MBCA High Performance Driver Education at TGPRTalladega Gran Prix Raceway
About this event
We need additional instructors for this event! Instructors willing to provide in-car instruction should contact Registrar Gary Edwards at email@example.com or call 757 831 9556 to discuss qualifications and facilitate registration. There is no event registration fee for instructors.
Join us at Talledega Grand Prix Raceway (TGPR) on Saturday, June 11th as two MBCA sections: Alabama/NW Florida and Peachtree, co-host this one-day high-performance driver education (HPDE) event. TGPR is located between Atlanta and Birmingham, Alabama. This is a wonderful track for novices, since like Lime Rock it only has 5 turns in 1.4 miles with minimal elevation change. TGPR has every turn slightly banked, very wide grass runoff areas, and very few barriers. This is a great and non-intimidating place to learn the basics of performance driving. We will have experienced instructors to help you learn or perfect these skills. The track is technically challenging enough to require concentration and practice to master it.
We just learned that the Mercedes factory tours have been cancelled. The factory part that we were to visit will now be shut down for this date so we'll have to work on future factory tours.
We have a block of rooms at Hotel Finial in Anniston for 9 -11 June. The room block goes away on May 26th so call the hotel at (256) 236-0503 to reserve your rooms.
As with our other MBCA Performance Driving events, this is not a race, and it will not be timed for trophies. Even if you are the fastest car, Toto Wolf is not going to call you Monday morning to try out for Lewis Hamilton’s seat in F-1. However, drivers will receive a certificate that allows them to purchase an MBCA SPORTFAHRER VEREIN grill badge (Association of Sporting Drivers).
Helmet Requirements: Snell (SA) 2015 or later helmets are required. Motorcycle (MA) helmets are not acceptable. Equal restraints are required, meaning the car must be equipped with the same seat belt or harness for passenger and driver. Note that though Snell (SA) 2015 helmets are a good deal now, (SA) 2020 helmets will give you 5 more years of use.
Car Requirements: You do not have to drive a Mercedes, but rollover protection is required. Unless the manufacturer certifies the open car for rollover protection (i.e. all Mercedes-Benz cabriolets and roadsters 1990 and on, R107s with hardtops in place, Lotus Elise/Exige, Evora, all Porsche Targa's and Boxster and Carrera 1997 on, Ferrari 308, 328 and folding hardtops, later Honda S2000), other open cars must have an SCCA-approved competition roll bar with forward or aft bracing and diagonal cross brace. The factory Lotus/Caterham "street" type roll bars are not sufficient.
All open cars must run with the top up or must have arm restraints for both the driver and instructor.
A technical inspection is required for each HPDE car prior to the event. Pre-Event Tech Inspection Sheet rev Jan 2022.docx
Advanced life support emergency medical technicians will be on site along with corner workers.
We'll limit the event to a maximum of 30 students, with in-car instruction for novice and intermediate group drivers (and for any drivers upon request). There will be mandatory classroom instruction for novice and intermediate drivers not yet approved for solo. It is possible for two drivers to share the same car, but the two drivers will need to be capable of driving in different run groups. You do not have to be an MBCA member. The fee is $300 per person after May 11.
Note that this track is hard on tires. If your tires are very worn, you are likely to wear them out during the event. Newer tires are helpful, and watch your tires closely during the day.
For the first time at this event, we will also include the Performance Driving Experience (PDE). This program is designed to give drivers a taste of performance driving so they can try it out and see if it's for them. It includes classroom sessions, an on-track session as a passenger with an instructor, and a track session with an instructor at no greater than highway speed. Helmets and tech inspection sheets are not required for PDE and the cost is only $100.
Note for Instructors: If you are interested in instructing for this event and you haven't instructed for us before, contact Chief Instructor Dr. Jim Roberts at (205) 529-0071 or at firstname.lastname@example.org; he'll want your driving history and contact information. Once approved, you'll see an option to register as an instructor. If you see this option on the registration form, then you are already approved.
TGPR is a traditional race course and the track entrance road crosses the track, so entry is only possible when cars are not using the track. Gates will open at 7 am. We'll need to look at your helmets, collect your tech sheets and check that the battery is secure. We'll have our driver's meeting at 8 AM, followed by instructors meeting with their students. We plan to have the first cars on the track by 8:30 and the classroom session for the instructed drivers will start at about that time too. You should plan to be at the track early and if you arrive after cars are on the track, you won't be able to get in until the lunch break (12 to 1 PM). Plan to bring your own lunch and drinks as there is no food available for sale at the track. We'll quit for the day by 5 PM. There will be plenty of track time for all. You should plan to stay until 5 pm, afternoon track closures to open the gate are not guaranteed (we may be able to arrange some afternoon gate openings).
We'll run the event rain or shine. No alcohol use at the track until after the last cars have come off the track.
You'll be asked to sign two waivers at the gate - one is the MBCA waiver and one is the track waiver. The track will also collect a $5 entry fee, so it's useful to have some cash on you.
Event Hotel: We have arranged for a block of rooms at Hotel Finial in Anniston, Alabama. Make your reservations directly with the hotel at (256) 236-0503. Discounted rooms are available with either a King bed ($112.50 per night) or a with two queen beds ($130.50). The block of rooms will be released on May 11th, so make your reservations before then. There is limited trailer parking at this hotel (ask me how I know) but there is a civic center parking lot across the street that has plenty of room for trailers.
All drivers must have a valid drivers license and must have a helmet rated at SNELL (SA) 2015 or later. Motorcycle (MA) helmets are not acceptable. Equal restraints are required for driver and passenger for any cars that will have an instructor or passenger on board. A technical inspection is required for each HPDE car prior to the event. Use the form provided and bring to the track with you. There will be a brief pre-inspection at the track as well. There will be no consumption of alcoholic beverages until after all cars have completed their sessions for the day. PDE cars do not require a pre-event technical inspection.
Car Requirements: Rollover protection required for convertibles. Unless the manufacturer certifies the open car for rollover protection (i.e. all Mercedes-Benz cabriolets and roadsters 1990 and on, R107s with hardtops in place, Lotus Elise/Exige, Evora, all Porsche Targa's and Boxster and Carrera 1997 on, Ferrari 308, 328 and folding hardtops, later Honda S2000), other open cars must have an SCCA approved competition roll bar with forward or aft bracing and diagonal cross brace. The factory Lotus/Catterham "street" type roll bars are not sufficient.
Drivers with previous track experience will be asked to list their last three years of experience on the registration form, including dates (month and year), track, what organization put on the event, and what run group you were in. Drivers willing to instruct should contact Chief Instructor Dr. Jim Roberts (email and phone number in event description).
All open cars must run with the top up or must have arm restraints for both driver and instructor.
Technical Inspection form: Pre-Event Tech Inspection Sheet rev Jan 2022.docx