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      03-24-2011, 08:17 PM   #49
First Lieutenant

Drives: 2007 Z4 M Coupe
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Richmond, VA

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Now, I've only done three schools total, and all of those with Tarheel BMW CCA and all at VIR, and so I can't compare to other HPDEs. That said, I think they run a top-notch school and plenty of folks I've met down there concur, many of them having run with other organizations.

BMW CCA by and large seems to have a good rep as far as instructors go, and I've been pleased with the four guys I've worked with, including a new graduate of the CCA's instructor training program. If I remember correctly, instructor candidates must have themselves completed 30 track days with an instructor before being eligible to enter the training program, and they take it very seriously, as far as I can tell.

I did have a classroom instructor at my first school who was a little enthralled with the sound of his own voice and didn't give us much useful information--we instead talked about how we should strive to one day drive the Nurburgring. Since then, though, the classroom instructors have been great. CCA is big on it being a school with instruction, so don't go in with a plan to get signed off and run a lot by yourself.

Tarheel's usual schedule is four 25-minute sessions each day, and it's a two-day school. So, that's 200 minutes of track time, or 70 or so hot laps on the full course at my level. The school is very organized, runs on-time unless there's an incident, and then they adjust well. There's usually 30+/- cars per run group, which is around 10 cars per mile on the full course. Not bad, traffic-wise, other than maybe the novice group.

Keep in mind that the summer school usually is on the North Course, and you miss some of what I think makes VIR such a great track. But then, you get to do some of the tricky, technical sections twice as much.

Come in October--I'll be back then.
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