Driving School Standards

Section III – Drivers School Standards

 

1.0 Introduction

1.1 BMW Car Club of America, Inc. (BMW CCA) supports drivers school programs conducted by its chartered Chapters as part of BMW CCA’s goal of promoting driver education and safety.

1.1.1 Since an element of risk is inherent in these events, BMW CCA is providing the following minimum standards and recommendations to minimize the risk of property damage and personal injury at BMW CCA drivers schools.

1.1.2 BMW CCA Chapters conducting drivers school programs bear the primary responsibility to exercise reasonable care during each event. Chapters are encouraged to consult with BMW CCA to propose any changes to these standards that will improve the program.

1.1.3 These standards and recommendations, upon adoption, will be presented to the BMW CCA Board of Directors for inclusion, in accordance with the BMW CCA bylaws, into the Operations Manual. The standards may be updated periodically with changes proposed by the BMW CCA Board of Directors, based on National Board or Chapter input, and adopted by a simple majority vote of the Chapters. Updates to these standards and recommendations become effective immediately upon adoption, and will be included in the next Operations Manual update. In the interim, Chapters shall be notified in writing of updates.

1.2 These standards are minimum event standards that Chapters must meet for a drivers school to receive BMW CCA sanctioning and to continue to be a Chapter of BMW CCA. Chapters may set more stringent requirements for their events.

2 Drivers School Requirements/Recommendations

2.1 Budgets

2.1.1 Chapter Boards have full responsibility for the budgeting of the event, for the components of the event (including sponsorship), and for full accounting of the revenues and expenses involved.

Recommendation – Drivers schools are a member benefit and should be priced to be accessible to as many members as possible.

2.2 Insurance

2.2.1 BMW CCA drivers schools must be insured by a reputable company licensed to conduct business in the state in which the event is to occur. Chapters may use BMW CCA, Inc.’s policy or purchase coverage through the track. BMW CCA must be listed as an Additional Named Insured in the policy covering the event.

All rules, regulations, and requirements of the policy must be followed explicitly and without deviation.

BMW CCA’s minimum insurance coverage requirements are as follows:

1 – Comprehensive General Liability- $5,000,000 aggregate
2 – Participant Liability – $1,000,000

The above minimums shall apply regardless of the source of coverage.

2.2.2 Other insurance for Accidental Death, Medical Expenses and Lost Wages may be required by the event facility. This insurance is included under BMW CCA Inc.’s policy, however, the limits of coverage may be less than those required by the event facility.

2.2.3 The cost of insurance shall be the sole responsibility of the sponsoring Chapter. BMW CCA rebates may be available.

2.2.4 Insurance Waivers

All individuals entering the event premises must sign the appropriate insurance waiver(s).

Copies of the waivers shall be provided to Students in advance of the event within their registration materials so that they are aware of their content.

2.2.5 Liability Insurance For Cars

Recommendation -Chapters may choose to require evidence of liability and/or collision insurance on cars entered. They may at their option allow uninsured or unregistered vehicles to participate.

Be aware that the club’s K&K policy has no provision for payment for physical damage to vehicles.

2.3 Track Rules And Regulations

All rules and regulations specified by the event facility (and as negotiated by sponsoring Chapter with the facility) must be followed explicitly and without deviation.

2.4 Chapter Event Plan

Recommendation – Each Chapter desiring to conduct a drivers school should create a drivers school plan with details for conducting the drivers school(s). The Chapter plan and curriculum must be in conformance with these standards and should be approved by the Chapter’s Board of Directors. A Chapter which has not previously held a drivers school shall submit a copy of the plan in advance to the National office.

2.4.1 Required Meetings

As part of the event plan the Chapter shall conduct participant meeting(s) for students and instructors before conducting high-speed sessions to review safety, policies, and procedures.

2.5 Driver’s Qualifications

2.5.1 Age Of Drivers – Minimum age for drivers in high-speed drivers schools is 16 with a full drivers license (not a provisional license or learners permit). Minors 16 years of age or older must have a notarized Minor Release Waiver (signed by the minor’s parent/legal guardian). Some event facilities and Chapters may require a higher minimum age.

