Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Autocross Schools: The First Step to Learning Performance Driving

If you have you ever wondered what you and your car are really capable of, best way to find out is with an Autocross School. BMW CCA Boston of which I have been part of for the past 10 years just hosted its first 2012 autocross school.

All photos by J. Fountain Photography

It was fantastic to see that of the 60 students who were lucky to get a spot in the first 9 hours of registration opening, 35 were first-timers! Staying up late or getting up early to sign up on time for the event paid off with 25-30 runs on 3 different courses. Tough to beat that value for the $85 it takes to run at the event, especially when you consider the quality of instructing: among the 20 instructors at the event (that's right! 3:1 student: instructor ratio), we had the 2011 SCCA Rookie of the Year Eric Heinrich and past Mazda Rev It Up Boston winner Steve Hazard.

It is very rewarding to work with new drivers and see them take out chunks of time with each run. As an instructor, you can never yell "Look Ahead!" enough times in a run. Understanding that the inputs don't have to be treated as toggle switches, learning to use the suspension to help slow you down instead of braking each time, understanding car balance, weight transfer, and how they are impacted by each input are eye-openers for everyone new and even not so new to the sport.

You owe it to yourself to get out there, have some fun in a safe environment, and make new friends that share the passion for driving.

More BMW CCA Boston April 15 Autocross School Photos