Fri, Oct 1 - Sun, Oct 3, 2021

GVC Derek Hanson Memorial Driving School

Watkins Glen International

About this event

GVC Derek Hanson Memorial
Driving School #110

Watkins Glen International

GVC’s Ultimate Driving School #110 is the last of three GVC HPDE events at the Glen in 2021.  Our driving schools offer intensive on-track and classroom instruction on the theory and practice of high-performance driving to drivers at all skill levels.



In car Instruction Is Back!!

We (GVC) are now permitted to offer in-car instruction (driver and instructor) at HPDE’s, as well as other dual-occupant driving events (e.g., driving tours, safety schools) under the following circumstances:

Both occupants in the car have been fully vaccinated and are at least 14 days after second Pfizer/Bio-N-tech or Moderna Covid-19 vaccination, or 28 days after Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccination.

Proof of vaccination status or cohabitation is required for any participant wishing to take advantage of in-car instruction.  Proof of vaccination can be in the form of a digital photo of the completed vaccination card (both sides), a valid NYS Excelsior Pass, or equivalent.  At event check-in, those with proof of vaccination or cohabitation will be provided a unique wristband in addition to the usual run group wristband.  You must wear both to participate in dual-occupant in-car activities.

Please submit proof of vaccination to Sean Grant at least one week in advance of the event.

In-car instruction is completely optional

To Opt-in, you must provide proof of vaccination information and be wearing the Covid-19 vax wristband. 

To Opt-out, please inform the registrar (Sean Grant, see above) that you wish to utilize Lead/Follow instruction at least one week prior to the event.

  • There will be three instructed run groups for Novice (Group 4), Intermediate (Group 3), and Advanced (Group 2) studentsone “uninstructed” group (Group 1:  GVC Group S, A-solo, etc.), each limited to 35 drivers, as well as an Instructor group.  Personalized, one-on-one instruction is arguably the most important feature of our HPDE program.  Drivers in Groups 2-4 are each assigned a highly-trained and experienced instructor familiar with the track and the performance characteristics of the student's car.  Assignments to Groups 2 through 4 are based primarily on experience and prior evaluations (including SLIP* ratings, if any), and secondarily on vehicle performance.  Group 1 (GS, Solo) registration is limited to advanced drivers who have passed the group checkout process.  For more detail about assignments to Group S, see below.   
  • GVC offers an Advanced Data Coaching option to Group 1 (Solo/Group S), Group 2 (advanced), and Instructors interested in taking the next big step in driving skill development. A highly-qualified Data Coach will work with you to utilize data from your vehicle to reveal opportunities for improving your technique. We provide use of an AiM Solo 2 data logger at no extra charge. We are confident that you will see performance gains that rival modifications to your car costing thousands of dollars by improving the most important component in the car - YOU!  Fee is $250 for 2-days of personal coaching.  No money due at registration; we collect the fee (cash or check only) at the event.  Only six AiM units available, so don't wait to sign up! 

Weekend School Format:  

WGI opens at 6 AM and there is a mandatory Driver's Meeting for all at 7:30 AM each day. On-track sessions run from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Saturday and 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM Sunday, with an hour break for lunch at noon each day.  The days are busy, but there is enough free time for students to maintain their cars and socialize with fellow driving enthusiasts at the event.

Friday:  Open-track for Instructors, Group S drivers, and pre-approved Advanced (G2) drivers*.  On-track sessions run from 8:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Saturday and Sunday:  Students in run groups 2-4 work with their assigned instructors in regularly scheduled sessions.

  • Group 4:  Novice (SLIP* L0 – L1).  Drivers with <4 previous driving schools
  • Group 3:  Intermediate (SLIP L2 – L3)
  • Group 2:  Advanced (SLIP L3 – L4)
  • Group 1:  Group S (SLIP L4 and up)
  • Group 0:  Instructors (Expert; SLIP L5 and up)

                            *SLIP (Skill Level Instruction Program) is a standardized system for evaluating and tracking a student's HP driving skills.Information about SLIP is available by downloading this document: SLIP Criteria 2016.pdf

Track Schedules

Examples of daily schedules may be downloaded using the following link.  This year's schedules may differ.  Final schedules will be sent out to all attendees the week prior to the school..