2.5.2 Driver’s License – Each Instructor or student shall have a full operator’s license that shall not be suspended or revoked.

2.6 Safety Devices

2.6.1 Helmets

Helmets must be worn by all participants during all in-car sessions other than touring laps referenced in section 2.8.6. All helmets must be rated at least the current Snell rating or the immediate prior rating, i.e.: if currently available standard is Snell 95, then Snell 90 is required.

A one-year grace period applies after general introduction of the current standard.

2.6.2 Lap And Shoulder Belts

Lap and shoulder belts are required for driver and passenger and must be fully functional.

Chapters may, at their option, require equal restraints.

After market seat belts must be installed in compliance with manufacturers installation instructions in a manner so as to minimize injury.

Recommendation – If 4, 5, or 6 point belts are provided for the driver, it is recommended that equal restraints be provided for the front seat passenger.

Instructor’s cars are recommended to have a passenger seat to give Students rides remember that these are schools and the focus is education. Schedules should consider providing specific times for students to ride with Instructors.

2.6.3 Advanced Vehicle Systems

Advanced vehicle systems including ABS and traction control provide new challenges for the driving school curriculum and instruction. As we gain experience with these systems, classroom, ontrack exercises, and in-car instruction should address their benefits and limitations.

At no time should a Chapter or Instructor endorse or participate in the disabling of a factory installed safety system (i.e.: ABS).

NOTE: a system which has a driver-controlled switch (such as automatic traction control) may be turned off/on; it is important the Instructor be aware of the status of such systems.

2.7 Instruction

2.7.1 Instructor/Student Assignment

The focus of the driving school events is driver’s education. In-car instruction is required for anyone other than advanced students with prior experience at this facility with the sponsoring Chapter.

Even Students who have been signed off should be encouraged to continue in-car instruction to advance their learning.

Whenever possible the sign-off procedure is to be communicated in writing in the event documentation provided to Instructors.

In-car Instructors are optional for low speed exercises (i.e.: safety school exercises like skid pad or slalom).

Supplemental methods of supervision (i.e.: Instructor observation from corners) are encouraged, but do not replace the requirement for in-car instruction. Lead follow format is only appropriate for low speed orientation laps, and is most effective with no more than 3 Student cars per lead Instructor car.

Recommendation – Even advanced students should be required to have in-car Instructors at least for a portion of the first track session to set the tone for the event and establish effective discipline. By definition these events are schools and not unsupervised track time.

It is strongly recommended that Instructors be preassigned to specific Students or that Students be selected by specific Instructors or Instructor teams. Students should generally remain with the assigned Instructor(s) until signed off. This policy allows Instructors and Students with specific skill levels, needs, and types of cars to be properly assigned.

While there is great value in working with more than one Instructor (after being signed off by the initial Instructor) it is immensely distracting to students of all experience levels when Instructors are not assigned and it does not provide the continuity of instruction that is conducive to learning.

Chapters may require Instructors in some or all run groups at specific times during the event (i.e.: first or last run groups of a day or of a school), but are not required to do so.

In-car communication – it is strongly recommended that all Instructors utilize in-car helmet communicators.

2.7.2 Run Group Assignments

Students are to be assigned to run groups based on their prior experience at a given facility, at events sponsored by the hosting Chapter, and other Club or professional drivers schools or racing experience. Other things being equal, the speed potential of the car should be considered. The drivers school plan should allow for students to be moved up or down to a more appropriate group based on the Instructor’s recommendation.

Recommendation – that run group designations (colors, numbers, letters) be standardized to provide continuity for Instructors and Students between different Chapters’ events. (See Appendix A)

2.7.3 Classroom Instruction

Classroom Instruction is a required, integral part of the school program. On-track Instructors should be aware of the schedule and content of classroom instruction. Classroom instruction should be tailored to the varying experience level of the Students. Assistance in developing classroom curriculum is available from the National office.

Recommendation – that classroom curriculum outline be provided to students in advance.

Recommendation – that classroom schedule and curriculum be provided in writing to Instructors in advance of the event.

