Car Control Clinics
If an event fills up, please sign up for the wait list. If instructor registration reaches a certain threshold, we will accept more students. There are almost always a few cancellations, and we go to the wait list to find replacements.
Overview of Clinics
The Golden Gate Chapter has four types of educational events for car control. All clinics are built around moderate speed exercises performed in a large parking lot.
(Photo by James Tsukamoto, Meritus Photography)
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please scroll down for more information.
Imagine knowing what to do when your car begins to slide, knowing how to skirt around an unexpected obstacle, and being in calm control during an emergency stop. Come out and explore your limits and your car’s limits in a controlled setting. Car control skills are learned techniques. Having these skills at your command enhances your ability to be a safe driver in normal everyday situations. These skills are also the foundation for performance driving. Learn the basics of performance car control through several challenging exercises.
The CCC is great for teenagers, beginning drivers, experienced drivers — anyone who wants better car control skill. Attendance is a prerequisite for our high performance driving schools. Prior to the introduction of the Advanced CCC, many students would attend more than one CCC. Individualized in-car instruction is tailored to level of skill each student brings to the event.
Our Clinics are open to all BMW Club members. We explore vehicle dynamics in a controlled environment, with you at the wheel. The program is structured for people without any performance driving instruction. Each participant receives personalized instruction provided by experienced Club instructors. The level of instruction is tailored to fit the background of each individual student. All you need to attend is a membership in the BMW Club and a valid driver’s license (learner’s permits are not accepted). Registration in advance is required by all participants. Two-driver cars are allowed (two separately registered drivers sharing one car). Both drivers get the full amount of driving time. Please read the Student Packet for complete details about the clinic.
The clinic lasts all day. Our format includes a short morning lecture followed by three moderate speed exercises (skidpad, slalom and braking/avoidance). A diagram of each exercise is outlined in the Student Handout. Each exercise is prefaced with a short talk about concepts specific to the exercise. You will learn the proper use of the steering wheel, brakes, and throttle as elements of car control. You will learn how to balance the weight of the car on the four tires for best braking, turning and acceleration. Safety is our top priority at this and all Club driving events. Our objective is to improve your awareness as a driver, introduce you to vehicle dynamics, and provide you with fundamental car control skills.
Registration and payment must be done in advance via our online registration system (visit motorsportreg.com). Registration for each clinic opens about 6-8 weeks before the event.
Registration for the clinic will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are planning to attend an HPDE, please enroll early as the clinics often fill quickly. We recommend signing up for the chapter’s e-blast email list to get notifications about event. Please see the Student Packet for full details on registration requirements. See the sidebar to the left for a link to the student packet.
Advanced Car Control Clinic
Our advanced CCC program builds upon the street safety skills taught in the regular clinic, and introduces more advanced performance driving skills. This program is targeted at anyone who is interested in performance driving, including novice HPDE and autocross participants, as well as intermediate participants who are interested in staying sharp. The program deals with more advanced skills and topics:
The day’s schedule for the Advanced CCC is somewhat different than the regular CCC program. Registration and tech inspection start earlier to provide more driving time. A student/driver meeting is held first thing in the morning, followed by driving drills in weight transfer and cornering technique. In the afternoon, students will rotate among a number of driving circuits to apply the skills learned in the morning. The circuits include complicated turn types as well as turn combinations. During the driving exercises, students will be split into two groups – half driving the exercise while the other half will manage flags and reset cones, as is done in an autocross. Requirements:
Wet Skidpad Car Control Clinic
This is a very challenging event held on a very low traction surface. At low speeds students will experience extreme skids that modern cars would typically experience only at very high speeds. Students will have the opportunity to learn not just skid control, but finesse at recovering from a major skid.
So you want to get involved? We are always looking for good people to join the ranks of staff or instructors. Staff members facilitate the operation of the event. They help with setup, tear-down, registration, distributing lunch, staging of cars, traffic control, etc. No experience necessary. Energy, a desire to help, and good people skills are the main requirements.
Instructor candidates need to bring an understanding of the fundamentals, the flexibility to work with a variety of people, and the ability to explain concepts and exercises. Drivers at an advanced intermediate or advanced HPDE level usually have sufficient understanding of the subject matter. Seasoned autocrossers typically have sufficient knowledge and skill.
Knowing the subject is just the start. Being able to work with students ranging from timid to over-confident is very important. Instructors must be able to translate knowledge and skills in a way that students can grasp them.
We have tools for bringing instructors up to speed, whether they’ve instructed with other programs or are completely new to instructing. There’s a guide book for instructors, detailing the skills we teach, and how we teach them. Each instructor candidate works with a mentor at their first event, to help them come up to speed. We have an annual instructor/staff meeting which is open to all current or prospective volunteers.