First Settlers Region PCA

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Driver Education Overview

PCA Driver Education Program

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gt3 The mission and purpose of the Porsche Club of America's Driver's Education Program is to provide a safe, structured and controlled teaching and learning environment. The PCA DE Program is designed so that participants can improve their driving abilities and acquire a better understanding of vehicle dynamics and driving safety. Participants will experience first-hand the capabilities of high performance automobiles in a controlled, closed-course environment and acquire skills that will enhance safer vehicle operation in all driving situations.  

Questions?  Visit the Drivers Ed Frequently Asked Questions Page.  And don't forget our upcoming May 2014 DE and Instructor Clinic

 

One giant word of caution: this adventure can become very addictive. Our instructors will teach you to drive your Porsche the way Stuttgart designed it to be driven. PCA DE schools are run in a safe and controlled environment on a closed course. Like any new sport your instructor will guide you into this exciting world of high performance driving. These weekends are great sources of stories for the Monday morning coffee break. You will have dreams about various turns and wake up with memories of your instructor yelling BRAKE or DON'T LIFT. These schools are truly the only safe way to learn the engineering dynamics that went into the development of this famous racing marque. However, it is noted that PCA DE events are not racing, nor preparation for racing. No times or placings are recorded, and no awards or prizes are received by the participants of PCA Driver's Education events; just a lot of fun and camaraderie. Any conduct considered by the Porsche Club of America to be either unsafe or inconsistent with the spirit or purpose of the Driver's Education Program will not be permitted. This approach keeps the events safe for all participants!

Visit our Event Calendar page for current Drivers Education events.
DE Chair

Am I Covered While Driving On-Track?

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Each year Porsche Club of America Regions organize many high-performance driver’s education events.  Over the years PCA has earned a tremendous reputation for putting on educational, safe, and structured events.  These events target what PCA members are most passionate about – appreciating the fine automobiles they own in a way that just can’t be recognized in daily street driving.

For many years PCA driving enthusiasts had a sense of comfort knowing that their standard auto policies covered them while participating in PCA Driver’s Education events.  Most policies had language that only excluded coverage while participating in “timed or competition events.”  Since PCA DEs are educational in nature and untimed, most insurers would pay for damages incurred at these events.  Incidents causing damage to vehicles at PCA DEs are rare, but when they do happen the damage can be significant.

Around the 2003-2004 timeframe, it seems that many insurance underwriters recognized the additional exposure presented by individuals involved in DEs and modified their exclusions section accordingly.  At the beginning, a few companies implemented new language to exclude coverage “on a surface used for racing”, “in a performance driving event”, or even worse “at a racetrack facility.”  Since the initial rollout of the exclusions, it seems that the majority of auto insurers have followed suit with these restrictive exclusions for individuals involved in DEs.

Many PCA DE enthusiast members have researched this topic in the past, prior to 2003, and believe that they are still covered while driving in events.  Enthusiasts must understand that insurers do have the ability to change policy terms at each policy renewal.  The typical policy holder receives their renewal, looks at the bill, and sends a check to renew their policy.  In the pages following that bill, insurers include a coverage update that details any policy changes.  Unfortunately these changes often go unnoticed by insurance consumers.

For individuals involved in DEs, it is very important to review your policy before you go to your next track event.  Many insurance consumers don’t file their current policies, but insurance agents will always send a copy of the current policy upon request.  A quick review of the exclusions section of the policy typically reveals any language targeted at eliminating coverage while participating in events held at racetracks.  Enthusiasts’ vehicles are often the most treasured property they own, so it is important that they do their research and understand whether coverage is included under their standard policy while participating in DEevents.

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Common Sense Tips for the Aging (track) Driver

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aging driver

As those of us with some racing background know, there is often more than one way to get to the front. Though a stereotype, many younger driver are noted for their risky, and many times exciting, ways of passing and taking the lead. However, as we get older we can better appreciate the value of the equipment and can look for ways to improve our skills without the theatrics. Below are a few easy tips older drivers can use to keep up with the younger crowd - besides adding another 100HP to your car:

· Stay current. Whether it’s attending a winter Driver’s Education event or spending some time on the karting track, the saying “use it or lose it” definitely applies. I question to value of racing simulators to maintain skills when away from the track. Though they are a good way to learn a new track, I don’t consider them a substitute for actual track time. 

 

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Alex Bell Selected as National PCA Driver's Education Chairman!!

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alexbell1Alex Bell has been a member of PCA for nearly 10 years and a very active member of First Settlers Region for most of that time. He is currently serving both as Treasurer and Driver’s education Chief Track Instructor. In those roles, he has been instrumental in getting our Region back on a sound financial footing and making our DE program extremely successful.

In 2009, he decided to go PCA Club racing and has participated in 13 Club races, 5 NASA races and has over 185 track days! This year, he submitted an PCA Volunteer Application form and was selected to the prestigious and very important national position. Alex will be replacing Pete Tremper who has served as the National DE chair for the past 14 years; clearly big shoes to fill but Alex is anxious to get started.

 

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The Chumpionship

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chumpcarFrom Chumpcar.com: ChumpCar was developed for gear-heads; for people who love driving and driving fast. It’s not about gimmicks or theatrics. It’s not about spending buckets of money, either. Rather, it’s for Chumps like you that have always wanted to go road racing without all the hassles or huge rule books or obscene expense. It’s about ‘Joe Average’ and almost-race-ready cars. ChumpCar is a throw-back to the era when racing was fun and cheap... when Bondo beat carbon-fiber; when a crescent wrench was the most valuable tool in your box; when home-made engineering made everyone sit up and take notice; and when adding a little theme to your car didn’t get you laughed off of pit lane. Those were good times... and they’re back.

A few FSR members have collaborated to form a Chump Car team.  Here is their short story about the “Chumpionship” at VIR in early December. To qualify the team needed to participate in two previous events during the season and have at least one top ten finish. That’s the invitation part. Of the 40 entrants, there were 17 cars qualified for the Chumpionship. The “Chump” award went to two gentlemen, one aged 65, who completed the race ALONE. No pit crew; just the two of them in a Miata. Each drove two hour stints in the rain, helped their buddy refuel the car and get strapped in, then try to get warm for two hours before repeating the cycle.

We brought on two new drivers; David Israel and Don Bryant. They are hooked though Don complained of sore body parts afterward. It was cold and wet all weekend with temps hovering around freezing.

Our effort required three perfect two hours stints on Saturday, led by John Schwaebler, then Don took over and cut so much grass he got black flagged.  Sunday we needed a good smack into a wall (that will take me many hour to fix), then I needed to spin off the track five times to catch the spots that Don missed.  Finally Ron Boustedt brought it home clam, cool and collected, gaining two spots in the last two hours.  We ended up eighth.

We have three more new drivers ready for March 2014 and there is a new car under construction at Racewerks to make the “our” team a two car effort. We’ll race three times at VIR in 2014, and plan one event at Watkins Glen. We hope to have a big turnout of spectators for the 24 Hour August 9-10, 2014.

 

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