2.7.4 On-Track Or Skidpad Exercises

Recommendation – strongly encouraged wherever it is physically possible to safely provide them. They should focus on safety and their application to both real driving situations and full course driving. On track and classroom Instructors should be fully aware of their intent and method of execution and integrate them into their instruction.

2.8 Conduct Of The Event

2.8.1 Tech Inspection

Per the Oktoberfest Manual section 14.3.7 pre-event tech inspection by a qualified entity (e.g. dealer, authorized service center, mechanic) is required. Participants are solely responsible for the safe condition of the vehicle to be driven to, at, or from the event.

The insurance underwriters endorse on-site tech inspection at events as a follow-up to pre-event inspection.

While on-site inspection is not required by the policy, their assessment is that this extra safety precaution is preferable to not doing a final inspection and does not expose the event organizers to additional liability.

An approved tech form is available from National. Chapters may add additional requirements.

Tech forms are to be collected at the event. Log books which document tech inspection are acceptable.

In the event of an incident in which a participant vehicle may have sustained physical damage the Chapter may require the vehicle to undergo an additional tech inspection and may disallow continued participation of the vehicle until and unless satisfactory repairs are made.

2.8.2 Medical Information

Registration materials should include a request for a contact in case of emergency, an inquiry regarding drug allergies, and an inquiry as to whether the participant wishes to provide any other health/medical information. Such information should be available to provide to on-site emergency personnel.

Recommendation – Chapters may request additional medical information that might indicate pre-existing conditions or current medications that might affect the participants ability to safely participate in high speed driving events. Chapters should be sensitive to the confidentiality of such information.

2.8.3 Corner Workers

Corner Workers are MANDATORY for the entire time that Students and/or Instructors are on the track at speed and must be in constant two-way voice communication with a control person(s) at all times.

Flags utilized will be used in full compliance with SCCA standards and are to be clearly documented in event materials.

Chapters may use their judgment in requiring corner workers during low speed touring sessions and low speed exercises.

Experienced SCCA or professional corner workers are highly recommended. Students may be used as corner workers, preferably as supplements to official corner workers. Corner working and observation at corners by Students can be a meaningful part of the learning process.

If Students are used as corner workers they must receive written information on their duties prior to the event and verbal information on the task and on flag use (in a drivers meeting and/or classroom).

Corner workers should clearly understand their responsibilities and authority. They should be used as the eyes and ears of the event management and encouraged to report Students in need of help, who are driving too aggressively or dangerously, passing incorrectly, etc.

2.8.4 Passing

Passing areas & rules shall be clearly defined (in writing if possible) to event staff, on-track and classroom instructors, students, and corner workers and they shall be aggressively enforced.

Advanced student groups and Instructor groups may have additional passing areas as safety allows at the discretion of the Chapter. Instructors in any run group must comply with all passing rules applicable to the run group without exception.

Passing is ONLY allowed upon clearly defined hand signal by the driver of the car being overtaken – pointing to the direction that the passing car should take.

A passing car must receive a signal from EACH car being overtaken.

EACH car allowed to pass requires an individual signal.

Note that a passing signal is an invitation to pass, but NOT a requirement. The pass must only be initiated if it can be completed safely within the designated areas.

PASSING VIOLATIONS must be handled aggressively by event management, with offenders spoken to, deprived of track time, and if necessary, ejected from the event!

Recommendation – that passing technique be standardized between schools (at least schools at the same track – even by different Chapters) to improve understanding and eliminate confusion regarding the rules.

It is recommended that the standard procedure be to have the passing car go offline to complete the pass wherever the facility allows this to be safely implemented. Special care must be taken where the line crosses the track in a passing zone.

2.8.5 Event Timing

Event timing Is allowed for purposes of establishing consistency of performance. The policy does not endorse timing for speed.

2.8.6 Passengers

Students are not permitted to take any passengers other than an Instructor on the track during Student sessions at speed.

Instructors may take Students, their guests, and other event participants (i.e.: corner workers) on the track if the proper waivers are signed.

In sessions at speed a passenger may not be under the age of 16 (passengers under the age of 18 require a signed minor release waiver).

Optionally, events may include low speed touring sessions under a carefully controlled environment (i.e.: using pace cars; not exceeding 50 miles per hour) when Students and Instructors may drive family/guests around the track – proper seat belts are required for all passengers; helmets not required; no age limit.

