GVC Ultimate Driving School - Watkins Glen
|Registration Closed:||August 18, 2012 11:59 PM EDT|
Our midweek driving school is always one of our most popular schools.
All student groups will be scheduled for four half-hour run sessions each day. A-solo drivers are afforded additional track time by being able to drive with the instructor group. De-briefing sessions take the place of traditional didactic classroom sessions, during which experiences will be shared, driving techniques discussed and critiqued, and so forth. More details are available by contacting the chief instructor (email@example.com).
Fees: In an attempt to keep things affordable in these trying economic times, fees for this school have been kept the same as last year despite increases in track fees, which go up every year. Moreover, we are continuing our $100 discount to new students to encourage beginners to "take the plunge". This discount is only valid for driving school novices who have never taken a GVC school before.
Advanced Driver Training Program
Genesee Valley's ADT program, now entering its fourth year, breaks from traditional driving school instructional techniques to teach students modern cornering methods with liberal passing rules. In the intermediate and advanced run groups, "late" passes and off-line entry into corners are not only allowed, but encouraged. Students are taught step by step how to execute these techniques in group exercises at lower than normal speeds, and then put their skills to use in open-track under the guidance of their in-car instructors. GVC also breaks with tradition by demanding that slower cars allow faster vehicles to pass a the earliest opportunity. Cars not giving point-byes are black-flagged by track control to break up "trains". Result: seamless passing, better traffic awareness, collaborative rather than competitive driving, and a safer and more enjoyable event.
The ADT program has been met with great enthusiasm, and has propagated rapidly to events run by other BMW club chapters, car clubs, and track-day organizations.
Event Background: The Genesee Valley Chapter has over 27 years of experience conducting HP driving schools at Watkins Glen, and is nationally recognized for its innovative, state-of-the-art instructional program emphasizing personal instruction and graduated skill development in an environment that emphasizes camaraderie, safety and fun.
Our highly trained and experienced in-car instructors coach participants at all levels of skill development, from novices to club racers and instructor candidates, reinforcing the theory and practice of high performance driving taught in the classroom by one of our master classroom instructors.
The knowledge and skills learned here will carry over to “the street”, making you a more skilled, confident, and safe driver.
Students are divided into different “run groups” according to prior experience, evaluations from previous schools (if any), and vehicle type. At this school there will be three student run groups: Advanced (A-Solo/A), Intermediate (B/C), and Novice (D). There will be no more than 40 students assigned to each group. Instructors are assigned to a separate run group.
Each run group gets a minimum of 4 half-hour track sessions per day. A-Solo students are afforded an additional 4 sessions of track time by being allowed to drive in the instructor run group. All students except A-Solo will be assigned an individual in-car instructor to work with them for the entire school. A-Solo students are coached by a small hand-picked team of experienced instructors who will ride with each of them at least once during the school, and provide feedback in debriefing sessions.
Between track sessions, students come to the classroom to receive instruction in a lively and interactive environment appropriate for their skill level from a dedicated Classroom Instructor. Students also gain experience by riding with their instructors during the instructor track sessions.
Novice students are also required to participate on the first day in car-control exercises on a small autocross course set up in an infield paddock. Here, the basic principles of vehicle dynamics are taught at lower speeds, so they may be applied more effectively during the on-track sessions.
- Novice Orientation: To make the experience more enjoyable for new-comers, there is a ~1 hr. presentation and Q&A session the night before the event covering the school schedule and curriculum, the layout of the track facilities, where to go for help, and how to prepare for the experience.
- Track “Walk”: A guided tour of the track led by the Classroom Instructor is held at the end of the first day. You will be transported in vehicles to selected corners, where you will disembark to examine and discuss the track features on foot with the classroom instructor.
- Garage Party: After the track walk, we convene in the Kendall Garage to meet and mingle with other drivers, instructors, friends and family, while enjoying complimentary finger-food, beer and wine.
- UDS Souvenir Shirts: To commemorate the event and give you bragging rights back home, you will receive a limited edition Ultimate Driving School shirt to go along with the unique school tech sticker for your car.
- A-Solo Students Drive in Instructor Sessions: A-Solo drivers are free to drive in all instructor track sessions. This results in two additional hours of track time per day (4 hrs/day).
- Liberal Passing Rules: Passing is permitted on any straightaway (always with point-bye) for all run groups except for novices (D) who cannot pass between turns 5-6 and 10-11. A, B and C level students are also permitted, and actively encouraged, to take late passes in the entry to turns as well.
Advanced Solo (A-Solo) program:
Advanced students with many years' experience who are routinely signed-off to run solo in previous schools may register for our A-Solo program. A-solo drivers are afforded the following:
- Four hours of track time per day: This includes 4 sessions in their own run group and 4 sessions in the instructor group.
- Group debriefing sessions: Mandatory meetings of the group take the place of traditional didactic classroom sessions, during which experiences will be shared, driving techniques discussed, compared, and critiqued, and so forth.
More details are available by contacting the chief instructor (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Admission to A-Solo:
A-solo is only for highly experienced, mature, and safe drivers who are very serious about improving their already considerable skills in a cooperative environment.
Students registering for this program must be vetted by the Chief Instructor before receiving confirmation to participate.
Drivers who have previously participated in the program are pre-approved and need not submit credentials unless requested by the Chief Instructor.
Drivers new to the program must submit a detailed driving resume and two recommendation letters to the Chief Instructor well in advance of the school for credential verification.
New applicants are first placed into the advanced (A) group for evaluation prior to being admitted to A-Solo. Admission to A-Solo depends upon:
Superior evaluations and recommendation by the student's A group instructor.
Successful completion of a checkout ride with an A-Solo instructor.
Concensus of the existing A-Solo drivers that the applicant has the appropriate driving skills and respects the rules of the group.
A-Solo students must strictly abide by all rules of the school and the program to remain in A-solo.
A major drawing card for our school is the chance to drive the legendary Watkins Glen International road-course, which traces its roots back to the legendary races held here just after WW II. These early races were run on still-existing public roads in and around the town of Watkins Glen, and the current track layout echoes that of the original course. Its long straights long turns, and dramatic elevation changes make it both a joy to drive and a challenge to master.
Watkins Glen is a beautiful summer resort located at the southern-most tip of Seneca Lake, in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes, one of the top wine-producing regions in the country. Besides the many wineries, restaurants, shops, and fun activities for the whole family, the area boasts a variety of nearby state and local parks noted for their spectacular gorges and waterfalls.
The host hotel is the famous Seneca Lodge (http://www.senecalodge.com/), located at the upper entrance to Watkins Glen State Park off NY 329. The Lodge is famous for its food and racing heritage. The bar is notable for its collection of over 60 years of racing memorabliia. Another favorite place to stay very close to the track is the Falls Motel in nearby Montour Falls. http://www.thefallsmotel.com. These places fill quickly, so make reservations early.
Many other types of lodging can be found in Watkins Glen, from cozy bed-and-breakfasts (http://www.bbonline.com/ny/watkins+glen.html) to the luxurious Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel (http://www.watkinsglenharborhotel.com/). Camping is available at Watkins Glen State Park (http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/142/details.aspx) and at many other private campgrounds.