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Watkins Glen Driving School
Watkins Glen High Performance Driving School – July 31 – August 1, 2023
Watkins Glen is one of the premier race tracks in the world. The list of legendary drivers that have graced the streets of Watkins Glen and the twists of Watkins Glen International is nearly second to none. The stars of all forms of racing – F1, IRL, sports car, open-wheel, and stock car – have come to The Glen for 60 years and many have left their mark on its history. The track is about three and a half miles long, with eleven turns and several impressive uphill and downhill sections and is known for its challenging elevation changes. The track is situated high on a hillside, with expansive views of Seneca Lake. For more information on the track, please visit TheGlen.com.
The town of Watkins Glen sits at the foot of Seneca Lake, the largest and deepest of New York’s Finger Lakes, in the very middle of Finger Lakes Wine Country. Immediately to the north of the town, on either side of the lake, there are dozens of vineyards each with its own shops with free wine tastings. There are also spas, shopping and museums and a “Gorgeous” State Park in the area for spouses who might want to make the trip but not spend a lot of time at the track.
Our High Performance Driving Schools are suitable for all skills levels from Novice to Expert. The school combines classroom and on-track instruction in a closely supervised and controlled environment. Students are divided into “run groups” according to their prior experience and evaluations from previous schools. In between the track sessions, students get classroom instruction in an environment appropriate for their skill level.
What is a High Performance Driving School?
The purpose of a driving school is quite simple: to improve your driving skills. We conduct the school on a racetrack under the close supervision of experienced and trained instructors. You will learn how to handle and control your vehicle at speeds not normally attained on public roads. This will help to prepare you for emergencies in normal driving. It will also allow you to explore your capabilities as a driver and those of your vehicle in a controlled environment. At no time will you be pushed or encouraged to go any faster than is comfortable. All participants will be organized into run groups in accordance with experience, skill, and type of vehicle.
What you learn on the track depends on your driving skill. Beginners are taught driving style (smoothness, consistency, the ability to read the track), more experienced participants continue to work on consistency, while developing new skills such as trail braking and threshold braking. Every time you are on the track, you will have an experienced instructor in the passenger seat.
For the most experienced drivers, you can be “signed off” and drive solo when you have proven to your instructor and the Chief Instructor that you understand the basics of high speed driving, you can consistently drive the correct line, and you show proper etiquette on track. Maturity, good judgment, skill, and significant experience will lead to being signed off for solo driving.
Though you are on a racetrack, other drivers of similar driving skills, it is not a race. Passing in corners is not allowed, and you are not expected to shift at redline, or go screaming through each corner with the tires squealing. Safety of the event is of the utmost importance. Driver conduct will be diligently monitored throughout the day by the staff, instructors, and corner workers.
You will have four on-track sessions each day varying from 20-30 minutes each. At the end of the 2-day event you will have had between 3-4 hours on-track over the two days. That’s a lot of driving time and a lot of personalized high-quality instruction.
Your day is divided between driving on the track, classroom sessions, and free time. Yes, this is a school, and there is mandatory classroom time. All participants are required to attend classroom sessions throughout the day to learn vehicle dynamics and driving techniques.
In the classroom, you learn a lot of high speed driving theory such as the difference between an early and late apex. You’ll get a better understanding of car dynamics so you understand what is really happening when you brake or why your car understeers or oversteers in certain circumstances. Each classroom will also include an opportunity for Q&A.
For this event we are offering Professional Coaching for our Instructors and Advanced (Red Run Group) students.
- Both are well-known to many of our drivers
- Both of them have impeccable credentials
- Both of them will greatly improve your driving and coaching
- Unfortunately, both of them have limited sessions to offer
Do I need to own an Audi?
We welcome all makes of cars — you don’t have to drive an Audi to enjoy our events. This school is an excellent way for you to improve your driving skills and have fun too!
All participants must simply be members of the Audi Club of North America (ACNA). There is a $49 fee for annual membership. To join or update your membership, please go to the ACNA website (https://www.audiclubna.org/) and click on “Join ACNA” at the top of the page.
First Time Students
Our club is a friendly community of individuals who share a passion for driving their cars. First Time participants, in addition to regular track and classroom instruction, participate in safe car handling and accident avoidance exercises specially set up in a large parking lot (Paddock). These activities are designed to better familiarize you with the capabilities of your car (and yourself) before going on the track. You’ll find these exercises not only instructive but fun.
NEQ also has another unique program for First Timers which is a $100 discount on your next track event with us
We know what it’s like to drive on a race-track for the first time and we customize your experience to make it an enjoyable as possible. We love welcoming first-timers to our events and we have a good number of first-timers at each one – you will not be alone. Your novice classroom teacher and your personal in-car instructor are ready to make you comfortable and give you the tools and confidence to enjoy driving your car on the race-track. Don’t forget – this is not competition driving. There is no overtaking in corners or racing other cars. This is all about having a safe and enjoyable experience.
We have some restrictions on driving convertibles and you will need a helmet. Requirements are on the next page. We have rental helmets available if you need one. Should you have any questions which are not answered on this page, please contact us and ask. We want to make you comfortable and we’re happy to talk with you. Use the “Contact Host” button on the right side of this page.
This YouTube video shows even more about events with our club. First Timers especially, please watch it.
We hope to see you there!