What is Driver Education?
Driver Education is a premier programs for the PCA Pacific Northwest Region and a way to explore your car at one of our local racetracks.
There are many ways to enjoy our Driver Education program:
- Improve driving skills under all conditions
- Learn about how your car performs
- Learn how to control your car in emergency situation.
Before we dive into the details of our program,one important thing: Driver Education is not racing. Our events are designed to be educational and fun and are run in a structured, controlled and safety-conscious way.
A word about insurance
Your car insurance is between you and your insurance company and it is common for insurance companies to deny coverage for track-related damages. If you are not sure, ask your agent.
How to prepare before your track day
We highly recommend that you get your car inspected by a professional mechanic before driving on the track. What is required is that you fill out the Event Technical Inspection Form (link here).
Before you begin your journey to the track, fill up with gas, check the oil, the coolant level and set the tire pressures on your car to the values recommended by the manufacturer.
What to bring, what to wear, what not to bring
Make sure to bring your driver’s license, helmet and the Technical Inspection form. Other things you may want to bring include water, snacks, sun screen, umbrella, folding chair and depending on the weather an umbrella.
Please wear long cotton pants (jeans are fine), lightweight sneakers or driving shoes and we prefer a long cotton shirt.
No drugs or alcohol are allowed at any of our track events.
When you arrive at the track
So, when you get to the track you’ll do the following things:
- Sign the liability release waiver
- Get your wristband (these are color coded to your run group)
- Give the staff your Tech Form and get a sticker for your windshield
- Go through the Tech Line, a brief safety check that’s performed at the track
- Bring a freshly signed Technical Inspection form if it’s greater than 30 days since your last event
- Get a sticker on your car indicating you’ve passed tech
- Drive into the paddock, park and find registration (a white tent at Pacific, the classroom at the Ridge)
Getting set up in the paddock
One you’re done with the Tech Line, find a place to park. Remove everything that is removable from the car from the trunk, glove box, center console. Remove floor maps and any other personal gear.
Put your numbers on both sides of the car, a good place are the side windows behind the driver and passenger doors. We have different colors of removable tape are available at the track if you don’t have numbers.
Attend the mandatory Driver meeting at 8 am.
Meet your Instructor. Your instructor will want to learn about you, your car and your goals for the day
Format of our day
There are three different run groups that divide up students by skill level
The groups are as follows:
- A (Advanced Solo and Instructors)
- B (Intermediate Solo)
- C (Novice Solo and Novice with an Instructor)
Our goal is to divide up the attendees into groups of similar skill levels and speed so that everyone has the best experience. For example, all the first-timers and people who are fairly new to driving at the track are in the C group.
If you have never been on the track before (you’re a first-timer) or you haven’t been signed off to drive solo, we will assign an instructor who will ride in the passenger seat for all the sessions to coach you.
When you go out on the track, it will be for 20 to 25 minutes throughout the day. Below is an example of how we rotate through the groups during the day:
Your driving sessions
Before the session. Check your car for anything unusual. Spend some time with your instructor and ask any and all questions you have and set or review goals and objectives for the session.
During the session. The goal for you, especially if you’re new to driver education is to learn the line and the techniques of high performance driving. Make sure to take things easy to start and increase your speed in small increments as you gain skill and confidence.
After the session. Your instructor will spend some time with you debriefing and talking about areas to focus on to improve. Don’t forget to get some water before your next session, staying hydrated is important.
Flags are how corner workers communicate with you while you are on the track. Pay attention to the location of the corner workers during your warm-up laps. If there is an incident or problem on the track the corner workers give you advance warning.
The best experience for you at our Driver Education events is to have the mind set learn and have fun. Remember every person at the event began as a first-timer!
Driver Education is a vital and important part of the Porsche Club experience in the Pacific Northwest Region of the Porsche Club of America. We have events about once a month from April through September each year at Pacific Raceways, the Ridge Motorsports Park and Oregon Raceway Park.
One of the goals of our driver education program is to become more inclusive to all people who want to enjoy their Porsche at the race track, and we desire to include more women in track days.
This year we had our second women’s only driver education event at Pacific Raceways in Kent, WA on June 14, 2018. We had 39 women came out to play and learn.
One key to our region building more inclusiveness is that the Driver Education chair for our region is Shay Hoelscher. In addition to being our Driver Education chari, Shay is the only woman who is a National PCA instructor. Shay is relentless in her enthusiasm about Driver Education and the Porsche brand.
Every Driver Education day starts with the driver meeting and below is a picture from the driver’s meeting as Shay is getting the attendees fired up for the day.:
The Women’s Day is about fun, camaraderie and provides a place for women to enjoy driving at the race track in a environment that is non-judgmental.
