High Performance Driver Schools – Instructors

High Performance Driver Schools – Instructors

How does one become an instructor at one of our high performance driver schools? To begin with, you don’t need to have years of wheel-to-wheel racing experience or be a very fast driver to become an instructor. There are no specific criteria to meet — but you do need to have at least a few years of experience attending high performance driver schools and demonstrating good driving skills, an excellent understanding of car control theory, a good feel for ‘the limit’, an ability to communicate well in high-speed stressful situations, and, most importantly, the ability to read a situation and adapt to it. Instructing is NOT for everyone. There are fantastic instructors who are not awesome drivers, and there are fantastic drivers who are terrible instructors.

When you are instructing, your student must be your top priority. You must be organized, reliable and punctual (because your students’ track time depends on you being there on-time) and you will not have the same amount of time for decompressing or tinkering with your car betweeen driving sessions. However, many instructors say that the benefits of the role — the relationships with students and other instructors and the extra seat time (even while in the passenger seat for a different perspective of the track) — far outweigh the downsides.

If you’re interested in becoming an instructor, reach out to the Chief Instructor Michael H. Dion (chiefinstructor@delvalbmwcca.org) and speak to him about it. Even if you aren’t ready to become take the next step right away, The Chief Instructor can provide valuable feedback to you that can help you work towards that goal. When the Chief Instructor determines you’re ready to become an instructor, you’ll be invited to an Instructor Training School (ITS) hosted by the DelVal chapter or another BMW CCA chapter. ITS is an intense two-day program of on-track and classroom instruction and role-playing. Each instructor candidate will work on track with individual in-car mentors to learn the important task of instructing our members in a safe and fun manner.

Once you’ve been selected to attend ITS, Instructor Coordinator Lou D’Angeli (instructorcoordinator@delvalbmwcca.org) will contact you to confirm your attendance. If you believe that you are a candidate for the ITS and have not been invited, please e-mail the Chief Instructor or Instructor Coordinator. Registration for ITS hosted by the DelVal chapter is handled through MotorsportReg.com.

Please download our WAIVER & RELEASE form, EMERGENCY MEDICAL INFORMATION form, and the PRE-EVENT INSTRUCTOR TECHNICAL INSPECTION form. Print and complete the forms and bring them with you on the day of the event.

Instructors are treated as event officials and are expected to set a proper example for sudents with appropriate conduct on- and off-track at our events. In addition, you are expected to take responsibility for the safety of the event and address any issues that you identify on the spot and also communicate such matters to the event organizers (Event Chairman, Chief Instructor, or the Tower Control people on duty). This authority is limited to not approving any behavior that you find that may be questionable and stopping any unsafe practices.

There are several track bulletins that have been generated to provide you with valuable information about the operation of our events. Our instructors and students are responsible to be familiar with this information.

Please review the following information that is applicable to all DelVal chapter high performance driver schools:

  • This is a high performance drivers’ education school and is not practice for any racing or speed contest. All participants are required to attend the required classroom sessions to learn vehicle dynamics and driving techniques. These sessions will continue throughout the day to help you understand the fine art of high speed driving. Failure to attend the classroom sessions as required will result in loss of driving privileges.
  • Participation in Delaware Valley Chapter Driver Schools is limited to BMW CCA members. Proof of current BMW CCA membership is required and verified during the registration process at the track. Join BMW CCA online or call the BMW CCA National Membership toll free number at 1-800-878-9292.
  • Participants must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid driver’s license. This will be verified during the registration process at the track.
  • You must wear long pants, long sleeve shirts (made from cotton or natural fibers), and a pair of well-fitting shoes that lace-up so they are secure on your feet and that do not have thick or large soles (which allows for better control and “feel” for your pedals).
  • We require that you wear a properly fitting helmet with a SNELL 2010 (or newer) SA rating. Per New Jersey state regulations, your helmet must be a full-face helmet.
  • Instructors are required to supply their own communicator with student headset.
  • We recommend that you have your vehicle inspected by a qualified mechanic no more than 30 days prior to the date of the event. In most cases, instructors are responsible to perform their own technical inspection although there may be exceptions if you have not instructed for the DelVal chapter in the past. You must present your completed Pre-Event Technical Inspection form to the Chief Technical Inspector prior to event registration at the track. (Do not mail the Pre-Event Technical Inspection form to the Registrar.)
  • We require equal restraints for drivers and passengers (minimum 3-point restraints).
  • All cars must be muffled.
  • If your car has after-market window tinting on the rear and side glass, you must be able to see through the vehicle while standing 20 feet away.
  • SUVs and SAVs are not eligible to participate in high performance driver school events.
  • Open top vehicles are not eligible to participate in high performance driver school events. We permit only Spec Miatas or similar vehicles equipped with a full SCCA approved Roll Cage and a bolted-on hardtop.

If you have any questions about your vehicle or the technical inspection process, contact Technical Chair David Somma, Jr. (technicalchair@delvalbmwcca.org).