Sun, Jun 11, 2017

GVC Taste of the Track I

Watkins Glen Int'l

About this event

Welcome to GVC's "Taste of the Track"

A half-day intro to HP driving schools

Have you ever thought about taking a HP Driving School on a world-famous racetrack, but for one reason or another haven't pulled the trigger?  Maybe the opportunity never arose, or the timing was bad, or you think you don't have a suitable "track car".  Maybe you just weren't willing to shell out $400 or more dollars in fees, let alone the cost of lodging and meals, to spend an entire weekend of your precious time at a driving school when you have no idea what a HP driving school is all about, or whether it's something you would actually enjoy doing.  

Well, GVC has a program just for you!

Taste of the Track is a low-pressure, low-risk, and low-cost introduction to the sport of high-performance driving.  Unlike a typical two-day HP driver’s school, it only takes up an afternoon of your time.  You won't be shelling out for one or two nights in a hotel, a couple of days of meals out, or three or four tanks of fuel for your car. Because Taste of the Track is run on a Sunday afternoon piggy-backed onto one of our regular two-day schools, you will not only get to see a full-scale driving school in action, but also directly experience the thrill of driving with your own highly-trained instructor on one of the most famous race tracks in the world.

Taste of the Track begins with check-in and on-site tech inspection at 11:00 AM, followed by a meet-and-greet with your GVC instructor and driving school staff over complimentary lunch in the WGI Media Center.  After lunch, you take a short guided tour of the track facilities and driving school paddock to see our "Ultimate" two-day driving school in action.

You and your fellow "rookies" then begin "ground school".  First there’s a brief Driver’s Meeting (mandatory at all driving schools).  Next, the group attends a classroom session specifically geared toward Taste of the Track first-timers.  There you'll be introduced to the basics of car control and high-performance driving, and become familiar with driving school safety regulations and procedures.

After "ground school" the fun really begins!  You will hop into your instructor's car for a short ride-along to familiarize you with the track layout and experience how a skilled, highly trained driver safely navigates at speed on the Glen’s historic 3.4 mile-long road course. Then, you will drive your own car with your instructor coaching you about where and when to accelerate, brake and turn according to the fundamental techniques of HP driving, all at a pace you are comfortable with.  At the end of the day, we all reconvene in the classroom for a group debriefing session to share  experiences with fellow drivers, instructors and staff.

Complimentary perks include:

  • Driving school event shirt
  • Mechanical assistance should you need it, courtesy of Eksten Autoworks
  • Loaner helmet (if you have one of your own, it must be rated Snell 2010 or 2015, SA or M).


11:00 AM – Arrive at the track for check-in and on-site tech inspection (NOTE:  on-site tech is simply to review your tech inspection form and verify that it reflects the current condition of your vehicle; a complete pre-event tech inspection is required).  Bring completed pre-event tech and med forms, and your helmet (loaner helmets are available).

12:00 PM – Meet-and-greet with your instructors over lunch* in the Media Center cafeteria.  

*Note:  Buffet lunch is included in the price for ToT participants. Guests may purchase lunch for $12 (cash at the door). 

1:00 PM – Tour of the driving school paddock

1:30 PM – Driver’s Meeting:  Track rules (passing zones, passing technique, point-byes), flags and their meaning, getting your car ready for the track (tire pressures, wheel bolt torque, etc.).

2:00 – Classroom session

2:45 – Comfort break and vehicle staging

3:00 – Familiarization laps with your instructor  

3:15 - 3:45 – On-track driving with your instructor, with you at the wheel

4:00 – Debrief with instructors and staff 

Taste of the Track is open to licensed drivers over 18 years of age who are members of BMW CCA  

Not a member? Sign up on the BMW CCA website:

Makes a great gift!

Registration limited!  Sign up today.


For more information about our driving school program, please use this link to the GVC website:  GVC Driving Schools

Event requirements

You must be a member of BMW CCA, at least 18 years of age, and hold a valid drivers license.  

Soft or removable/folding hardtop convertibles, SUV/SAV's, or trucks are not accepted at GVC Driving Schools.  Some open-top vehicles with built-in roll-over protection (e.g., Lotus Elise, Ferrari Spyders, Porsche Targas) may be acceptable, but require pre-approval by GVC.

Shirts with sleeves (short or long), long pants, and closed shoes are required to drive on track.  Natural fibers are preferred over synthetics for track attire.

Tech Inspection:  All track vehicles must undergo a pre-event track safety inspection within the month prior to the event.  Please provide your mechanic with our Technical Inspection Form (see below) which must be completed and signed by you and your mechanic, and submitted at check-in.  Free inspections are available as a courtesy to our participants on our special "tech night", Wednesday, Sept. 21, 5 to 8 PM at Eksten Autoworks (78 Bennington Drive, Rochester, NY; 585-621-8200), but inspections are also available at other times by appointment, and at other shops listed in the tech form (inspection and any repairs are at the owner's expense). 

You are also required to submit a confidential medical information form.  The information on this form is solely for use by emergency medical personnel, and is either destroyed or returned to you at the end of the event per your request.  This form can be completed on arrival at the event, but to avoid any delays during check-in we strongly suggest you complete it beforehand and bring it along. 

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. 

Tech Inspection and Medical Information forms may be downloaded using these links:

GVC Tech Form 2017.pdf

GVC Medical Info form.pdf

Complete vehicle and driver requirements are detailed on the GVC website:

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

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Event over!