Learn all about High Performance Driver Education and how to participate
DURING THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS, I have met a number of Porsche owners who have come to UCR events as guests of our members. The popular questions are how can they sign up with our Driver’s Education (“DE”) program and how do they get into PCA Club Racing. Our Driver Education events take place at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport) Grand Prix track. This is a four-kilometre racetrack in Bowmanville, Ontario and it is one of the fastest and toughest race tracks in the world.
Dave Osborne (DE Track Chair) and his team have built a first-class DE program, and I have witnessed how the DE program has evolved over the past 20 years. Here is a cheat sheet for those who are interested in our DE program and PCA Club Racing.
1. Join Porsche Club of America – Upper Canada Region (“UCR”) as a member. The annual membership fee is US$46.00 and you can attend all members’ exclusive events. You can register online at https://www.pca.org/membership
2. After you have joined UCR, create an account at https://reg.pcaucr.org/ to set up your driver’s profile and register for our track events. This is a must-do for PCA Insurance purposes.
3. The registration for our 2019 DE program goes live on January 1 @12am. The dates of our 2019 DE program are posted on this link: http://pcaucr.org/driving/driver-education/ Many UCR DE participants (I am one of them) register for DE events as early as January 1 to ensure they get their spots.
4. New UCR members, who are interested in DE, should register for Introductory Driving School (“IDS”) because this is a mandatory prerequisite to our Drivers Education program. We only have two IDS in April 2019 and spaces are limited. If a new DE participant has prior training with other clubs equivalent to the UCR IDS and comes with track experience, they can seek approval from our Chief Instructor (Andy Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org ) to qualify to register for our DE program.
5. Our DE program features two-day weekend track days, every month from May to October. We have five colour-coded (green, yellow, white, black and red) run groups and every DE participant will be assigned a run group depending on your track experience. All new DE participants will be assigned DE instructors, who will ride with them and teach them advanced performance driving skills. As your skills progress over time, you will be promoted to higher run groups. Our Driver Education program is not considered racing because the events are not timed and there are specific passing zones. So, the drivers are not allowed to overtake another car unless they have received passing signals from the cars in front of them. The safety requirement includes approved racing helmet and a fire-extinguisher inside the Porsche. All participants are required to take their Porsches to approved inspection centres to check them out before they are allowed to take their cars onto the race track.
6. The highest run group is the red run group, which is the instructors’ group. The second highest run group is black run group. All DE participants in the black and red run groups can apply for a PCA Club Race Rookie License and then participate at PCA Club Race events across North America. For the new members who already have previous race experience, they can start in a higher run group after our Chief Instructor has verified your experience and you have been qualified in a “Check Out” Run. This will greatly reduce the amount of time required before a PCA Rookie License can be issued.
7. For those who want to move on beyond PCA Club Racing, they can consider joining the Ultra 94 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series. We have a number of UCR members who started with the DE program and moved onto PCA Club Racing, and eventually competed in the GT3 Cup Challenge Canada series: Tim Sanderson (our DE Co-Chief Instructor and UCR member since 1998), Marco Cirone, Orey Fidani and Shaun McKaigue. </>
Story by Kathleen Wong, UCR Past President | Photos by Adrian Chan