Fri, Jun 9 - Sun, Jun 11, 2017

GVC June HPDE & Instructor Training School

Watkins Glen Int'l

About this event







June Ultimate Driving School
              and Instructor Training School

Watkins Glen International


GVC’s 95th Ultimate Driving School is open to drivers at all levels, beginner to expert. 

This HPDE is the second of four GVC events scheduled at the Glen in 2017.  

GVC's driving school program offers personal, intensive in-car and classroom instruction on the art and science of high-performance driving to students at all skill levels.  Students are assigned to separate run groups of 30-35 students each primarily according to experience and evaluations (if any, including SLIP ratings) from previous driving schools, and secondarily on vehicle performance.   The four groups include Beginner/Novice (<4 schools), Intermediate, Advanced, and Solo (aka Group S; description follows below*).  Except for Group S, in which drivers are coached by a small team of GS instructors, each student in the other run groups is assigned his/her own highly-trained driving instructor.  Between track sessions, students in each run group attend interactive classroom sessions led by a senior instructor, tailored to their experience level.  Students also ride with instructors during the instructor track sessions.  The overarching goal is to rapidly improve your driving skills within a fun, friendly, and safe environment.

We are also proud to announce that we will be holding a BMW CCA Instructor Training School this weekend in conjunction with our regular driving school. This BMW CCA sanctioned ITS will feature top level instructor mentors and classroom experience, and includes the required manuals, lunches, and the prospect of becoming a nationally recognized BMW CCA Instructor. For additional information please contact ITS Chief Instructor Ken Buschner.  Candidates will need recommendations from Chief Instructor(s) and have excellent driving skills and records.
If you think you’d like to become an instructor, start by filling out the Instructor Training School (ITS) Application


Driving School Format


  • Open track for Instructors and Group S drivers.
  • Novice Track Day:  NTD is GVC's one-day school for beginners (0-3 track days). Runs Friday only, limited to 20 drivers.  Format is similar to our two-day novice group on Saturday and Sunday, with 4 half-hour sessions with in-car instruction intermingled with novice classroom sessions but emphasizes basic concepts and skills for the first-time driver.  The cool thing about NTD is that it's an economical way to get your feet wet in the sport, without the expense of nights at a hotel, meals on the road, and time away from family and/or work.  

But wait, there's more!   Beginners interested in accelerating their learning curve may register for the “Big Weekend” option, extending the NTD to all three days!

Saturday and Sunday:

  • Group 4:  Novice (D; SLIP L1).  Drivers with 2 – 4 previous driving schools
  • Group 3:  Intermediate (C, less experienced B; SLIP L2 – L3)
  • Group 2:  Advanced (experienced B, A; SLIP L3 – L4)
  • Group 1:  Group S (Solo; SLIP L4 and up)
  • Group 0:  Instructors (Expert; SLIP L5 and up)

Schedule (Saturday and Sunday):

  • Track goes “green” at 8:30 AM each day.  Final checker at 4:30 PM Friday and Sunday, 5:30 PM Saturday.
  • Lunch break from 12 – 1 PM each day.
  • Track sessions per day (half-hour each)
    • Groups 2, 3 and 4:  Four sessions
    • Group 1 (GS):  (NEW) Five sessions, with option to pay for additional track time with Group 2 or instructors ($50 per session, cash/check at event; space permitting). 
    • Instructors:  Three sessions; additional sessions combined with Group S Sunday afternoon (space permitting*).

*Note:  Because many participants leave early, run groups may be combined on Sunday afternoon to provide more track time than scheduled.

Group Exercises

  • Organized group driving exercises are done for the first ten minutes in one or more sessions each day, typically at reduced speeds for safety.
  • Exercises include close-quarters (side-by-side) lapping in traffic, pair-wise passing, braking into corners, and others.


  • Groups 2 – 4 attend three 30-45 minute-long classroom sessions each day, led by a senior instructor
  • Group 1 (GS) drivers attend two group sessions each day, facilitated by the Group S coaches and invited professionals.  Sessions may include group debriefing after a track session, discussion of advanced driving techniques, data acquisition, and other topics of interest.

Track Walk

  • After-hours car-pool tour of the track guided by the Classroom Instructor.
  • Disembark at selected corners to inspect the track on foot, discuss braking points, driving lines, cornering techniques, etc.
  • 5:30 – 6:30 Saturday only.

Bonus Features (complimentary unless otherwise noted)

  • GVC Driver’s Resource Center:  Helpful advice and assistance for all participants at the track.
  • GVC event shirts for all drivers and instructors.
  • Beverage tokens for drinks at the legendary Seneca Lodge Bar.
  • Tire and performance parts auctions offered by our generous sponsors
  • Professional technical and mechanical services available from Eksten Autoworks for breakdowns or other car-related problems (parts/repairs at owner’s expense).
  • Friendly and helpful staff to make this truly the “Ultimate Driving School”.