Recommendation – The use of wrist bands in standardized colors to identify staff, workers, students, Instructors, and guests and to signify that the appropriate waivers have been signed.

2.8.7 Convertibles

Convertibles are not allowed to participate in sessions driven at speed without a roll bar and 5 or 6 point harnesses. Arm restraints are strongly recommended. The use of a roll bar meeting the minimum requirements described in Appendix B is strongly recommended. Cars with factory installed rollover protection, Targas, T-tops, etc. are a Chapter decision. Exclusion of convertibles is also a Chapter option.

2.8.8 Windows/Doors/Sunroofs

Driver’s and passenger’s side windows must be completely down while on the track. Doors must be unlocked. Sunroofs must be closed/latched or removed.

2.9 Consumption Of Alcohol Or Illegal Drugs

Consumption of and/or any attempt to participate in an event while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. Consumption of alcohol by anyone present at the event is prohibited during the event’s on track hours, including lunch. Violators are subject to immediate expulsion from the event.

Recommendation – handouts and drivers meetings should remind participants not to overindulge in alcoholic beverages the night before scheduled track time.

3.0 Emergency Services

All requirements of the event insurance (see 2.2.1) regarding emergency services must be adhered to.

At a minimum the following is required:

  • an on-site ambulance during all times when the facility is used for high-speed activities.
  • one or more licensed paramedics with the ambulance at all times.
  • fire extinguishers in the pit area and at all manned corner stations.

Should the ambulance or paramedic personnel be required to leave the site, no high-speed activities of any kind may be conducted until their return to duty. Low speed (under 50 mph) touring laps may be conducted as facility tours and to continue Instruction if allowed under the event insurance policy and with approval of the facility.

Recommendation – Chapters should have a written emergency response plan.

4.0 Driving Event Accident/Incident Occurrence Report

It is required that this form be completed for any accident at a driving school in which a vehicle sustains physical damage or in which an occupant or other event participant sustains physical injury.

This report is to be completed immediately after the incident (or as soon as possible) while the persons involved are available.

Copies are to be distributed within 14 days as follows:

  • Chapter files
  • BMW CCA National office

5.0 Compliance Procedures

5.1 Safety

BMW CCA’s first priority is to encourage ongoing and safe drivers schools. If any Chapter is alleged in writing to have violated these specified requirements, a letter will be sent to the Chapter President detailing the issues and requesting the Chapter’s response. If the allegations are true, the Chapter must prepare a corrective action plan to ensure the violation is not repeated.

Failure to respond to or cooperate with the Board shall lead to Chapter disciplinary action, such as denying use of BMW CCA insurance, probation or suspension of the Chapter’s charter.

5.2 Alternative Methodology

If a Chapter wishes to propose a methodology not in compliance with the minimum standards, the Chapter must submit a detailed event plan to the National Office. Upon review, the National Board may authorize the Chapter to conduct a test event using the proposed methodology. The National Board may require an observer to attend and evaluate the event. Based on this evaluation, the National Board may propose changes to the Standards per section 1.1.3.

Next section: Section IV – Reimbursement Policy

Appendix A

Run Group Assignments

Recommended run group structure/nomenclature:

Run Group Color Letter
Instructors Black I
Advanced Green A
Advanced/intermediate Blue B
Intermediate Yellow C
Novice/intermediate White D
Novice Red E

Wristbands

Wristbands
Instructors White
Staff Green
Students Yellow
Guests Red

Waiver for Drivers School Standards

The procedure for a waiver is being worked out. It will be coming shortly.

Appendix B

Roll Bars for Convertibles

These specifications are for inspecting convertible roll bars and represent minimum requirements. The words “shall” and “shall not” indicate that the specification is mandatory. Convertible roll bars shall be inspected by and are subject to approval by the Chief Technical Inspector at each event.

B.1 Basic Design Considerations

B.1.1 The basic purpose of the roll bar is to assist in the protection of the driver (and passenger) if the car turns over or is involved in a collision. This purpose should not be forgotten.

