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GVC Event: GVC Spring Ultimate Driving School #101

GVC Spring Ultimate Driving School #101
Friday, Apr 26, 2019
to Sunday, Apr 28, 2019

Watkins Glen International

Event Coordinator
Jim Dresser
2019-Apr-26 00:002019-Apr-28 00:00America/New_YorkGVC Spring Ultimate Driving School #101

Break out of your winter funk and join us for the Spring Ultimate Driving School weekend at Watkins Glen, GVC's first school of the year!  

Watkins Glen InternationalGenesee Valley BMW Car Club

GVC driving schools offer personal in-car and classroom instruction on the theory and practice of high-performance driving to drivers at all skill levels.  The overall goal of our HPDE program is to advance the level of your driving skills in a friendly, safe, and fun environment.  And just to be clear, this is NOT a racing school: Our emphasis is on skill development, not speed.  Your pace improves naturally as your driving skills improve with practice and experience.Participants are assigned to separate "run groups" based on skill level and experience.  

Run groups at this school include Novice/beginner (Group 4), Intermediate (Group 3), Advanced (Group 2), Group S (Group 1), and Instructors (Group 0).  Groups 1, 2 and 3 are typically limited to 35 cars; Group 4 is capped at no more than 30 to minimize traffic. Other than Group S (an option available only to advanced drivers pre-approved for that group), drivers self-assign to a run group when registering. The Student Registrar reviews the run group selection with the Chief Instructor and makes a "final" assignment based primarily on experience and evaluations (if any).  During the school, an instructor may request moving his/her student to a different run group that better matches the student's pace and skill level. 

Except for Group S (G1), which is directed by a small team of specialized coaches, each student is assigned an in-car driving instructor for the weekend. Classroom sessions for each run group are taught by one or more experienced senior instructors, and are focused on topics relevant to each group's experience level.

Event 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 sessions for instructors and Group S drivers, 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

      Daily schedules will be sent out to all attendees the week prior to the school..

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 at the track both Friday and Saturday, open to all participants and guests

Banquet:  Dinner ($15 per person) with cash bar in the Jack Daniels Club (nee the "Glen Club") at the track overlooking the Esses, 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 need for 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 schools, including 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:  

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 ONLYFriday 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
Sign up all three GVC weekend driving schools, choose 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.