get out of trouble. Wrapping ourselves in bubble wrap is not improving skill. But I'm just a guy with a bone stock car on real street tires learning to drive. Great thing about real street tires is they talk to you very loudly and keep you out of trouble. Yet I keep getting faster
- Sterling Vernon Sorry your experience hasn't been all positive, Timothy. Posting anything on the intertubes requires a thick skin, but I hope things improve. Good luck with the new tires and thanks for comments! The world needs more skid pads! Pioneered by Mark Donohue if memory serves.
- Gerald Chan As a long time instructor I would chime in on this debate.The equation for kinetic energy (the energy at the point of impact) is KE=1/2 mass times velocity squared. So small differences in velocity have a huge effect on energy. There have been several incidents at my home track of Summit Point main where driver error and brake failure at the end the main straight resulted in two driver fatalities and one instructor impaled by a fence post. These were not at BMW schools.
The practice of including skidpad instruction at a DE as an integral part of the BMW CCA schools. There can be little to no education without deliberate instruction in car control. Luckily there are three separate skidpad at Summit Pt (one for each of the three tracks here).
When I am teaching in car I seldom see the overly aggressive students in the huge hp cars try to maximize their corner entry speeds, quite the opposite.
When I am teaching the classroom sessions I encourage those drivers of fast cars to hold their position on the straights and try to catch the nimble cars in the corners. In that way, they can out drive those cars rather than out throttle them.
When I am teaching at the skidpad I try to simulate real life situations and help coach students to master the patience and car feel skills to tame oversteer but especially understeer.
After teaching for over 15 years I now limit the cars I will get into to robustly constructed, fairly lightweight cars with fewer than 330ish hp.
This is a fun hobby for me but I must mitigate the dangers. The MOST important thing I do to insure my safety to to firmly control where my student is looking and how to properly brake using the track braking squeeze then ease force modulation.
- Gerald Chan BTW Ross is one of my personal mentors and I agree with him on this matter.
- Tym Levine Is the sky blue?
- Larry Engel This is an interesting and important discussion. We all see reports of terrible incidents and think to ourselves "thank God it wasn't me" or worse, "that would never happen to me. Is there a database that catalogues major incidents and identifies their causes? In the end, I'd like to know how many are caused by mechanical problems vs. overzealous rookie vs. experienced driver who made one big mistake vs. track design, etc. This might help us all make the sport safer.
- Chad Bleakney For you experienced drivers, how would you compare the skills honed at autocross vs skid pad vs friction circle?I'm working on my own car control to get where I feel that I(and my car) am safe to be on the track with other people, I have a couple years of autocross, but wonder if better explanation of how each of these mediums can build confidence, skill and safety in particular areas may help to encourage drivers to seek them out?
Even info gathered and displayed at track days, showing that these off-track activities are important to becoming a faster and safer driver...
I have no experience, so I'm just letting the ideas flow- feel free to let me know if my thoughts or understandings are misguided.
- Larry Engel Most autocrosser said are in for a rude awakening the first time they get on track- ask me how I know. Tossing a car around like most people do in AutoX will have disastrous results on track. However, the basic understanding of physics that AutoX teaches is very valuable once you recalibrate your brain to the track.
- Kyle Tilley ^^ This. I went and did an AutoX and got my ass comprehensively kicked. Pretty much all time lost was through the slaloms.
- Chad Bleakney For me, I see autocross as a way to get to know the physics of the car, and dial in my spatial understanding of where the corners truly are. I know autocross doesn't prepare me for the track, but gives me a good understanding of how the car might react in emergency maneuvers.
I planned for this summer to be my track summer, where I got my intro- but my car was totaled and I spent the first 2 months of summer building a new one, and now driving it and tightening it up and making it mechanically sound for the track... I don't expect to have it where I think it's safe until next season, but wouldn't mind finding a skid pad in the interim.
- Sterling Vernon So many great questions! So far, I'm tracking: Is speed the root cause of most accidents or something else? Can new drivers benefit from lower speeds while they "get up to speed" with HPDE? Is there a better way to understand which tracks are safe enough (runoff, etc.) and how is it determined? Should car control, skidpad, and/or autocross be a prerequisite for HPDE? Could we add AX/skidpad to a HPDE event for more education? Are there types of cars, power-levels, drivers that are too dangerous for instructors? How should instructors limit their exposure to risk? How are issues tracked and analyzed and is anyone using this info to improve safety? Is there an educational curriculum anywhere for HPDE?
- Stephanie Funk My personal opinion is that uncaged cars do not belong on track at high speeds. They are ok for lower speed, autocross that type of thing. But to take a 600 hp Mustang out onto the track to flog it where your only protection is you are wearing a helmet, well that's just stupid. Really, all drivers would benefit from having to hone their skills in a low hp car first, to learn smoothness and control before moving up.
