How to join in the fun with UCR’s advanced driving programs
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 DE events take place at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park (aka Mosport) Grand Prix track for five weekends between May and October. Mosport is a four-kilometre racetrack north of 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 (PCA) – 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 You can find out the eight benefits of a UCR membership in this link https://pcaucr.org/why-join-ucr/
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 2020 DE program goes live on January 1, @ 12:00am. The dates of our 2020 DE program are posted on our website at https://pcaucr.org/driving/driver-education-2020/ Many UCR DE participants (I am one of them) register for DE events on January 1 to ensure they get their spots. Although it requires a credit card on file under your driver’s profile, the payment will only be processed when registration closes at midnight on the Friday, two weeks before each DE weekend.
4. New UCR members, who are interested in DE, have to register for the Introductory Driving School (“IDS”) because this is a mandatory prerequisite to our Driver’s Education program. We only have two IDS in April at Mosport’s Driver Development Track 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 in order to register for our DE program
5. Our DE program features two-day weekend track days, every month from May to October, at the Mosport Grand Prix Track. 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 their track experience. All DE participants in the green or yellow run groups will be assigned DE instructors, who will ride with them and teach them advanced performance driving skills. As your skill level develops, you will progress from the novice run group to the more experienced run groups.
6. Our DE 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 (see list on page 45 of our monthly Provinz) to check them out before they are allowed to take their cars onto the race track.
7. 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 their experience and have qualified in a “Check Out” Run. This will greatly reduce the amount of time required before a PCA Rookie License can be issued.
8. If you are interested in PCA Club Racing, you can check out my “Wanna Race” article
9. For those who want to move on beyond PCA Club Racing, they can consider joining the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada by Yokohama. https://porschegt3cupcanada.imsa.com/ 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. The 2020 Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Canada season begins on the weekend of May 15-17, 2020 as part of the annual Victoria Day Speedfest at CTMP. </>