B.1.2 The top of the roll bar shall be a minimum of two (2) inches above the top of the driver’s (and passenger’s) helmet with the driver (and passenger) seated normally and restrained by seat belt/shoulder harness. A plane (Helmet Reference Plane) drawn from the top (not including padding) of the roll bar to structural parts of the chassis in front of the base of the windshield (e.g., top of front suspension strut towers) shall pass over the driver’s (and passenger’s) helmet. (See Figure 1.)

B.1.3 The roll bar shall be designed to withstand compression forces resulting from the weight of the car coming down on the roll bar, and to take fore, aft, and lateral loads resulting from the car skidding along the ground on the roll bar.

B.1.4 The roll bar shall extend the full width of the cockpit .

B.1.5 Any portion of the roll bar or bracing which might be contacted by the driver’s (and passenger’s) helmet shall be covered with non-resilient material such as Ethafoam or Ensolite or other similar material with a minimum thickness of one-half (1/2) inch. The energy absorbing material shall be firmly attached.

B.2 Material

B.2.1 The roll bar hoop and all braces shall be seamless, ERW (Electric Resistance Welded), or DOM (Drawn Over Mandrel) mild steel tubing (SAE 1010, 1020, 1025, or equivalent), or chrome molybdenum allow steel tubing (SAE 4125, 4130, or equivalent). It is recommended that mild steel tubing be used as chromium alloys present difficulties in welding and must be normalized to relieve stress. Proof of the use of alloy steel shall be the responsibility of the participant.

B.2.2 The size of the tubing shall be determined based on the vehicle curb weight as follows:

Vehicle Curb Weight

Mild Steel

Alloy Steel
Outside Diameter x Wall Thickness in inches
Under 1500 lbs 1.5 x 0.120 1.375 x 0.090
1501-2500 lbs 1.75 x 0.120 1.625 x 0.095
Over 2500 lbs 2.25 x 0.120
2.00 x 0.180
2.00 x 0.095

The minus tolerance for tubing diameter and wall thickness shall not be less than 0.010 inch below the nominal value.

An inspection hole of at least 3/16 inch diameter shall be drilled in a non-critical area of the roll bar hoop to facilitate verification of tubing wall thickness.

Where bolts and nuts are used, the bolts shall be at least 3/8 inch diameter SAE Grade 5 or equivalent.

B.3 Welding

B.3.1 Welding shall conform to American Welding Society D1.1, Structural Welding Code, Chapter 10, Tubular Structures. Welds shall be visually inspected and shall be acceptable if the following conditions are satisfied:

B.3.1.1 The weld shall have no cracks.
B.3.1.2 Thorough fusion shall exist between weld metal and base metal.
B.3.1.3 All craters shall be filled to the cross-section of the weld.
B.3.1.4 Undercut shall be no more than 0.01 inch deep.

B.4 Roll Bar Hoop

One (1) continuous length of tubing shall be used for the roll bar hoop with smooth, continuous bends and no evidence of crimping or wall failure. The radius of the bends in the roll bar hoop (measured at centerline of tubing) shall not be less than three (3) times the diameter of the tubing. The roll bar hoop shall have a maximum of four (4) bends totaling 180 degrees +/- 10 degrees. Whenever possible, the roll bar hoop should start from the floor of the car.

B.5 Bracing

B.5.1 Roll bar hoops shall have two (2) fore/aft braces with tubing diameter and wall thickness as listed in A.2.2. The fore/aft braces shall be attached as close as possible to the top of but not more than six (6) inches below the top of the roll bar hoop. The included angle between the fore/aft brace and the vertical part of the roll bar hoop shall be no more than 30 degrees. The fore/aft braces shall have no bends. (See Figure 2.)

B.5.2 Roll bar hoops shall have a diagonal brace with tubing diameter and wall thickness as listed in A.2.2 to prevent lateral distortion of the hoop. The diagonal brace shall be attached at the bottom corner of the roll bar hoop on one side and the top corner of the roll bar hoop on the other side. The diagonal brace shall have no bends.

B.6 Mounting Plates

B.6.1 Roll bar hoops and braces shall be attached to the chassis of the car with mounting plates that are at least 3/16 inches thick.

