Driver's Education Report
May 1, 2012
By Brian Powell
AMP is open and we're ready to go!

By now, we’ll have just completed our first event of the 2012 season with our spring DE at CMP. Maybe it’s just me, but is seems like its been forever since our November 2011 event at VIR. Or maybe it’s not just me, since the event is almost sold out with 135 scheduled to attend. At this point, only a few slots are available in the upper run groups. On Friday, Shane Tisdale and Marty Barrett will welcome potential instructors with the PCA National Instructors Clinic. In addition to the required experience, potential instructors will spend the day in the classroom followed by practice and a final exam in order to receive their instructor certification.

For those new to DE, the Club’s Drivers’ Education program is open to drivers of all skill levels. Participants are divided into groups based on skill. Novice drivers are placed in the Green Group, where they benefit from low-speed, track-familiarization drills, classroom instruction under the guidance of skilled instructors. Blue Group drivers are still accompanied by instructors, but classroom instruction is focused more on improving on the basics. Most drivers make their way up the learning curve quickly, progressing from Green to Blue. Drivers who are ready to solo move to Blue Solo, still under the watchful eyes of instructors. When they are ready to advance to White, they’ll receive a check ride and sign-off from a senior instructor. Black and Red Groups are for advanced drivers and instructors.

Next up will be our inaugural event at Atlanta Motorsport Park in Dawsonville, Ga. AMP is just opening their doors in the next few weeks. The track has significant elevation changes, thanks to the North Georgia mountains. Peachstate PCA, North Georgia SCCA and others have events planned there over the next month. During construction, the Carolinas Region DE staff has made several visits to AMP. But as much as we can plan and draw on the feedback from other clubs, it is a new venue with a new staff. Our event will be July 14th/15th, so they’ll gain some experience over the next couple months. But there are a few things we know to expect already.

First and foremost, be flexible. We anticipate the event will go like clockwork just like events at CMP or VIR. But we’ll have a plan B nevertheless, and in some cases plan C.
Second, the facility is still under construction. Parking and paddock space will be tight. It will take a couple of events to work out the kinks. Trailer parking may be an issue. Gas is not available onsite. Gas and food will be 5 miles from the track in Dawsonville.
Third, since this is marketed as a country club, the facility regulations are different from other facilities. Track hours are 8:30 til 5. There will not be a PA system. PA announcements will be made over FM radio. Please bring one. But Sunday quiet hours are not mandated.
And last but not least, noise limits are 98db at 50 ft.

Registration fees for AMP will be $300 for PCA member, $350 for non-member and $125 for instructors. Registration will open May 15th. We are working with AMP to provide our instructors extra track time on Friday afternoon (July 13) to familiarize themselves with the track. We’ll post more information on those items and the event hotel, etc. as those details are finalized.

Registration will be online using As a rule, DE registration will open 2 months prior to the event. Be sure to visit the DE page on our region website as well. We have a lot of good information there such as our updated Drivers Ed Guide, 2012 tech form and the approved inspection sites.

For more on any of these events contact Brian Powell at (704-260-0716).