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GVC Event: Fall Ultimate Driving School

Fall Ultimate Driving School
Friday, Sep 29, 2017
to Sunday, Oct 01, 2017

Watkins Glen International
2790 County Route 16,
Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Event Coordinator
Jim Dresser
2017-Sep-29 00:002017-Oct-01 00:00America/New_YorkFall Ultimate Driving SchoolThe final event of our 33rd season of HP driving schools at Watkins Glen features novice, intermediate, advanced, Group S, and a novice “Taste of the Track” session Sunday.Watkins Glen International - 2790 County Route 16, - Watkins Glen, NY 14891Genesee Valley BMW Car Club

Welcome to GVC's Fall Ultimate Driving School

This is our 97th Ultimate Driving School, the final event of our 33rd season of HP driving schools at Watkins Glen

Driving School Format

GVC's Ultimate 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 primarily according to experience and evaluations (if any) from previous driving schools, and secondarily on vehicle performance.   Run groups at this event include Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, and Solo (Group S; see below*).  

Except for Group S, in which drivers are coached by a small team of specialized GS instructors, each student is assigned his/her own highly-trained driving instructor.  Between track sessions, students attend run group classroom sessions led by a senior instructor, tailored to their experience level.  Students are also encouraged to 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.

Friday:  Open track for InstructorsGroup S (those with either "Friday add-on" or "Friday ONLY" option), and (NEW) Advanced solo sign-off drivers (with Registrar's approval).

Saturday and Sunday:  

  • 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)


  • 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 time per day (rolling schedule, half-hour sessions)
    • 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:  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 in one or more sessions each day, typically at reduced speeds for safety.
  • Exercises may include close-quarters driving in traffic (side-by-side lapping), pair-wise passing, late 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.
  • 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

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 with the "Group S checkout" option. This is a three-day registration option, with checkout occurring on Friday morning. Checkout students are assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced, A/B) prior to the checkout, and will 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 for the weekend (and is pre-approved for Group S at future events), and may continue 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.

Group S 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. Must register for Sat-Sun registration option above.

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:

Advanced Drivers

Advanced drivers for the first time are invited to drive in open-track Friday alongside instructors and Group S drivers.  Requires approval of the Registrar; limited to drivers routinely signed-off to drive solo at previous GVC events 

For advanced drivers approved to drive Friday, 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).



  • 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.  

    NEW for 2017:  GVC will use $48 of the non-member fee to purchase 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, only if there are still available seats or late cancelations (call or email the Registrar:  


  • Advanced (Group 2):
    • Two-day school (Fri. - Sat.):  $495.  Non-members $595 (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership)
    • Friday add-on: additional $250 above weekend fee (Members only)
    • Friday ONLY:  $295 (Members only)
  • Intermediate (Group 3) & Novice (Group 4): $495 (two-day school).  Non-members $595 (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership)
  • Group S checkout applicants: Fri. - Sun.  $675 members, $750 non-members (includes new or renewed BMW CCA membership).  Friday checkout.  Those not passing checkout assigned to Group 2 (Advanced), refunded/credited $150.
  • Group S (Members only) 
    • Two Day (Sat. - Sun.):  $535 (two-day school);  Friday add-on option:  additional $200  
    • Two Day (Fri. - Sat.):  $575
    • Group S Friday ONLY:  $295
  • 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 ( 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: