GVC's 100th Ultimate Driving School
GVC welcomes the Boston Chapter as our partner for this historic event.
BMW CCA driving schools offer personalized high-quality in-car and classroom instruction on the art and science of high-performance driving to students at all skill levels. The overarching goal of our school is to advance the level of your driving skills in a fun, friendly, and safe environment. It is important to recognize that this is not a racing school, and that instructors emphasize skill development, not speed. Your pace improves naturally as your skills grow with practice and experience.
During registration, you will assign yourself to a "run group". Run groups at this school include Novice (Group 4), Intermediate (Group 3), Advanced (Group 2), Group S/Independent Study Group (Group 1), and Instructors (Group 0). Each run group is limited to under 40 drivers (typically 35 or less). The student registrar reviews your selection and makes a final assignment based primarily on driver experience and prior evaluations (if any), and secondarily on vehicle performance. Reassignments may also be made during the school at the request of your instructor in order to place you in the optimal group for your skill and pace. Track sessions for each group are on a rolling schedule. Between your track sessions and mandatory classroom meetings, you'll have time to work on your car and socialize with your fellow driving enthusiasts.
Except for Group 1, which is led by a small team of specialized coaches, you will be pre-assigned a personal driving instructor for the weekend to work with you from the passenger seat of your car. Your instructor is also expected to take you out during one or more instructor track sessions to demonstrate the techniques being taught to you. Classroom sessions for each run group are taught by a senior instructor, and are focused on topics relevant to your experience level.
When, What, Who: The Driving School Weekend
Friday: Instructors, Group S ("Friday add-on" or "Friday ONLY" options), and Advanced "solo sign-off" drivers (with prior approval).
Saturday and Sunday: Structured instruction on track in the following run groups
- Group 4: Novice (D, beginners: SLIP L0 – L1)
- Group 3: Intermediate (C and less experienced B; SLIP L2 – L3)
- Group 2: Advanced (A and upper level B; SLIP L3 – L4)
- Group 1: Group S (Solo; 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. BMW CCA HPDE programs are increasingly adopting this system to make it easier for students to receive the appropriate level of instruction they need to improve their driving. More information about SLIP is available by downloading this document: SLIP Criteria 2016.pdf
- Gates open at 6 AM daily.
- Mandatory driver's meeting at 8 AM daily.
- Track goes “green” with cars out at 8:30 AM each day. Final checker at 4:30 PM Friday and Sunday, 5:30 PM Saturday.
- Lunch break: 12 – 1 PM each day.
- Track time per day (per day, 25 min. each; note that the number and length of track sessions are based upon ideal track conditions. Breakdowns and other situations may require changes in the schedule, which are unavoidable):
- Groups 2, 3, and 4: Four sessions
- Group 1 (GS/ISG): Five sessions, with option to pay for additional track time driving in Group 2 or instructor sessions ($50 per session, cash/check at event; space permitting).
- Instructors: Three sessions on weekend; additional track time possible running with Group 1 (space permitting*).
*Note: Run groups may be combined on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to provide more track time than scheduled.
Run Group Exercises
- Organized group driving exercises are done for the first ten minutes in one or more sessions each day, typically at somewhat reduced speeds for safety.
- Exercises, such as close-quarters (side-by-side) lapping, pair-wise passing, trail-braking, and off-line passing in corners, are intended to improve passing skills, traffic awareness, and driving line flexibility.
- Groups 2 - 4 attend three 30-45 minute-long classroom sessions each day.
- Group 1 drivers attend two sessions in the classroom each day, facilitated by the Group 1 coaches, as well as invited special guests. Topics may include group debriefing after a track session, the application of advanced driving techniques, data acquisition and analysis for skill improvement, and other topics of interest to the group.
- 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.
- Event shirts for all drivers and instructors.
- Garage Social: Saturday after-hours party open to all drivers and guests. Legal beverages, light snacks, organized and impromptu beer, wine and spirits tastings.
- Tire and performance parts auctions offered by our generous sponsors.
- Technical and mechanical services available from The Little Speed Shop 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/Integrated Study Group
Group S, aka Independent Study Group (Boston Chapter), A-Solo, etc., is a special program for expert, experienced drivers at many BMW CCA driving schools. Participation in this program requires approval of the Chief Instructor after passing a rigorous evaluation, or "checkout", by the Group S coaching staff. GS drivers in good standing are able to register for future GVC or Boston chapter HPDE’s without further approval or checkout.
If you are interested in joining Group S or ISG, you MUST register using the "Group S checkout" option. This is a three-day registration option limited to 5-6 drivers. Checkout is typically done sometime on Friday morning after you've had a little time to warm up on track. At registration, checkout drivers are initially assigned to Group 2 (Advanced) so that they will have an assigned instructor for the weekend should they not pass checkout. If checkout is successful, the student is promoted to Group 1 for the remainder of the weekend, and is automatically pre-approved to register for Group S at future events. Those who do not pass checkout remain in Group 2 for Saturday and Sunday.
Group S/ISG registration options:
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 available if you register for Sat-Sun option first.
Two-day school: Friday and Saturday only
One-day school: Friday only
Please visit the GVC website for complete details about our HP driving schools, including the Group S application procedure:
Special Opportunity for Group 2 drivers
Advanced drivers are invited to drive on Friday alongside instructors and Group S drivers. Requires pre-approval of the Registrar; and is limited to drivers routinely signed-off to at previous GVC or Boston Chapter events
There are two registration options:
- Big Weekend: Add Friday to your Sat.-Sun. registration, to make it a three-day event.
- Friday ONLY (i.e. a one-day event). Great for those of you not able to get away for the weekend, or a bit short on your track budget this late in the driving season.
- Members: GVC and Boston 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.
NOTE: GVC will use a portion of the non-member surcharge to purchase a one-year new (or renewed) membership in BMW CCA for you.
Join the club today to register early and avoid the $100 surcharge! http://bmwcca.org/index.php?pageid=new_member
- Registration after the deadline is only possible by special arrangement, and only if there are still available seats or late cancelations (email the Registrar: email@example.com).
- Advanced (Group 2):
- Two-day school (Fri. - Sat.): $510. Non-members $595 (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership)
- Friday add-on: additional $250 above weekend fee (members only)
- Friday ONLY: $310 (Members only)
- Intermediate (Group 3) & Novice (Group 4): $510 (Sat.- Sun. two-day school). Non-members $610 (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership)
- Group S checkout applicants: Fri. - Sun. $695 members, $795 non-members (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership). Friday checkout. Those not passing checkout assigned to Group 2 (Advanced), refunded/credited $150 for not continuing Friday.
- Group S (Members only):
- Two Day (Sat. - Sun.): $550 (two-day school); Friday add-on option: additional $210
- Two Day (Fri. - Sat.): $590
- Group S Friday ONLY: $310
- Instructors (includes shared garage access for the weekend):
- Friday - Sunday: $100. Includes Friday open-track, and three sessions each day Sat and Sun.
- Fri - Sun, sharing a vehicle: $50
- Sat - Sun only (no open track): $35
"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 (http://www.senecalodge.com/) 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. http://www.thefallsmotel.com. 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.