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GVC Event: Fall Ultimate Driving School

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


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 intermediate, advanced, Group S, and a novice “Taste of the Track” session Sunday.Genesee Valley BMW Car Club

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 Intermediate, Advanced, and Solo (Group S; see below*).  

Note:  To accommodate the club races, novice/beginner students are not accepted at this school.  However, novices may attend our half-day Taste of the Track experience at the Glen on Sunday afternoon (use this link to register: Taste of the Track).  

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.

If you are a regular at our schools, you may skip the rest of this section and jump directly to the registration page by scrolling to the bottom and pressing the "continue" button.  Don't forget to read the waivers (I know; we had to ask) and check the little boxes before hitting "continue".

Friday:  Open track for Instructors, Group S drivers (those with either "Friday add-on" or "Friday ONLY" option)
Saturday and Sunday:  
•    Group 3:  Intermediate (C, less experienced B; SLIP L2 – L3)
•    Group 2:  Advanced (experienced B, A; 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.
•    Lunch break from 12 – 1 PM each day.
•    Track time per day (rolling schedule, half-hour sessions)

Groups 2, 3,:  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:  Because many participants leave early, run groups may be combined on 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 & 3 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.
•    Beverage tokens for drinks at the legendary Seneca Lodge Bar.
•    Tire and performance parts auctions offered by our generous sponsors
•    Professional technical and mechanical services available from Eksten Autoworks 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 for the event as and Advanced student using the "Group S checkout" option. This is a three-day registration option, with checkout occurring on Friday. Checkout students are initially assigned by default to Group 2 (Advanced, A/B) prior to the checkout, and 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 (Group S) for the weekend, and is allowed 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.

Approved Group S are offered the following 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:

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:  Registration for non-members opens approximately one month before the registration deadline for each event.  Non-members are charged an additional $100 above member fees, and are last to be accepted from a waiting list.  

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

Advanced (Group 2) and intermediate (Group 3): $495 (two-day school).  Non-members:  add $100
Group S checkout candidates $675 (Friday-Sunday).  Attend Friday for checkout.  Those not passing checkout assigned to Group 2 (Advanced), refunded/credited $150.  BMW CCA members ONLY.
Group S:  
   •    Group S drivers:  $535 (two-day school); Non-members: add $100
   •    Friday add-on option:  $200  
   •    Group S (two day) Friday-Saturday:  $575
   •    Group S Friday ONLY:  $325

    Instructors (includes shared garage access for the weekend): 
   •    Friday - Sunday:  $100.  Includes Friday Orientation Day, 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.  

Event Requirements:
Vehicle and driver requirements are detailed at

GVC Tech form:  GVC Tech Form 2017 (Required)
Tech form supplement:  E36 E 46 POWER STEERING HOSE Tech Advisory.pdf

GVC Emergency Medical Forms:
Form:  GVC Medical Info form 2016.pdf (Required)
Envelope: Medical Info Form Envelope.pdf