Driver Skills/Car Control Clinic & HPDE LappingPacific Raceways
About this event
The Northwest Alfa Romeo Club has been providing fun and informative Driver Skills and Car Control events to sport driving enthusiasts and daily/commuter drivers alike in the Northwest for over 20 years.
This event combines a driving school for enhancing driver skills and teaching car control/safety with driving exercises in the morning with a separate HPDE / School event for both the morning students who want track experience as well as experienced drivers in the afternoon. These two programs will take place at Pacific Raceways in Kent on Sunday, March 12th, 2023. The curriculum for the Car Control/Driver Skills course is designed for all drivers in any type of vehicle, and is proven to be particularly valuable for new and teen drivers, drivers with newly purchased vehicles, and any driver who feels unsure or nervous behind the wheel. The course is as fun as it is informative, so we welcome and encourage any/all drivers who would like to experience something new. Registrants must hold a valid Driver License, and teen drivers with a valid Learner Permit are also welcome... and encouraged!
Morning Car Control Clinic: 8:00am - 11:30am - $125/ driver - 18-years and over
***Special Student Price*** - $95/ driver - minors 17-years and younger
Afternoon HPDE/Lapping: Noon - 5:00pm - $195/ driver
Morining Car Control & Afternoon Lapping School: 8:00am - 5:00pm - $295/ driver
The purpose of our Driving School is to enhance your awareness of the conditions around you and develop your ability to respond quickly and properly should you find yourself in an acute situation during your normal daily driving.
NWARC's Driver Skills event is a half-day course covering the fundamentals of car control and skills-based driving. Appropriate for new and experienced drivers alike, this Driver Skills course provides all participants with valuable classroom instruction, lots of seat time, and personalized 1:1 in-car instruction if needed. The course is divided into five primary segments:
- Threshold Braking (Panic Stop)
- Lane Change/Collision Avoidance
- Braking in a Corner
- Handling Oval
Together, these segments improve drivers' ability to look ahead, control vehicle weight transfer, practice smoothness, effective braking, and other vital skills. Groups are small in size, which means that wait times between exercises will be minimal. At the end of the five sessions, students are encouraged to apply the skills they've learned to their daily driving routine, and to practice safe and confident driving whenever they are behind the wheel. The intensity level and focus on driving is high, but so is the fun factor!
ALL VEHICLE TYPES ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED. Please be sure your vehicle is in good mechanical condition with no visible fluid leaks or loose parts hanging from exterior or underneath the vehicle. Check your tire wear and tire pressures the day before the event, check engine oil and coolant levels, and fill if necessary. All vehicles will be subjected to a basic technical inspection in the morning before being allowed on course. Please remove all loose items from the interior and trunk of your vehicle prior to arriving, and don't forget to fill your fuel tank BEFORE arriving. Fuel on site is very expensive. Please note that while convertibles are welcome to run the car control clinic, those intending to run the afternoon lapping session must have, at a minimum, a factory roll hoop or aftermarket roll bar. Those with no roll protection or 'pop-up' style roll bars will not be allowed to participate in the lapping sessions.
If you have questions about any needed service to your vehicle in preparation for this event please visit one of our local partner shops. In the Seattle area please visit our friends at PROVA Motorsports. In the South end please visit Bristow's Exclusive Auto Repair in Tacoma. Each of these shops is owned by long time NWARC instructors.
WHAT YOU WILL LEARN
The Driving School is designed to teach students that the act of driving a motor vehicle is an intensive mental activity. You must pay strict attention to your actions and those of the drivers around you. Through classroom and in-car instruction, you are taught how to be observant of your surroundings and vehicle. You learn how and why a car will respond to inputs to the steering wheel, gas pedal and brake pedal - the physics of car control. The school provides a way to prepare for the unexpected, and to practice collision avoidance skills.
Your registration fee provides you with a temporary 1-day "event membership" to NWARC in addition to participation in the Driver Skills Course, or you are welcome to to join the Club with an annual membership here: https://www.aroc-usa.org/membership/
The morning Car Control Clinic is open to all drivers with a valid Driver License and teens with a Learner Permit. No other driving experience or prerequisites are required. Invite your teenage* children, parents, friends/neighbors or coworkers to experience the art and skill of advanced car control.
The afternoon HPDE/School event has two run groups.Group A is reserved for Advanced drivers and participating instructors. Group B is open to Novice drivers over 18 years old who have participated in the morning car control clinic. There is a combo registration for both courses. All drivers for AM and PM events must have a valid WA Drivers License (must show original at check-in) and proper driver safety gear (helmet rental is available).
Advanced groups must have solo sign off and significant experience on record through MSR at Pacific Raceways. If you have any questions regarding eligibility please contact the event registrar.
*NOTE: Car control clinic students under the age of 16 must have a valid Learner's Permit and anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian (not required to be in car during exercises but must remain on site).
Please be sure to check your insurance policy to make sure "driver schools" or "track events" are not prohibited.
More on the driving school curriculum...
Class begins with a Zoom meeting the Friday before the event. This meeting replaces our traditional classroom and gives you more time for excercises on the school day. The meeting will cover vehicle control, braking, cornering as well as the in-car exercises that will be conducted. There will be a discussion of each in-car exercise so that you understand what skills they are designed to teach and how best to perform them. The meeting will be recorded for those who can't attend. We urge you to attend in case you have questions.
Exercise segments have been designed to allow you to physically experience the vehicle dynamics theory explained in the classroom. Using orange traffic cones, exercises are laid out on the pavement for you to negotiate. An experienced instructor will ride with you to explain the exercise, offer corrections, praise accomplishment and answer questions immediately. With this real-time feedback, learning is enhanced.
The exercise segments are laid out with safety buffer zones around them to provide a large margin of error, keeping you safe and eliminating the risk of any incidents. The exercise area is isolated in order to prohibit access by non-school participants.
The meeting curriculum and driving skills exercises will emphasize these important daily driving rules, techniques, and habits:
1. Smart steering wheel control, keeping your hands should be at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. This provides you with the greatest control over your car and keeps your arms out of the way in case of airbag deployment.
2. Setting and using your side view mirrors so very little to none of the side of your car is visible. This allows you to have a widest possible view of what is behind and to the side of your car.
3. Looking ahead to improve your peripheral vision. Generally look to the second or third vehicle ahead of you so you can get a bigger picture of what is happening ahead of time.
4. Driving with your seat correctly positioned. To test if you are seated correctly do the following: Sit up straight in the driver seat. Your shoulders should be touching the seat back. Next, extend your arms straight out in front of you, your wrists should touch the top rim of the steering wheel and hands able to hang over the front. Adjust your seat until you can accomplish this position easily.
5. Practicing courteous driving habits while becoming more aware of everything around you. Develop your positive communicative skills by signaling ahead of time and practice the '3 second' safe distance maneuver while following vehicles ahead of you on the road.
6. Practicing smooth movements while turning, braking and applying throttle (gas pedal).
7. Avoiding downshifting and using the gearbox to slow your car. Always use your brakes, that's what they are designed to do.
8. Practicing smooth braking by "imagining an egg" between your foot and the brake pedal. If you press too hard too quickly the egg will break.
Registering for the course
In order to register for either of these two events here on Motorsportreg, you'll need to create a simple driver account and profile. This is a quick and simple process. However, there will be a series of detailed questions related to your vehicle including engine size and class, and other questions about your "permanent number." Please disregard all of these detailed questions, you'll only need to provide "Make," "Model," and "Color" which are the first few questions. After filling in those answers just skip to the bottom and continue the registration process. If you have any questions or problems with this form, please do not hesitate to contact the event registrar.