Pacific Raceways was built in 1959 and opened in 1960. The track played an important role during the heyday of professional sports car racing in the U.S. during the 1960s and today the road course is used by the SCCA, SOVREN and ICSCC for automobile road racing. Pacific Raceways is also used by local car clubs for Driver Education events, including the Porsche, BMW and Audi clubs. The course has more than 125 feet (38 m) of elevation change and a beautiful naturally wooded back section.
Below is a photo of Shay just after Turn 3 heading to the wooded back section:
The image below is what was on the back of the t-shirts that all the participants received and embodies the spirit of the day.
Calling all women!
Our second annual Driver Education Women’s Day is approaching. Last year the energy we all shared was a life changing event filled with learning, fun, laughter, and inspiration. It was one of the most meaningful days in my life and this year we will be again be sharing an experience with women cheering each other on!
I heard from many of you who were thinking of attending last year but didn’t and wished you had attended. This is your year!
This day is customized for you and is for both the person who has never driven at a high performance driving education event before and for those who have experience at our events.
This year the Women’s day will be held at Pacific Raceways on Thursday June 14. We’ll have a ground school to prepare and discuss the details of the event on the evening of Wednesday May 23 at the Mercer Island Community Center from 6-8 pm. The ground school will give you everything you need to know about the format, expectations and logistics for the day.
Sign up here:
Join others in an experience that allows every woman to feel empowered and supported and to learn at your speed in a non-judgmental environment.
I can’t wait to see you! No Boys allowed.
|Event Date||Location||Registration Opens|
|4/14/2018||Ridge Motorsports Park||1/24/2018|
|6/14/2018||Pacific Raceways (Women’s Day)||3/26/2018|
|6/30/2018||Oregon Raceway Park Weekend||4/11/2018|
|7/20/2018||Ridge Motorsports Park||5/1/2018|
|9/8/2018||Ridge Motorsports Park||6/20/2018|
Driver Education (DE) offers a great way to enjoy your Porsche at speed in a safe and fun environment.
All Porsche cars have performance levels (speed, handling, and braking) that can’t be experienced safely on public highways and Driver Education days provide a fun and safe alternative.
Bring your car to the track and have an experience that you will never forget and will keep you coming back for more fun! At our Driver Education events you’ll learn more about what you and your car can do!
The Porsche Club prides itself in having one of the most extensive driver education programs in the US. We have the best instructor corps of any club in the country and we strive to inspire everyone to become a better driver. Our goal is simple: have a blast in a safe environment.
First-timers attend a classroom Ground School Wednesday evening the week prior to the scheduled track day at Porsche Bellevue. You will learn key objectives of driving at a race track and how the days works. Then at the track, you’ll have an instructor who will be with you all day in the car. There are different run groups for the day for different experience levels and you will be driving with others at the same experience level as you. You’ll have a instructor until you are ready to go on the track solo.
Our Driver Education events have 3 run groups for the different experience level of drivers. Each run group goes in turn and then the cycle repeats several times during the day. The sessions are 20-25 minutes. As you progress in your skills and you choose to be advanced to the next run group, there will be an instructor assigned to certify that you are ready for the next level.
One of the greatest values with the Pacific Northwest Region Porsche club is that you can have an instructor anytime to help you develop your driving skills at no extra charge.
Registration & Payment
Registration & payment for DE events is available online at pcapnwr.motorsportreg.com.
If you have questions about registration, contact Olly Downs & Kevin Nouwens, email: email@example.com, phone: (206)-486-5798.
|Participant at Pacific Raceways or Ridge Motorsports Park||$300|
|One day Participant at Oregon Raceway Park weekend||$310|
|Two day Participant at Oregon Raceway Park weekend||$520|
|Ground School – Required for your first time at a PNWR DE event||No Cost|
The following are the eligibility requirements for PCA PNWR DE Events:
- Participants should be members of the PCA, Alfa, Audi Club NW, BMW CCA Puget Sound Region, Corvette, Ferrari, Mini or Viper club.
- You must possess a non-restricted driver’s license of any jurisdiction, and be 18 years or older.
- All occupants of a car during DE events have to wear a helmet. A Snell 2010 or later helmet is required; SA or M rating is accepted. SA is recommended as these are designed for automotive sports. A limited supply of loaner helmets are available for a fee. The exact language for helmets is below:
- Helmets must be certified in accordance with one of the following standards: Snell SA2010, SAH2010, M2010, K2010, Snell SA2015, SAH2015, M2015, K2015, FIA8860-2004 or 2010, SFI 31.1, or BS6658-85 type A/FR. Helmets certified to specifications other than Snell must be within 10 years of the date of manufacture. The helmet shell must have no structural damage and the padding must be intact. The chin strap must not be frayed; the strap attachments must be operable and securely attached. Face shields, when required and/or used, must be made of poly-carbonate plastic or the equivalent and must be in good condition.
