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      05-10-2009, 04:16 PM   #1
4u3
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Private Track Instruction

I am a novice track driver. Is it possible to receive private instruction to learn how to drive my car on the track. I have searched the internet and have not been able to find anything. I go to the Track dayz and FATT at Summit point.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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      05-10-2009, 04:47 PM   #2
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Sign up with BMW CCA. You will get 4 20-25 minute sessions on the track, and if you are a novice, they will assign you an instructor. That's one-on-one instruction. Not sure why you'd want "private" instruction.
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      05-10-2009, 07:17 PM   #3
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I just started using a private driving coach and can't say enough good things about this route. Call you local tracks and ask for their recommendations, we have a small group of pros in Texas that will coach at the larger venues.

At a beginners level you may not be interested in more than DEs or DE level private instructors, such as PCA, BMWCCA and other local white/red level drivers.

I've found that at an intermediate to experienced driver level there is no quicker way to progress than to hire a coach for a day or two. Now, the guys I'm referring to are professionals, they typically don't have other jobs, driving isn't a weekend hobby.

The coach I use is a multi-disiplinary racer, manufacturer test driver, racing school instructor, and is now a full time coach for a Ferrari Challenge team. It can be expensive, about $700+ a day and using your own car. During sessions I sit right and left seat and use a datalogger to analyze each run and then go out to experiment and learn. My coach doesn't talk when I drive but rather takes notes, the analysis is in conjuction with the data between sessions.
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      05-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #4
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Consolidated, I guess if you think you have learned what you can from DE type of instruction, this might be useful. Does the $700/day fee cover track time? When you say "day" what is the context? How much seat time together with the coach and how much non-driving instruction/discussion each day? Thanks.
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      05-11-2009, 01:01 AM   #5
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It's about 2-4K to rent a track without insurance (at least TWS), but that's a week day and includes rescue and sparse corner stations.

A friend of mine, who was very fortunate, said the best instruction he ever received was from James Clay at a private training day. With the right person and the right tools, I can definitely see it helping advanced students who have plateaued...and "plateaued" is not a derogatory word, everyone who gets to be a good driver hits a wall, or several walls where they get very consistent but can't get any more time out of their car. It's humbling to have another person who is not familiar with your car jump in and run a second faster than your best time.

It would be a waste on most folks (to get private help) over the talent available at a well run DE IMHO.
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      05-11-2009, 06:57 AM   #6
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You are welcome to join us (www.MVPTrackTime.com) at any of our 2009 track events. Happy Motoring!

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      05-11-2009, 07:23 AM   #7
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I wish I could find something like that in the Mid Atlantic region. Going to track with groups waiting an hour or two for a run with an "instructor" is OK, but no one could disagree that one on one with a pro instructor you would learn so much more. Private lessons are offered in all sports, I do not see why this sport is any different. If you got the money I got the time, should hold true for this sport too. If anyone knows someone who is doing this in the Mid Atlantic please let me know. Thanks
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      05-11-2009, 09:18 AM   #8
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BMW's Advanced M-School is excellent (not private, but national championship level instructors and a proven format). The two-day M-School, or equivalent, is prerequisite, but the training at all the BMWUSA courses is top drawer. The cost may seem expensive, but when you consider the number of new cars you drive, the mechanical support, quality of instructors and the quality of the tracks used (VIR in my case), you couldn't duplicate it on your own for less.

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      05-11-2009, 09:56 AM   #9
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2 Day M School is an incredible experience, you'll learn alot about how to drive and how a car handles

I did it a month ago and wanna do VIR now.
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      05-11-2009, 10:23 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lucid View Post
Consolidated, I guess if you think you have learned what you can from DE type of instruction, this might be useful. Does the $700/day fee cover track time? When you say "day" what is the context? How much seat time together with the coach and how much non-driving instruction/discussion each day? Thanks.
The track fee was small in my case because I'm a member at the track we used. Usually the coach will be a member at his/her local track and you pay a member guest fee to use the track on an open lapping day, renting a track is another option, an expensive one.

I know some drivers that will rent a track for instruction or a test and tune day and invite a small group of known drivers to offset the cost.

A "day" started at 8:30am and went to 5:30, we only broke for lunch. We were either in the car, reviewing his notes, looking at data, comparing his data to mine or setting a small list of goals or experiments for the next session.

