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Driver Education, March 2012

Confessions of a DE Day addict…

Is it just me, or…are my DE Track Day compulsions taking hold? Every time I look at my tires, the tread seems to vary…sometimes it seems like they have plenty of wear left, sometimes they look worn on the outside. So I turn the steering wheel to full lock to make sure I can see the whole tire.

But the rears are harder to see…and my brakes – it’s a while since I looked at the pads. They must be worn by now…and I need them to have at least 50% left to go to Thunderhill…so I take the wheels off one by one so I can see both sides of the pads – and inspect all of the tires.

And then when I’m driving the car – is it pulling to the right or is it the rough patch of road I’m on? Do I need an alignment? The camber levels out  – it feels OK now. But them I’m on rougher road again, and the Carrera’s steering wheel starts to dance in my hands, like the front wheels are square. Are they out of balance? But it’s OK, it was another random challenge on the variable road surface testing ground, which most people know as ‘The 580’.

Read more: Driver Education, March 2012

Slides from DE 101 Presentation

Were you interested in the Driver Education 101 presentation a while back, but couldn't make it to the event? Good news! The slides from this introduction to the Diablo track program - what to can expect to learn, what the basic rules are, and what you'll experience on a typical track day - can be viewed by clicking here. If you read this and want to see what it's like firsthand, our next DE event is at Thunderhill on March 16th - see the announcement here.

Driver Education, February 2012

Driver Education LogoSitting in Starbucks, gazing out the window at 7:30am it’s already warm like a spring morning. Skiers, snowboarders and snowmobilers are frustrated right now. But, drivers are excited the 2012 season may start with some dry track events like this one:http://youtu.be/RkddvW9g8pQ

Contrast the last couple of years when I thought it would rain all season long! Don’t get me wrong, I actually like driving in the rain. Yes, speeds are lower, but you learn a lot – there’s huge satisfaction to doing it well. I’m always amazed at the grip of modern road tires in the wet. It’s not the knife-edge dance people expect. (To be fair it’s easier to cope with in a Porsche than in a Viper).

Read more: Driver Education, February 2012

Driver Education at Thunderhill, March 16th

Diablo will hold it's first Driver Education event of 2012 at Thunderhill Raceway Park on Friday, March 16th. You can download the complete flyer for this event here. (If you want to learn what happens at a DE, you can attend this evening presentation on Feb 22nd.) You will need to have your car inspected, and this inspection form completed by an approved inspector; free inspections will be held at Porsche of Fremont on March 3rd and Kahler's on March 6th (see flyer for details).

Registration opens at MotorsportReg.com on February 6th at $240 per person; after March 9th the fee is $260. This fee includes a buffet lunch in the Clubhouse and access to experienced instructors (beginners get priority). Note that there will be 5 full 30-minute sessions for each of three rungroups (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced). This event will be limited to 60 cars total, so register early!

Note: The following Saturday and Sunday, Hooked on Driving will hold an event at Thunderhill. Those wishing to have a three day weekend of track time may wish to contact HoD.

Driver Education 101, February 22nd

Wondering what this "dee eee" stuff is all about? A Driver Education overview and orientation session will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd starting at 6:30PM in Tom Davenport's offices in Walnut Creek. Download the flyer here. Attendees will learn things like:

  • How to prepare your car
  • What actually happens at the track
  • Introduction to terminology and theory
  • Hear people's first DE experiences

This evening session is free to attend.

Driver Education, January 2012

Driver Ed Logo

What a fabulous end of the year, for drivers. The dry weather may not have populated Tahoe with snow, but sunny and clear in December is the envy of the world! I managed to pack in a couple of late season track days at Thunderhill Raceway which were excellent despite the short days, with low sixties temperatures, small run groups and no bugs decorating the windshield and the front of the car…although the first run of the morning was a little chilly with windows down!

At the beginning of December, we got the Diablo Driver Education team together for breakfast and discussion of the Program for 2012 and beyond. (By the way, we welcome anyone interested in the DE Program to these meetings - email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I’ll include you in all communications to the team). There’s only one caveat if you attend - you may get asked to help!

Read more: Driver Education, January 2012

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