- Gerald Chan The cornering velocities encountered at the track are almost double those at your typical AX. While the physics are the same, the angular (rotational) momentum. is much higher. In order to control oversteer or understeer your muscle memory from one sport is inappropriate for the other. AX uses violent, even abrupt inputs. Track driving requires smooth, deliberate inputs otherwise you can end up in the tire barriers or upside down. Even the skidpad is not identical to the track as the velocities are also lower but the rotational velocities are similar. Rally schools are an excellent way to hone car control skills.If I was chief instructor for the entire sport every novice student would drive a RWD underpowered cars with great brakes and close to stock suspensions. (Think miata, 2002, 240SX, E30) The weight transfer would then be closer to their street cars and the amount of body lean will tell said novice how much energy is bound up in the compressed springs on the loaded side of the car.
I feel getting the correct corner entry speed when coming to the end of a long straight from a high speed like 150 mph is a potentially dangerous scenario. Usually the inexperienced student will attempt to late brake thus overloading the grip of the front tires with too much cornering and braking. Compound this with the resultant early turn in that comes from looking at the turn in point instead of the apex (due to self preservation fear) and the result is running out of track before the corner is done. Another outcome could be a mid-corner spin due to carrying too much braking entering the turn with unweighted rear tires. If the student tries to steer away from the edge of the track because he/she early apexed and the wheels are not pointed straight when the car slides off the track a rollover incident will be the result.
That is why a speed limit before the braking zone of a long straight makes perfect sense. These things can happen to a caged and harnessed car but the outcome for instructor or driver will be better.
- Dave Flogaus High performance driving is NOT inherently safe. The rewards make the risks entirely acceptable in my mind.
- Fraser Elliott Gerald and Chad, I *much* prefer instructing HPDE students who have prior autocross experience, and the more the better. Reason being, they come into it knowing what it feels like when the car is about to over-rotate or get into terminal understeer, they know what actions tend to precede it, and they usually have a sense of what to do about it. I'd rather they learn that at 50 mph than 100 mph and the muscle memory translates pretty directly. And, they already understand the critical importance of looking way ahead of the car.
- Gerald Chan Fraser, I prefer students who ski or even dance at a high level because they intuitively understand smooth weight transfer.
Open minded autocrosser will often learn rapidly too as long as they can learn when to use fast hands and when to use slow hands.
- Ike Neilson So maybe part of the problem is that cars now are SO good and instructor training has stayed the same so MAYBE instructors (not all but some) are not catching the fact that in many cases it is the car doing the saving and NOT the driver. In Chinese Olympic Lifting training the first year is done with a PVC pipe. ONLY when a student demonstrates total proficiency in movement after a year are they allowed to step up to an empty Olympic bar for another year of practice with an empty bar. My point is simply maybe we are in too much of a hurry to have people singed off and running solo. Maybe their skills have not caught up to their car. Back when I started driving instructors were only allowed to sign off students of one run. Novice students were NEVER signed off. We need to take a step backwards and remember that this is about teaching students and being safe. A point that Ross Bentley makes, and as an instructor you get the opportunity at slower speeds to do this, the difference between a novice driver and an expert driver is that the expert driver has a million data points for any given turn and they know sooner when they have made a mistake. It is thus a smaller mistake and can be corrected with smaller inputs. We need to teach students the finer points of identifying smaller mistakes so they do not end up being fatal mistakes. True loosing it on someone else's fluid is VERY hard to avoid. But we need to reduce the variables as much as possible.
- Sterling Vernon Good points, Ike. My instructors in PCA have been quite aware of when the traction control has stepped in to save my bacon - and the light comes on to prove it. But my lap times (yes, I know) are lower without TC on and I actually feel more in control not having the car do something without my consent. But PCA policy still appears to be to suggest keeping the nannies on when on the track. I find that it interferes with my car control, but so far I've been able to correct for sliding and such, of course. My most recent instructor, Ron Savenor, had me slow down quite a bit on track so that he could really get me to drive the line precisely and consistently - and know when I didn't. Then he made me sit in my parked car and visualize driving the line in my head perfectly (another Ross Bentley gem!) a bunch of times. He was the first instructor to really force me to do this! And I'm thankful! But it again points to massive inconsistency in what is taught and how it is taught, leading to uncertainty in whether the required skills have been acquired or not. I guess I'm still surprised that instruction is so variable, given that we have great people in this group that have been doing it for 30 years or more. Maybe that is why some folks consider it more hobby than "sport"??
- Ike Neilson there are three real sports in the world: Mountain Climbing, Bull fighting, and auto racing. The rest are merely games....Hemingway said that and he fought in the Spanish civil war and drank grappa.
- Sonny Tu Sterling Vernon I hear what you're saying, but a given technique might work for you & not for another. There are 4 major learning styles -- Spatial/Visual learning, Tactile/Kinetic learning, Auditory learning, and Logical learning. Most people learn best with a combination of the above but predominate in one. I always tell my Instructor Candidates that it is their job to figure out what their student's best learning style is & to capitalize on it. Often, it just takes them asking the student the Q: "How do you learn best?" Not only will it make the Instructor's job easier by capitalizing & the stud's predominate learning style, but the stud, in turn, will learn the most. You can't take one scenario & apply it to everyone. But I'm glad that technique worked best for you!