Exciting Changes to our Driving Events
We’ve had many discussions over the winter talking about our strategic vision for the driving program. We need to recognize that we’re doing a great job with people when they’re first starting out, but as people become advanced track drivers, they’re leaving us. We’ve had several years of light attendance in the upper classes (A & B), so we recognize that maybe we can improve our program. Somehow we’d like to inject more fun with more advanced concepts into our days while staying safe and complying with our National Minimum Standards. To that end, here’s what we’ve come up with:
C & D groups:
• no change. Same passing zones, teaching the “school line”. Solo is the same in C as it has been, with the instructor deciding each day whether the driver is ready or not to solo that day.
B group changes:
• it’s now a bit harder to get into B. Think of B as the old A. The only way into B is proven driving ability, not just because you’re car is fast as hell.
• Everyone in B is assumed that they will drive solo. By our National rules, instructors will be assigned to each car and ride at least the first session.
• Instructors in the B group are coaches. We assume you have the skills, and want to help make you even better. Obviously we need keep people safe, so there’s a limit to this.
• We now encourage exploring alternate lines in B. Different cars need different things. And on that note, this is the group where we start to emphasize trail-braking into corners.
• Open up passing to more zones – entire front straight (T9 all the way to T1) and 6-7. Still on the left, only with a point. Pretty much anywhere possible that’s not a corner.
• A lead instructor will be assigned for the Group, who will lead a “classroom” download right after the session with all the drivers in B. We hope this helps everyone get to know each other, and get them learning from each other as well as us.
• Check ride necessary from Senior Instructor to get into A. Further instruction necessary (more on that next).
A group (A+):
• Solo all day. One or 2 senior instructors assigned to them all as their coach for the day. Again actively coaching them, this isn’t a pass to just go out and drive in a circle.
• Open passing, anywhere with a point, either side of the car. Except 5A-B at Pacific. No passing there.
• “classroom” immediately after the checker to download with each other and the Group coaches.
• You need to stay current to remain in A, attending at least one school a year. Otherwise, back to B. You’re not in A for life.
• Current A drivers will need a check ride to make sure they’re safe in open passing environment. Just need to check if you’ve done this before. If you haven’t, we’re happy to help.
I’ve submitted all of this to National via our Regional DEC Scott Adare, and he’s signed off on it. So we’re good to go! I completely understand if some of this makes you pucker. It’s a lot of change! #1, if you’re really uncomfortable with open passing, don’t forget that “B is the old A”. B should be incredibly fun on it’s own with great traffic flow. And let me assure all of you that we’re going to be careful the first few days, and we’ll be flexible if we need to make a change in the interest of safety. I’m very excited for this coming year! I’m pushing everyone’s boundaries with this, and I hope you’re excited for a new challenge. I can’t wait for May 16th! As we get closer, I’ll communicate quite a bit with those of you coming so that you know what to expect.
See you soon,
BMWCCA PSR Chief Instructor