HPDE Schedule Saturday Sunday.pdf

On Saturday and Sunday, we do our best to offer the following.  However, the number and length of track sessions may be affected by breakdowns, adverse track conditions, or other situations we don't control.

  • Group S: Four 25 min. sessions, plus one 50 min. combined session with instructors on Saturday;  Five 25 min. sessions Sunday
  • Groups 2, 3 and 4:  Four 25 min. sessions per day 
  • Instructors:  One 25 min. private session, plus a 50 min. end-of-day combined session with Group S Saturday;  Three 25 min. sessions Sunday.

Group Exercises

  • Organized group driving exercises are done during the first 10 min. of one (or more) student sessions each day.
  • The exercises, such as close-quarters side-by-side lapping, pair-wise "leap-frog" passing, and trail-braking with "late" passing into corners, are intended to improve passing skills, traffic management, and situational flexibility.


  • Groups 2-4 attend three 30-45 minute-long classroom sessions each day, led by a senior instructor.
  • Group 1 (GS) drivers meet for debriefing sessions in classroom at least twice each day. These meetings are facilitated by the Group S coaches, and may include special presentations by experts on topics such as advanced driving techniques, data acquisition and analysis for skill improvement, vehicle aerodynamics, and other topics of interest at the group's request.
  • Advanced Data Coaching participants meet with ADC Coaches for data review sessions after each track session.  Available for $250 on Saturday and Sunday.

Bonus Features (complimentary unless otherwise noted)

  • GVC Driver’s Resource Center:  The center of school operations. Helpful advice and assistance for all participants and guests
  • Mechanical and technical services for your car provided on-site by "The Little Speed Shop"  (discounted parts and labor for participants)
  • Tire, performance parts auctions, adult beverages, and other goodies courtesy of our generous sponsors
  • Friendly and helpful staff to make this experience your “Ultimate Driving School”

*Group S

Group S is open only to upper-level experienced drivers who have previously been checked out and approved for the Group, and solo-qualified drivers affiliated with other BMW CCA chapters or car clubs.  

Admission of new drivers to Group S requires a checkout by the Group S coaches.   

Drivers wishing to check-out for Group S MUST register as an "Advanced" driver using the "Group S checkout" option.  This is a three-day registration option typically limited to 5-6 drivers.  GS checkout drivers are initially assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced) to ensure they will have an instructor assigned to them for the weekend should they not pass GS checkout.  Checkouts are typically done by the GS coaching staff on Friday morning.  If checkout is successful, the driver becomes a member of Group S and is reassigned to Group 1 to run with GS for the remainder of Friday and the weekend. Once approved for GS, drivers are automatically pre-approved to register for Group S at future GVC events without the need for further evaluation.  Drivers who do not pass checkout remain in Group 2 for Saturday and Sunday, but may stay to drive in open track the rest of Friday with the approval of the Chief Instructor.

Group S drivers are offered the following registration options:

  • Two-day school:  Saturday and Sunday only
  • Friday add-on option: For those looking for a 3-day weekend. Requires Sat-Sun registration option above.
  • Two-day school: Friday and Saturday
  • One-day school: Friday only
  • Advanced Data Coaching Saturday and Sunday only

Please visit the GVC website for complete details about our HP driving schoolsincluding the Group S application procedure:

Registration and Fees:  

