Fri, Jun 7 - Sun, Jun 9, 2019

GVC June Driving & Instructor Training Schools

Watkins Glen International

About this event

GVC Ultimate Driving School CII
BMW CCA Instructor Training School 
Novice Track Day

Watkins Glen International

GVC’s Ultimate Driving School #102 is the second of four GVC HPDE events at the Glen in 2019.  Our driving schools offer intensive in-car and classroom instruction on the theory and practice of high-performance driving to drivers at all skill levels.

  • There are separate run groups for Novice (Group 4), Intermediate (Group 3), and Advanced (Group 2) students, each limited to 30-35 drivers.  Drivers in these groups are each assigned a highly-trained and experienced instructor familiar with the performance characteristics of the student's car.  This personalized one-on-one instructional format is arguably the most important feature of our HPDE program.  Assignments to these three run groups are based primarily on a student's experience and prior evaluations (if any, including SLIP* ratings), and secondarily on vehicle performance.
  • An additional upper-level run group (Group 1) is limited to pre-approved drivers in Group S, GVC's "advanced solo" program.  Admission to Group S requires a checkout by coaches in our Group S instructional team.  You must be an experienced advanced student (SLIP Level 4 or higher) to be considered for Group S.  If you think you're ready, you must sign up as a Advanced (G2) student using the 3-day "Group S Checkout" option when you register.
  • Novice Track Day:  Novice Track Day is a one-day driving school for beginners that runs only on Friday.  See "Weekend School Format" below for details.
  • BMW CCA Instructor Training School:  The BMW CCA National ITS program developed from GVC's regional training school for HPDE instructors starting in 2001.  In its currently the only club-based training program nationally certified by the Motorsport Safety Foundation, and ITS graduates are nationally certified Level 2 HPDE Instructors.  Most of the instructors at GVC's driving schools are now Level 2 certified, or have been rigorously trained and vetted in similar high-quality programs.  Interested in becoming an instructor? Get in touch with GVC's ITS Chief Instructor, Ken Buschner, and fill out the ITS Application available online. 

Weekend School Format:  

WGI opens at 6 AM, and there is a mandatory Driver's Meeting for all at 8:00 AM each day. On-track sessions run from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, with an hour break for lunch at noon.  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:  The day alternates between open-track for instructors, Group S drivers, and ITS candidates and mentors, and four 25 min.-long closed sessions for "Novice Track Day" (NTD) participants.

  • NTD is GVC's special one-day school for beginners (<3 track days).   We limit NTD to about 20 drivers to minimize traffic. Format is similar to our two-day school on Saturday and Sunday, with on track in-car instruction intermingled with three classroom sessions that focus on basic concepts and skills for the first-time track driver.  The cool thing about NTD is that it's an economical way to try out the sport without committing to a full weekend event involving overnight lodging, meals, and extended time away from family and/or work.
  • But for those who can't wait, there's more!  Beginners interested in accelerating their learning curve may register for the “Big Weekend” option, extending NTD to all three days.

Saturday and Sunday:  Students in each run group work with their assigned instructors in regularly scheduled ~25 min. 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 Schedule

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

June 18 Friday
June 2018 Saturday
June 18 Sunday 

On Saturday and Sunday, we do our best to offer the following.  However, the number and length of track sessions each day may be affected by breakdowns, adverse track conditions, or other situations.

  • Group 1 (GS):  Five sessions, with the option to pay for additional track sessions with Group 2 or instructors ($50 per session, pay at event; space permitting)
  • Groups 2, 3 and 4:  Four sessions per day
  • Instructors:   Three sessions, plus additional sessions combined with Group S (space permitting*) 

*Note:  the number of instructors allowed on track in combined sessions will be limited to avoid over-crowding.  Students have priority.

Group Exercises

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


  • Groups 2 – 4 will attend three 30-45 minute-long classroom sessions each day, led by a senior instructor
  • Group 1 (GS) drivers meet for debriefing sessions in the classroom at least twice each day. These meetings are facilitated by the Group 1 coaches, and may involve special guests leading discussions on topics such advanced driving techniques, data acquisition and analysis for skill improvement, vehicle aerodynamics, and other topics of interest requested by the group.

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
  • After-hours Party: 4:30 - 7:00 PM Friday at the Jack Daniels (Glen) Club, and in the Kendall Garage Saturday .  Open to all participants and guests
  • Banquet:  Dinner ($15 per person) with cash bar in the Jack Daniels Club (nee the "Glen Club") overlooking the Esses (turns 2-3), Saturday evening (limited to 150 guests)
  • Mechanical and technical services for your car provided on-site by "The Little Speed Shop"  (discounted parts and labor for participants)
  • Event shirts for all drivers and instructors
  • Tire and performance parts auctions, 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.  Admission to Group S requires a checkout by the Group S coaches. Once admitted to Group S, GS drivers in good standing may freely register for GS at future GVC HPDE’s without checkout.  

Drivers wishing to be be evaluated to join Group S MUST register as an "Advanced" student using the "Group S checkout" option.  This is a three-day registration option limited to 5-6 drivers.  Checkout is typically done during open track on Friday morning. GS checkout drivers are assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced) to ensure they will have an assigned instructor for the weekend should they not pass GS checkout.  If checkout is successful, the student is moved to Group 1 to run with the other Group S drivers for the remainder of the weekend.  Once approved for GS, drivers are automatically pre-approved to register for Group S at future events without the need for further evaluation.  Drivers who do not pass checkout remain in Group 2 for Saturday and Sunday.  

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

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 will apply $48 of the non-member fee pay for a one-year new (or renewed) 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
    • Advanced (Group 2), Intermediate (Grp 3), and weekend Novice students (Grp 4): $530 (two-day school, 4-5 track sessions/day).  Non-members:  $630
    • Group S checkout applicants: $775 (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.
    • Novice Track Day: BMW CCA members ONLY
      •  Friday one-day school:  $310 (4 track sessions, classroom, after-hours social).
      • Novice "Big Weekend": 3-day option (Friday - Sunday),  $700.
    • Group S (Solo); members ONLY 
      • Group S weekend:  $575 (Sat.-Sun., 5-6 track sessions)
        • Friday add-on option:  $200.  
      • Group S Friday open-track and Saturday school:  $625.
      • Group S Friday open-track ONLY:  $325
    • Instructors (includes shared garage access for the weekend): 
      • Friday - Sunday:  $100.  Includes Friday Orientation Day, minimum 3 sessions each day Sat and Sun.  
      • Fri - Sun., sharing a vehicle:  $50
      • Sat - Sun only (no open track): $50
    • Banquet:  Cash bar.  $15 per person (limit 2)
"Bring a Friend" Offer

Any registered driver or instructor who brings a “new to GVC” student participant to the school will receive a free dinner at the Glen Club banquet for themselves and their friend. 


GVC Loyalty Reward
Signup for all three GVC weekend driving schools with the banquet option, and you will get a full refund of the banquet fees.


  • Fees may be refunded or credited toward a future GVC Driving School if cancelation occurs before the registration deadline.
  • No refund or credit after the registration deadline unless we can fill your run group slot 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 at other private campgrounds.

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 at 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 damages to track property during the event.

GVC Tech form:  GVC Tech Form 2019-01.pdf

GVC Emergency Medical Information Forms must also be completed and brought to check-in at the event along with the signed Pre-event Tech form: 

GVC Emergency Medical Forms:  GVC Medical Information Form 2018 v2


IMPORTANT:  GVC’s 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 may 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 it’s affiliated chapters.

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!