Jamesc2123 Reader
1/19/11 1:44 p.m.

This year I have told myself that I will stop making excuses and get on track at speed finally. I live right next to WGI so that's where I'll be. Expectedly, there are a bunch of groups that run HPDEs there, so I'd like to see if anyone knows some info about any of them. Some are national, some are only at the glen. Is there even a huge difference, or is the experience relatively the same?

In no real order: Sports Car Driving Association




Phoenix CMR


Group 52


Also all the make specific car clubs (PCA, etc.) often do open events that anyone can sign up for, but I don't know exactly which ones.

willy19592 Reader
1/19/11 3:14 p.m.

I have instructed for Chin (tracquest) when they came to the midwest, I personally feel they ran a really good show. I cant comment on the other groups you have up there, for your neck of the woods. I am a w2w instructor with Midwest council, also have instructed for "hooked on driving" and March of dimes "drive for babies" (scca) .

With Chin, they required (and provided) an inter com system for the instructors, it made a WORLD of difference, so much so that I own my own now, so that when I am with other groups I can use one. Chin tends to error on the side of caution with new people. They want to make sure you are comfortable before letting you "solo". I watched with interest last year when a Guy brought his vette, and told the powers that be that he was to be in the most experienced group, and his wife was to be placed in the intermediate group. The Man really was good enough, but kinda fudged his wife's experience level. She was over whelmed and a bit scared. Mark Hicks (lead man at Chin) asked her if she would like to be moved down and she jumped at the chance. I was her instructor after that. We worked on some basics, and got her really comfortable. Unfortunately her car suffered some engine problems and she had to quit. If this is your first time, Chin will be a great place to start. Im sure some of the other groups are every bit as good as well ;) Let us know what you decide, and how you do!!

neon4891 SuperDork
1/19/11 3:25 p.m.

I'd love to go with you, but tracking my DD is not a good idea

pigeon Dork
1/19/11 3:40 p.m.

Several chapters of the BMWCCA and PCA run events there, it's our "home" track for the Genesee Valley Chapter BMWCCA and they have a reputation for putting on outstanding events. I too resolved to get out the Glen this year for my first HPDE, and even bought a car for that purpose last fall. Good info about Trackmasters, I'll have to look into their program. One thing GVCBMWCCA has done the last 2 years is $100 off for first time HPDE events for members, and you don't need to own a BMW to join the club. I don't know if they're doing it again this year but it should be on their web site.

pigeon Dork
1/19/11 3:42 p.m.
neon4891 wrote: I'd love to go with you, but tracking my DD is not a good idea

Locton Affinity track day insurance is cheeeeeap. The only reason I won't track my 750 is the consumables (tires and brakes) would probably run $1k+ for a weekend - my beater 944 turbo I bought for this purpose should be a lot cheaper to run.

Jamesc2123 Reader
1/19/11 4:04 p.m.

Pigeon, how much is BMW CCA membership, will I come out ahead with a $100 off of an HPDE?

Neon, you need to come out to some Central NY Ice races. Next one's in two weeks, PM me about it.

pigeon Dork
1/19/11 4:14 p.m.

In reply to Jamesc2123:

$48 per year for membership BMWCCA, so figure you save $50 still and get some additional discounts on other stuff. If you decide to join let me know, I can give you my info as a referral - I don't get anything (that I know of) but I think the local chapter gets something from national for x number of new referral members.

Where are the ice races? I might like to come spectate a bit if they're not too far - I live at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.

Jamesc2123 Reader
1/19/11 4:41 p.m.

I may just make another thread on that, but the closest ones to you are Honeoye Lake (right next door to you) and and Waneta Lake (between Keuka and Seneca). Check out http://cnyira.com/

iceracer Dork
1/19/11 5:47 p.m.

Nasapda is a good group. They group you by experience.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
1/19/11 6:05 p.m.

Genessee Valley BMWCCA is an excellent club to take your first few HPDEs with. I have instructed with them many times over the years and they run a very strong, structured program starting with a car control clinic in the paddock (auto-x) for beginners followed by classroom and a full on-track driving schedule as well as mandatory ride-alongs with your instructor.

aussiesmg SuperDork
5/5/11 8:31 p.m.

butt for a canoe

pigeon Dork
5/9/11 12:15 p.m.

Actually the human powered personal watercraft came at a good time to bring this thread back. I can report back that I just completed my first ever HPDE this past weekend at Watkins Glen with GVC BMWCCA. Wow. Very well organized, well run event. They changed up the run groups this year so the Cs and Ds got more track time - 4 30 minute sessions each day - but there was a lot of traffic and it resulted in some trains the first couple sessions the first day. After that it got better and although there was traffic the second day point bys weren't much of a problem. I had a great experience, met some very nice people and ran into some other great people I had previously met autocrossing with the club, saw some awesome cars, and had lots of fun. I learned a lot, greatly enjoyed getting a point-by from a new Corvette with a clearly new student (that thing blasted down the straights but I ate him up in the corners, even with my worn out car) and learned the line. I'm definitely hooked and the ride along I snagged with one of the instructors in a box-stock street tired GT3 blew my mind.

Unfortunately the car (beater 944 Turbo) came home on a flatbed when the clutch slave failed during the last session of the second day. I didn't lose any track time but the $300 tow home sucked. My instructor made very clear that the state of the car was definitely holding me back. Now, do I really go through the 944 and fix the suspension (found out real quick how shot the dampers are) and pull apart the engine compartment and put it all back together again, or do I sell it and go find a BMW, which is my preferred marque, and probably do all that on the "new" car? I'm leaning towards selling the 944, particularly since it will lead to greater marital harmony (the Wife HATES it). Anyone interested in an ugly 944 turbo cheap?

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
5/9/11 12:21 p.m.

You get an E36 M3 or even a 325/8 with an LSD, clean it up - make it safe and drive, drive, drive. The mods will be obvious when you know you need them but seat time is king and the E36 is right in the sweet spot for a cheap track toy.

pigeon Dork
5/9/11 12:47 p.m.

That's my thinking also, I just need to be patient and find the right one.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker SuperDork
5/9/11 1:01 p.m.
pigeon wrote: That's my thinking also, I just need to be patient and find the right one.

Most of them are the right one... you are looking for falling headliners, loose door trim, dings, cracked fog lights... trashed seats, OBC lights that don't work... anything to make a good runner cheap.

It needs a solid motor, trans and LSD.

You will change every damper/spring/sway, bushing, cooling system component, software, exhaust and intake anyway. It is a slippery slope. Might as well just admit it up front and enjoy the slide.

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