HPDE Driving Schools
High-performance driving schools have been extremely popular with performance-oriented owners of all cars, but none more so than BMW drivers. BMW Car Club of America chapters have been hosting driving schools at road-course tracks around the country since the 1970s.
All levels of students are welcome, and our instructors will work with you to understand your wishes and abilities. Our driving schools are set up to meet everyone's needs, and you will be instructed within your comfort level. We want everyone to enjoy the track, the friends, and the facility. Each driver will have an instructor in the car to coach you and help you learn the proper lines of the track. All participants also attend classroom sessions to reinforce what they are doing and learning in the car.
Safety is always the greatest of concerns at any driving school, and it's always the focus of everything we do. We want everyone to enjoy the event and to take their cars home in the same condition as when they arrived. But we also want you to go home with an improved awareness of your skills and your car, and a lot of track stories to share.
Ryan Staub with Lockton Affinity Motorsports wrote an article on the subject of HPDE insurance. The article provides members with some education regarding insurance coverage while driving on track and provides some details about Lockton Affinity's insurance program.
A Few Driving School FAQs
Is this a race or a racing-style event?
No, this is a driver-education school — to help you improve your skills and enjoy your vehicle. We also hold Club Racing events, but you must be a licensed BMW CCA Club racer with a fully prepared race car for that!
Will I need a helmet, or can I share with someone?
All drivers needs their own helmets, and all helmets must be Snell 2010 or newer. We allow M and SA ratings for helmets, but they must all be current. You must also have the helmet form completed and with you at registration.
Am I insured if something happens?
It depends; each insurance company has its own policies for cars on a track. You may have coverage, since this is an educational event, not a race; but many companies do not cover any activities held on a racing surface or at a racing facility. Be aware of the limitations of your auto insurance coverage at HPDEs; check your own policy for your coverage limits. While damage to your car at your first driving event is rare, it can happen. Consult your insurance agent or carrier if in doubt.
Fortunately, Lockton Affinity offers single-event HPDE insurance: http://locktonmotorsports.com/product/track-insurance/
Can I bring my convertible?
Convertibles and T-top cars must have 5-point/6-point belts and arm restraints, as well as an approved roll cage installed. Factory "rollover protection" for a so top (i.e. BMW Z3 and Z4, Porsche Boxster) is not sufficient for the school. Convertibles with hard tops, including folding hard tops, are NOT ALLOWED. No refunds will be given for ineligible cars!
Do I need a four-point harness, or will the stock seat belts be adequate?
Original-equipment seat belts and shoulder harnesses are fine. If you do upgrade to a racing style harness, the same restraint must be provided for both passenger and driver.
Are classroom sessions mandatory?
Yes, all classroom sessions are mandatory — and will be monitored so we know who was and was not in class.
Does my car need to be specially prepared for a driving school?
No, your street car is fine — probably better, at first, than a fully prepared track car. Bring what you have, and enjoy the school! But keep in mind that you will be wearing your tires and brakes much harder than you would during normal daily use.