*Group S

Group S (aka Solo, A-Solo, Independent Study Group) is open only to highly skilled, experienced drivers.  Admission to Group S requires a checkout by the Group S coaches. Once admitted to Group S, GS drivers in good standing may register for future GVC HPDE’s without requiring prior approval or checkout.  

ALL other drivers seeking to join Group S MUST register for the event as and Advanced student using the "Group S checkout" option. This is a three-day registration option, with checkout occurring on Friday. Checkout students are initially assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced, A/B) prior to the checkout, and remain in Group 2 for Saturday and Sunday if they do not pass checkout on Friday.  If checkout is successful, the student is reassigned to Group 1 (Group S) for the weekend, and is allowed to drive in open track for the remainder of the day on Friday.   

Please consult the GVC website (link below) for further details on advancement to Group S.

Approved Group S are offered the following registration options (NEW for 2017):

Two-day school:  Saturday and Sunday only

Friday add-on option: For those looking for a 3-day weekend with open track on Friday. Only possible with 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:  Registration for non-members opens approximately one month before the registration deadline for each event.  Non-members are charged an additional $100 above member fees, and are last to be accepted from a waiting list.  

    NEW in 2017:  GVC will use $48 of the non-member fee pay for a one-year new (or renewed) membership in BMW CCA. 
    Join today to register early and avoid the $100 non-member surcharge!
  • Registration after the deadline is only possible by special arrangement, and only if there are still seats available, or late cancelations (call or email the Registrar:  
  • Fees
    • Advanced (Group 2), intermediate (Grp 3), novice weekend students (Grp 4): $495 (two-day school).  Non-members:  add $100
    • Group S checkout applicants: $675 (Friday-Sunday).  Attend Friday for checkout.  Those not passing checkout assigned to Group 2 (Advanced), refunded/credited $150.  BMW CCA members ONLY.
    • Novice students (Group 4):  
      • Novice Track Day:  $295 per driver, members ONLY
      • "Big Weekend" option:  $650 Friday - Sunday, members ONLY.
    • Group S (Solo):  
      • Group S drivers:  $535 (two-day school); Non-members: add $100
      • Friday add-on option (NEW):  $200.  
      • Group S (two day) Friday-Saturday:  $575.
      • Group S Friday ONLY (NEW):  $325
    • Instructors (includes shared garage access for the weekend): 
      • Friday - Sunday:  $100.  Includes Friday Orientation Day, three sessions each day Sat and Sun.  
      • Fri - Sun., sharing a vehicle:  $50
      • Sat - Sun only (no open track): $35
NEW!    "Bring a Friend" Discount
Any registrant who brings a “new to the club” friend with them to the track as a school participant will receive either a $75 credit for use at any future GVC event, OR a free half-bay garage space for the weekend at the event. This discount is open to all students and instructors.


  • Fees are refundable before the deadline, less a 10% cancelation charge
  • Fees may be credited toward a future GVC Driving School to avoid the cancelation charge.
  • No refund or credit after the registration deadline.


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

Camping at the track:  Not available.  

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

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

For more information, please consult our website: 


Event requirements

Vehicle and driver requirements are detailed on the GVC website:

GVC Tech form:  GVC Tech Form 2017.pdf

GVC Emergency Medical Forms: 

Form:  GVC Medical Info form 2016.pdf

Envelope: Medical Info Form Envelope.pdf


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

Systems may go by different names depending on manufacturer, but they all have the same basic function.  The two systems of most concerned 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, actively apply counter-steer, to prevent an unsafe lane change when the driver takes no action.  When operational, these systems are widely considered to 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 down until the ignition is turned off .  Vehicles in which such systems are “hardwired”, and therefore cannot be manually turned off, are not permitted on track at our driving schools.

If these shut-down procedures are followed to the letter, 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 national policy of the BMW Car Club of America or it’s affiliated chapters.

† We have been assured by BMWNA that these systems can be completely shut off by the driver on all current BMW models. 

Entries (200)

Brian Daley
David Lanni
Nicole Wiles
Charles Karnati
Daniel Church
James A Karam
Mike Kenific
Veronika Foti

Watkins Glen Int'l

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

More events from this organizer
GVC Ultimate Summer HPDE and ITS 2023 #115
GVC Ultimate Summer HPDE and ITS 2023 #115
Watkins Glen International
GVC 4th Annual Derek Hanson Memorial HPDE #116
GVC 4th Annual Derek Hanson Memorial HPDE #116
Watkins Glen International

Event over!