Drivers Education – FAQ’s
Who can attend Drivers Education Events ?
Everyone is welcome to attend out DE Events. You do not need any previous experience driving on a race course and do not need to have a Porsche. – (18 yrs and older w/valid state driver’s license)
Do I need to bring a Porsche or be part of the Club ?
We do not require you to have or bring a Porsche to our DE events (although highly recommended for the most fun) and you are not required to be a member of the club as well. We host cars from a wide variety of manufactures at our DE’s. It can be either a manual or automatic transmission. Coupe or Sedan (SUV’s may be allowed but not recommended). We do allow convertibles (Cabriolets) that meet certain restrictions too. – (Please contact the Club’s DE chair for further clarification about SUV’s and convertibles)
Is this a Racing school ?
ABSOLUTELY NOT!! Actions of an overly competitive nature are not tolerated. Our sessions on the track are monitored to keep everyone safe and promote fun driving at whatever level drivers may be at. We allow passing when it is deemed safe and acknowledged by both the person passing as well as the person being passed. We strive to keep our events friendly and keep egos in check. Everyone has a first day and needs to feel they can do this.
Will I cause more wear and damage my car ?
At first, when learning the basics, you will not be driving the car too far above everyday limits. The components that will receive that most added wear are the tires and brakes. A properly maintained auto should not have any issues with the first few times at the track. We require a Technical inspection of your vehicle prior to attending our DE’s. This is to help ensure that your car is both safe and all systems are in proper working order. While no one can guarantee you won’t have any problems, it has been past experience that beginners end the day driving their cars home with big smiles and excited to come back.
How safe is it ?
The Porsche Club of American takes its safety record very seriously. We feel we provide the safest and most structured DE events in the nation. There are many procedures in place for the organizers that help to secure the wellbeing of all who attend. PCA has been hosting Driver Education and Track events for decades and have established a well-planned model that is often copied to lesser degrees. We benefit from all our experience to make sure incidents seldom happen.
Are helmets required ?
Yes. We require Snell SA rated helmets for anyone who is on the track. If you do not have an SA rated helmet, we have a few available that beginners may rent for a small fee.
Can my friends / family come with me ?
Everyone is welcome to come out to the track and watch, but only an approved instructor is allowed to ride with you on the track during a session. Guests can even attend our classroom sessions if they like. We ask that if people do join you at some time during the event though that you be sure to have them sign in at the Registration desk. We have special waivers for minors and please note that we expect you to be responsible for the safety and actions of your guests. There is a great deal going on during the day and it can be very distracting.
Does my regular auto insurance cover this ?
What is the ‘Tech inspection’ for and who can perform it for me ?
To participate in one of our DE days you must have a Technical inspection done on your car prior to the event. We have a specific check list that will highlight the items that we require checked. These are, for the most part, general maintenance items. The inspection is done to ensure the safety of the vehicle for yourself, your instructor, and other participants. It can be performed by any state licensed auto mechanic but we recommend one that is perhaps more familiar with your exact brand and vehicle. Dealerships and Independent shops that specialize in your type of car are a good place to start. Some will offer to do the inspection for no/reduced cost or sometimes have special days setup to do groups of inspections.
What happens if the weather is bad ?
These are Drivers Education courses. These days are designed to give us a chance to practice and improve our skills. The event will run rain or shine, but may be briefly halted by the Chief Instructor or Track workers if it is deemed to be too severe. Once the hazardous weather has moved on it will resume. It is rare that we get a complete day of constant rain. More common is to have 1 or maybe 2 times on the track that will be wet while your others that day are dry. It is understandable to be a little apprehensive about driving on a race track in the rain. Approach these sessions with a little more caution, some reduced speeds, and listen closely to your instructor. You will come out with an even better understanding of ‘car control’ and a few laughs along the way.
Do I need to modify my car to do these ?
No. Most beginners will need a few days at the track before they start to exceed the limits of good quality, stock components. After a few times at the track and as your skills increase you may find it appropriate to change a few things depending on your skill level and model of car. Most common improvements are better tires, better brakes, and better brake fluid. These simple changes will allow you to run many more days relatively trouble free. You may notice cars in the faster groups that have been modified but we encourage students to explore and get comfortable with the limits of what they have got before the go changing anything. While it may be true that the cars can be enhanced with other parts, there are far more gains to be made improving the ‘nut behind the wheel’.
I don’t want to get in anyone else’s way (or) I’m pretty quick and don’t want to get held up …
We separate students into three different run groups by experience. This way a person coming out for their first day is paired with others who are either enjoying their first time out or maybe have done 1 other day. Our second group is for those who have done a few days and are comfortable on the track and are putting some of their new skills into practice. Our fastest group is reserved for the very advanced students with a great deal of experience. Whatever your skill level may be, we have a comfortable and challenging group for you to run with.
I still don’t know if this is for me …
Your curiosity has brought this far. If you are still unsure you are always welcome to just come out and observe at one of our DE events.