I drove for about 4 hours, him about 30 minutes. Some of the most useful time was spent looking at Traqmate data...less about lap times and more about line, throttle position, braking zones, entry/exit speeds, etc...which lead into working on trail braking, rotation but not overdoing it, throttle oversteer, learning to pitch a car, catching a loose entry and getting more comfortable with "hustling" a car with corrections, predicting spins, pushing to the point of possible offs but having an escape route planned.

More about learning skills, getting comfortable with a faster pace and gaining confidence and understanding of what's going on rather than lap times, though my times did drop 2.5 seconds on a 90 second track.

I'd like to race in the future so we also talked about racecraft, passing techniques and he helped me with car set-up, adjusting damper and sway bar setting, alignment changes...which alone was very very helpful.

This route is not for everyone, it's expensive compared to a DE, I'd say one would need to be running with the top groups to get their money's worth. It's hard to beat the seat time and free instruction at any good DE, we have a very good instructor pool in Texas, I don't know how those guys do it session after session.

However, I think it's more useful and perhaps cheaper than flying to a dedicated race school, like Skippy or Bondurant. But then, driving an open wheel racecar at Laguna Seca was worth every penny.
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      05-11-2009, 11:07 AM   #11
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Thanks consolidated for the insights. It sounds like you actually got a lot out of your $700 in one day.
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      05-11-2009, 11:18 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4u3 View Post
I am a novice track driver. Is it possible to receive private instruction to learn how to drive my car on the track. I have searched the internet and have not been able to find anything. I go to the Track dayz and FATT at Summit point.
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
Arrange something with a BMWCCA instructor that you have met at a BMWCCA HPDE. Lots of them can be found over at bimmerforums. I've done it before and it feels so good to be the only student in a cowboy group that's safe and learning.

Also, not all instructors are the same. Some are good for fundamentals, some are good for finding speed, some are fun to hang out with, and some are simply extra weight.
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      05-11-2009, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4u3 View Post
I wish I could find something like that in the Mid Atlantic region. Going to track with groups waiting an hour or two for a run with an "instructor" is OK, but no one could disagree that one on one with a pro instructor you would learn so much more. Private lessons are offered in all sports, I do not see why this sport is any different. If you got the money I got the time, should hold true for this sport too. If anyone knows someone who is doing this in the Mid Atlantic please let me know. Thanks
What folks are saying, including myself, is that a private instructor is not worth it if you are a novice. At that level, there are plenty of basic issues to be dealt with that do not require a pro driver to address. You don't need to pay $1k per day to learn the basics of the driving line, controlling the throttle, braking, etc. The track is a different environment, and you need to process the basics and let them sink in before you are ready for more advanced instruction. Having said this, it's your money, so of course spend it how you like...
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      05-11-2009, 12:21 PM   #14
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If you were closer, I'd teach you!

I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you are nervous, tell your instructor and he will keep you within your limits. Remember the reason you are going is to learn, not win awards.
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      05-11-2009, 03:38 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4u3 View Post
I wish I could find something like that in the Mid Atlantic region. Going to track with groups waiting an hour or two for a run with an "instructor" is OK, but no one could disagree that one on one with a pro instructor you would learn so much more. Private lessons are offered in all sports, I do not see why this sport is any different. If you got the money I got the time, should hold true for this sport too. If anyone knows someone who is doing this in the Mid Atlantic please let me know. Thanks

Tarheel BMW club will be running VIR North Course over the July 4 week end. Registration for the event is via motorsportreg.com and opens at 8:00 pm EST next Monday, May 18. Their events fill up quickly, so if you do have interest in a very good HPDE event with execelent instructors, then I urge you to consider this one, and move smartly to register.
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      05-11-2009, 04:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Sign up with BMW CCA. You will get 4 20-25 minute sessions on the track, and if you are a novice, they will assign you an instructor. That's one-on-one instruction. Not sure why you'd want "private" instruction.
+1. Sign up with the NCCA chapter and attend one of their track weekends. I think they have 4 or more this year, should be plenty to get you started.

I'd only go alone to FATT after a sufficient number of weekends with the CCA instructors...
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      05-15-2009, 01:18 AM   #17
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