  • Members: GVC chapter members are afforded highest priority for slots at our events, followed by BMW CCA members from other chapters.
  • Non-Members:  Non-members are charged an additional $100 above member fees, and are last to be accepted from a waiting list.  GVC applies $58 of the non-member fee toward a one-year membership in BMW CCA.  Join the club today to avoid the $100 non-member surcharge!
  • Registration after the deadline is only possible by special arrangement, and only if there are still slots available (call or email the Registrar:  
  • Fees (BMW CCA members;  Non-members add $100)
    • Intermediate (Group 3), and Novice (G4): $630 (two-day school)
    • Advanced (Group 2):  $630 (Sat./Sun).  Friday open track add-on option for pre-approved* G2 drivers only: add $250
    • Group S checkout applicants: $975 (Friday-Sunday).  Drivers assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced), but attend Friday as a tentative member of Group S pending a checkout ride.  Drivers failing checkout remain in Group 2 (Advanced) for remainder of school, and are refunded/credited $200 for Friday.  BMW CCA members ONLY.
    • Group S (Solo), club members ONLY 
      • Group S weekend:  $675 (Sat.-Sun., 5 track sessions)
        • Friday open track add-on option:  $250.  
      • Group S Friday open-track and Saturday only:  $725.
      • Group S Friday open-track ONLY:  $395
    • Instructors (includes shared garage access for the weekend): 
      • Friday - Sunday:  $200.  Includes Friday Orientation Day, minimum 3 sessions each day Sat and Sun.  
      • Fri - Sun., sharing a vehicle:  $100
      • Sat - Sun only (no open track): $150
  • Garage Bays:  
    • Instructors $50
    • Students (If available) $50 Purchase on site
  • Advanced Data Coaching (Sat./Sun.):  $250, paid at the event.
GVC Loyalty Reward
Sign up for all three WGI events, or two WGI events and the NYST event, and get a $150 refund or credit at the end of the season!!


  • Fees may be refunded or credited toward a future GVC HPDE only if cancelation occurs BEFORE the registration deadline.
  • NO refund or credit AFTER the registration deadline unless we can replace you with another driver.


The host hotel is the historic Seneca Lodge ( located at the upper entrance to beautiful 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, as well as an extensive selection of fine beverages.  Another favorite place to stay very close to the track is the Falls Motel in nearby Montour Falls.  These lodgings fill quickly, so make reservations early

Many other accommodations are available in Watkins Glen, from cozy bed-and-breakfasts to the luxurious Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.  

Camping at the track:  Not available.  

Off-site camping:  Available at nearby Watkins Glen State Park and other private campgrounds.

For more information, please consult our website: 


Event requirements

This is a Genesee Valley Chapter BMW CCA event.  

Vehicle and driver requirements must comply with BMW CCA and GVC minimum standards detailed on the GVC website:

Pre-Event Tech Inspection:  All track vehicles are required to undergo a technical inspection within the month prior to the event.  If the vehicle is used for any other track event(s) between this inspection and our event, it must be re-inspected.  Inspections must be performed by a qualified individual or shop using the GVC pre-event tech form, which must be signed by the participant and submitted at event check-in. 

Drivers are solely responsible for the safe condition of their vehicles and for any cleanup, repair, or damage to track property during the event.

GVC Pre-Event Tech form:  GVC Tech Form

E-Waivers required: See Link


IMPORTANT:  GVC policy* for cars equipped with automatic “crash avoidance systems” (CAS)

CAS technologies go by different names depending on manufacturer, but they all have the same basic function.  The two systems of concern are:  1) Rear collision warning/automatic braking systems designed to prevent rear-end collisions at highway speeds; and 2) Active lane-keeping assistants, which generate audible and tactile warnings, and in some cases apply counter-steer, to prevent an unsafe lane change in traffic when the driver takes no action. When operational, these systems may be unsafe in conditions typically encountered on a racetrack at HPDE events.

Therefore, cars equipped with either or both these systems will be allowed on track ONLY if the systems are completely shut down and remain off until the ignition is turned off .  We have been assured by BMWNA that these systems can be completely shut off by the driver on all current BMW models.  Cars from other manufacturers will only be allowed if the driver can demonstrate that the system can be manually shut down.  Vehicles in which such systems are “hardwired”, and therefore CANNOT be manually turned off by the driver, are not permitted on track at GVC driving schools.

It is the responsibility of the participant to follow the vehicle's shut-down procedures to the letter before leaving staging and entering a "hot" track.  If these procedures are followed, we have been assured that CAS-equipped cars will be safe and compatible with the HPDE track environment.

*Please note that the policy outlined herein applies only to Genesee Valley Chapter driving events, and does not necessarily represent the national policy of the BMW Car Club of America or its affiliated chapters.

Entries (176)

Harry Ramos
Charles Desjardins
Thomas Powderly
Charles Jacob
Jon Skalwold
Robert Conway
Arthur Weber
Bob Ashenbrenner

Watkins Glen International

Watkins Glen, NY
Download track map
Download track map
Buy virtual track walk
Buy virtual track walk


Driver School organized by

BMW CCA - Genesee Valley Chapter

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Event over!