- You may bring any car passing the Event Technical Inspection (see below), including non-Porsche’s. Remember, the owner and/or operator is responsible for the safe condition and operation of the vehicle.
- Convertibles and Cabriolets. Any make of car delivered with factory installed roll over protection meets the minimum standards for PCA DE events.
- If you have modified your car or if your convertible does not have factory installed roll over protection, the PCA requirements for technical and safety standards are here: https://www.pca.org/driver-education-minimum-standards.
- Everyone must pre-register for our events, there are no walk-ins allowed.
Event Technical Inspection
Every event requires a Event Technical Inspection Form be filled out within 30 days prior to each event and presented at the tech line the day of the event.
Participants may self-tech, however we recommend that you have your car inspected every track season by a third-party workshop or dealership that is familiar with your vehicle.
The inspection form is here: Event Tech Inspection Form.
If you have any tech related questions, please contact DETI@pnwr.org.
You may cancel up to two weeks prior to our events for a full refund. If you cancel inside of two weeks prior to an event, there is no refund.
First-time drivers or first-time with PNWR DE
If you’re a beginner or driver who has not driven with the Pacific Northwest Region at a DE event, we ask that you attend a Ground School before your first event.
The presentation can be found here: Ground School Presentation.
The purpose of the 2 hour class is to give an overview of what to expect during the day. The Ground School is included in the event fee. If you’re unable to attend the ground school in person, the ground school is also be available on GoToMeeting.
Calling all women!
I am thrilled to announce our day for you.
Have you ever wondered about taking your car to the racetrack and experiencing what it’s like to drive at a high-performance driver education event?
Whether you’ve been merely curious or it’s a bucket list item, I’d like to invite every woman to bring your beautiful Porsche (or other sports cars) to the track and have an experience you’ll never forget. Driving at the track is thrilling, inspiring, and educational!
Opportunities come and opportunities pass and so many times in life, and it’s not that often that events like this present themselves, so seize this one!
Since I took over the helm as Track Master 3 years ago, we have done women only events with other organizers and I have dreamt about doing a woman’s only day for the Porsche Club.
Our day will create a different ambiance and energy that is about sharing a life changing event filled with learning, fun, laughter, and inspiration. Among the greatest things will be sharing it with women cheering each other on!
I am so excited to share this experience that allows every woman to feel empowered and supported and to learn at your speed in a non-judgmental environment.
The details: our women’s day will be held at Pacific Raceways on Friday, June 9th. We’ll have a ground school to prepare and discuss the details of the event on the evening of Wednesday 5/31/17 at the Mercer Island Community Center and online via GoToMeeting. The ground school will give you everything you need to know about the format, expectations and logistics for the day.
I PROMISE it will be one of the most memorable days of your lives.
Can’t wait to see you! No Boys allowed!
Signups are now open here:
This article was originally published in the PCA PNWR Spiel, March 2017.
I’m calling every one of you that love your P-cars to come out to learn and play at the race track with the Driver Education team this year. That’s everyone who’s reading this, right?
Now that the holidays are past, I am dreaming of the track and every passing day counts down to the 2017 Driver Education season. I can’t wait to get to the track where I am one with my car and see all the wonderful friends I have made from our track days. This is the 3rd year that I’ve been the DE Chair and I am so proud of the great program and world class instructors we have at our club.
This will be an experience that you will never forget. It is the most fun, exhilarating, exciting, rewarding and safe experience that will remind you of why you have the car you have! If you have always thought about bringing your car to the track, I urge you to join us.
This year in addition to track days at Pacific Raceways and The Ridge Motorsports Park, we have two unique events. The first is a “women’s only” day at Pacific Raceways and the second is a two-day weekend event in central Oregon at Oregon Raceway Park. This is a very special track and everyone who drives here raves about the experience. Also, we have special hotel rates for the weekend to make it nothing short of spectacular.
Our season schedule is below:
Registration is now open for our first event on April 8, the Women’s day and the ORP weekend.
For the die hard track junkies who have been circling the wagons to sign up, I can’t wait to see you again.
For those of you who haven’t been to our Driver Education days and have been curious about the track, join us! I can’t wait to meet you and welcome you to our program and I promise it will be one the best and most memorable days of your life.
Should you have any questions and want to reach out I urge you to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
See you at the track!
Driver Education Chair, Pacific Northwest Region, Porsche Club of America