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Discussion in 'Member Introductions' started by dma0413, Mar 10, 2012.

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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    A big "Amen!" to Steve's input. We pride ourselves on the quality of BMW CCA track schools, the antithesis of the "open track days" peddled by some other organizations. In fact, the Golden Gate Chapter, for one, insists on a prerequisite: a car-control clinic (which is a great experience on its own). I also recommend autocross as a good way to find the limits of adhesion in a safe environment.

    But be careful when you do finally sign up for a BMW CCA high-performance driving school: The experience can be highly addictive!
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    • Staff

    steven s

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    I just told someone today that I'd recommend a car control first also.
    I'm glad I did one first. It got me used to the sounds and smells of the car.
    I have found people either do one event and never come back or are totally hooked.
    I find it actually relaxing. I look forward to it days before. :)
    I have 3 days at VIR coming up in a couple months.
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    MGarrison

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    I think you can have a pretty high confidence that BMWCCA chapter-run driver's schools are well-run & well-organized - the first BMWCCA driver's school was in 1974, and by now, most chapters that offer driving schools have been doing them for so many years that the events are more-refined and well-honed than the BMW's participating in them.

    The primary emphasis is always on safety, as these are controlled driver's education events, not any kind of racing event - you'll have an assigned instructor that must ride in-car with you for every track session who will be constantly coaching you while you're on-track. As Steven mentions, passing is in designated passing zones only, one car at a time, and a driver may initiate a pass only after receiving a clear passing signal from the driver of the car ahead that is to be passed. As a matter of courtesy, the lead car that is being passed is expected to safely lift out of the throttle a bit to help facilitate completion of the pass as quickly as possible.

    There is always a risk of damage in any driving event, but you can be assured that the event is organized and run in every way possible to minimize risks of damage or injury to participants and vehicles. Consider too that you have a passenger, your highly-experienced instructor, who wishes to avoid having anything happen even more than you do! And, also as Steven mentions, there is now the option of insuring your car specifically for the weekend through specialty insurers offering that type of coverage, as a fallback.

    As far as experience, if you know how to drive on the street, that's enough, but ditto on Satch & Steven's point that one of the club car-control clinics can be helpful.

    In order to keep the events safe, they are organized by experience level. A typical BMWCCA driver's school consists of 4 run groups (usually A,B,C,D) with A as the most experienced group. Classroom sessions are mandatory, and C & D students typically begin each morning with a classroom session appropriate for the day. 1st session typically will introduce technique & procedural basics, and the basic track layout, with each session adding to and building upon the basics, throughout the weekend. Class sessions are alternated with track sessions, a typical format might be 3 half-hour track sessions each day, and 3 classroom sessions each day as well. Grins and exhaustion are usually in abundance by the end of the first day, as is a dissipation of newbie apprehension.

    Check our forum topic on driver's schools - the most informative threads for you are likely the ones asking questions similar to yours, that have numerous replies.
    http://www.bmwcca.org/forum/index.php?forums/driving-schools.117/
    (you can easily find the most-replied-to threads by clicking the word "Replies" in the boxes across the top of the thread listings).

    If you're in Charlotte, presumably you're in the Tarheel chapter, check your chapter website for info as well - I think Tarheel typically runs at VIR, Road Atlanta, and (maybe) Summit Point.

    http://www.tarheelbmwcca.org/track.html

    One oft-heard comment after a successful weekend at the track: "It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on..." & yes, again as Steven & Satch mention... caution, you may find this addicting! :D
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    wellardmac Ninja World Traveler

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    It meant that the autocorrect on my iPad struct again. Where it said old it should have said good. I have no idea how it got to where it did.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Well, THAT'S a relief!
    • Member

    dma0413

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    Thanks for all the info Steve, Satch, Garrison! Can't wait for my first event. I think you guys pretty much covered it all!
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Heh. And you think now we'll shut up?!

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