B.6.2 Carpet/padding/insulation shall be removed under the mounting plates.

B.6.3 Mounting plates shall be either welded or bolted to the chassis.

B.6.4 Mounting plates bolted to the chassis shall have a back-up plate of equal size and thickness on the opposite side of the chassis with the plates through-bolted together. Whenever possible, the mounting plate should extend onto a vertical section of the chassis panel.

B.6.5 There shall be a minimum of three bolts per mounting plate, if bolted.

B.6.6 The through holes for the bolts shall be a minimum of 3/8 inches from the edge of the mounting plate.

B.6.7 Each mounting plate shall be no more than 100 square inches in area and shall be no greater than 12 inches nor less than 2.5 inches on a side.

B.6.8 The mounting plate may be multi-angled but shall not exceed the dimensions in B.6.7 in a flat plane.

B.7 Other Roll Bar Designs

Any roll bar design that does not comply with the specifications in B.2-B.6 shall be accompanied by engineering specifications signed by a registered Professional Engineer (PE) that attest that the installation is able to withstand the following stress loading applied simultaneously to the top of the bar:

1.5 X laterally
5.5 X longitudinally (fore/aft) in either direction
7.5 X vertically
where X = curb weight of car

with no permanent deformation to any part of the roll bar or the chassis and with no greater than 0.5 inch deflection of any part of the roll bar or the chassis as referenced to the unstressed condition. The induced loads must be carried over into the primary structure of the chassis. Other Roll Bar Designs shall comply with the specifications in B.1.

B.8 Convertible Rollbar Certification

CONVERTIBLE ROLLBAR CERTIFICATION

ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND RELEASE

In addition to all other pre-event preparation and inspection, I/we hereby certify that the toolbar installed in my/our convertible has been installed and checked by a qualified individual. I/We further understand that the choice of rollbar and any and all other rollover protection equipment or devices added to, or used in connection with this vehicle are entirely my choice and responsibility, that the _________________ Chapter of the BMW CCA, Inc., BMW CCA, Inc. and/or its members cannot be held liable or responsible for any vehicle or its equipment, and that problems, malfunctions or damage, including the possibility of bodily injury, may occur in connection with the operation of this vehicle, prior, during or subsequent to the driver’s school.

I/We specifically acknowledge that the trackside vehicle spot-check which may have been performed on this vehicle cannot verify that the rollbar and any other rollover protection equipment or devices do I in fact provide adequate protection or have in fact been properly installed or used, for this high speed driving event. No representations or warranties are implied or expressed as to the quality or adequacy of any rollbar, or rollover protection equipment or device, its manufacture or installation by any spot check of the vehicle or by permission to enter an drive this vehicle in this High Performance Driver Education Course. I/We do not rely on ________________ Chapter of the BMW CCA, Inc., BMW CCA, Inc. and/or its members in any way in my/our decision to so equip my/our vehicle or drive the vehicle in this High Performance Driver’s Education Course.

I/We acknowledge that the inspection of my/our convertible and rollbar, as equipped, by members of the ________________ Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America, Inc., is for the purpose of determining whether my rollbar appears from a visual inspection to be attached and intact. I/We acknowledge that there is being made no guarantee of fitness for use or particular purpose, and that I am relying solely on my own judgment and decision in using my convertible, as equipped, in a Club event and in choosing such equipment for use in a Club event. I release, acquit and forever discharge the BMW Car Club of America, Inc., its Chapters, officers, members, employees, lessors, associates, successors, or assigns from any and all liability, claims, demands or causes which may arise from any injury sustained by me, whether or not due to their negligence, including bodily injury.

I represent that I am the age of 18 years (or if between 16 and 18, both I and my parent have signed a Minor Release waiver), that I understand that I am participating in a dangerous event, and that my rollbar or other Rollover equipment or device may, in fact, not fully protect me under the circumstances of my participation in this event. I further represent that I have read the foregoing in its entirety, and I fully understand its contents.

 

Date: ___________________________

Signed by: _________________________________

Signed by: _________________________________

 

The parent of any participating minor must read and sign this certification, acknowledgment and release prior to said minor’s participation in the event.