Driver Education Program
What is a DE Event?
Porsche Club of America High Speed Driver Education Events, or “DE’s,” provide an opportunity for you to learn the basics of high speed driving and to safely explore the dynamic capabilities of your car in the controlled environment of a road course race track. Hill Country Region currently has three DE events each year at Circuit of the Americas, home of the Formula 1 United States Grand Prix. It’s just been announced that COTA will also begin hosting an IndyCar race starting with the weekend of March 22-24, 2019. COTA has the distinction of being perhaps the only facility in the world to host a Formula 1 Grand Prix and an IndyCar race.
2019 D. E. dates are:
- March 29-31, 2019 – PCA Club Race and Advanced Solo Driver Education
- June 8-9, 2019 – Austin Schnell Fest Driver Education sponsored by Hill Country, Lone Star and Maverick Regions-PCA and Houston Chapter BMW-CCA
- September 21-22 – Austin Schnell Fest Driver Education sponsored by Hill Country, Lone Star and Maverick Regions-PCA and Houston Chapter BMW-CCA
If you’d like to know more about our Schnell Fest D.E.’s at COTA here’s a link to our September 7-9 (2018) Schnell Fest event home page: http://austinschnellfest.clubregistration.net These events are extremely popular, they’re an outstanding value, and sell out quickly. Registration for our DE events is conducted online using clubregistration.net.
As the name implies, the emphasis is on driver education and on safety. These are not competitive events. DE’s are NOT RACES! Participants do not compete with each other for speed, lap times, etc. Drivers are only permitted to pass in designated sections of the course, and then only with the permission of the driver being passed.
Novice drivers will spend all of their on-track time with an experienced driving instructor in the right seat. Before driving on track, novice drivers will attend classroom sessions that acquaint them with the fundamentals of vehicle dynamics, weight transfer, and driving “the line.” Students are assigned to “Run Groups” made up of drivers with similar levels of experience. Each run session will last 25-30 minutes and each run group will have 4 run sessions each day. These are three-day events running Friday thru Sunday. Registration for the event is a registration for the entire three days of the event.
If you have questions about the Hill Country Region-PCA DE program, feel free to contact our DE Chairman, David Gross, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 512-497-1111.
Here is a link to a video showing the driving line instructors will be teaching to students at the Schnell Fest D.E. events.
Click here to access the PCA Drivers’ Education page.
What do I need to know before my first DE?
The DE Handbook contains information about the DE process and track requirements. READ IT!
All car occupants must wear a Snell “K” “M” or “SA” approved helmet, which has the current available Snell rating (Snell 2015) or the one previous Snell rating (Snell 2010). Snell 2005 helmets have expired and may not be used. Other helmets are acceptable if they are approved for PCA Club Racing.
Drivers of “stock” cars must wear long pants of natural fibers and rubber soled, closed-toe shoes. A shirt of natural fibers is recommended. Drivers of “race-prepared” cars should wear clothing that conforms to the requirements of Porsche Club Racing. All participants must have their vehicles technically inspected. Failure to complete the technical inspection prior to the DE Event will require that the vehicle be inspected by our safety staff for a fee before you are allowed to drive it on track. We do not guarantee that we will be able to do this for you in any timely manner so this will likely delay beginning your DE session. Please, please get the tech inspection done before the event. You must have a completed Technical Inspection Form to receive your registration package at the track. The gates open at COTA at 6:00 a.m. each morning of the DE. Each here is a mandatory drivers’ meeting at 7:30 am. If you are not present, you will not be allowed to drive until you have been briefed by the Chief Instructor and you will miss your first on-track session. BE THERE! Following the driver’s meeting, track and classroom sessions will be according to the standard schedule. No pets are allowed at the track. Your family is welcome, but you must use extra caution with your own and others’ children in this high activity event.
If you plan to participate in a future DE (or think you might), but wish to visit one before applying just to see what it is all about, you are most welcome to do so. When you arrive at the track, please contact the HCR member at the “GRID IN” desk (at the entrance to where the cars line up to go on the track). He or she will introduce you to one of our DE “Mentors”, who will be happy to show you around and answer your questions.
Tech Inspection Stations
All DE participants must have their car inspected within 30 days prior to the event. Please take the Technical Inspection Form to your mechanic of choice. The following local shops do tech inspections:
Regardless of which shop you use, please call and make an appointment ahead of time!
If you are outside of Austin or use a mechanic that is not on this list, simply take the inspection form to your mechanic and have them fill it out.