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Driver's Education Minimum Standards

The DE Advisory Team, as the name implies, is advisory in nature. The team's first task was to collaborate on a set of Minimum Standards to be used as a common set of safety based rules upon which to build and improve regional DE programs. These Standards were designed to be basic in nature, with an emphasis on proven safe practices, and are designed to be expanded upon as each region tailors their own programs to their entrants. Download PCA DE Minimum Standards.

  1. Definition: A Drivers Education (a.k.a. Drivers Ed or DE) is an instructional speed event that is characterized by continuous lap driving with passing to be permitted as allowed by these rules. A DRIVERS ED IS NOT RACING. There shall be no official timing as the event is intended as instructional only, with no competition. There are no award points assigned and no trophies associated with DE events. While non-competitive, safety equipment is still required as outlined in these rules. All cars entered in the event must have fenders attached to the vehicle body at all four corners.
  2. Cabriolet/Convertible Cars: Any make of car delivered with factory installed roll over protection meets the minimum standards for PCA DE events. In these cars we recommend the soft-top be in the up position or the hard top installed. If the top is in the down position, restraint system* must be used. An SFI and/or FIA approved arm
    If a car does not have factory installed roll over protection, a roll bar or roll cage must be installed, which meets the "broomstick" rule (the driver's helmeted head is below a bar placed on top of the roll bar and windshield). Design, installation and materials of roll bars or cages and their installation must meet PCA Club Racing specifications, contained in Appendix A-Roll Cage Specifications of the PCA Club Racing Rules. All targa tops must be installed unless there is addition roll over protection. All sunroofs must be in the closed position. The windshield alone is not considered to be factory roll over protection.
    *Velocity Management, Inc. is a source for the SFI approved arm restraint system for use with the OEM three point belts. Contact info is www.gofastbesafe.com and the part number is QE3ptArm
  3. Equal Restraints: Both student and instructor shall have the same restraint system. All vehicles must be equipped with a properly installed lap and shoulder restraint system.
  4. Harness Systems: If the participant chooses to install a 5- or 6-point driving harness several changes to the automobile must be made to create a safe occupant restraint system. Harnesses must include a antisubmarine strap and be mounted in an approved manner consistent the manufacturer’s instructions. The Harness system must be used in conjunction with a seat which has the supplied routing holes for the shoulder and antisubmarine belts. All pieces of the restraint system must be installed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. This means that a seat is required to have the proper routing holes for the harness as supplied by the seat manufacturer for the shoulder and anti-submarine straps. The shoulder straps should be mounted at 90 degrees to the axis of your spine or at most 40 degrees down from horizontal. Because the addition of the harness system means that the occupants are fastened upright in the vehicle, a properly padded roll bar or roll cage is strongly encouraged to complete the SYSTEM. The use of one without the other may result in an unsafe environment and is not a COMPLETE S If installed, roll bars or cages and their installation must meet PCA Club Racingstandards.YSTEM. Due to UV degradation and wear the harness webbing must be replaced every five years. Four point systems are not allowed in Porsches because of the integrated headrest supplied by the factory. In addition to the standard SFI and/ or FIA approved 5- and/or 6-point system, a 4-point system is allowed in non-Porsches that meet the following requirements:
    - Meets the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209.
    - Attaches to the factory seat belt mounting points.
    - Each belt is designed to work in a specific vehicle and that vehicle tag must be attached to the belt system.
    An example of a system that meets the above criteria is the Schroth Quick Fit system.
  5. Medical Personnel at the site: The minimum standards are one EMT trained attendant and an emergency equipped vehicle.
  6. Fire and Emergency at the site: There must be personnel trained in fire and emergency situations and the site must have either a fire truck and /or a tow truck equipped with fire emergency equipment.
  7. Insurance: All events must meet the PCA insurance carrier's requirements and everyone entering the event location must sign the insurance waiver.
  8. Driver's License: All entrants must have a valid driver's license (state, country or province as appropriate).
  9. Car Occupancy:If two people are in a car, one must be an approved event instructor and the other must be a registered entrant in the event. There are no exceptions to this rule. Registering people for the sole purpose of “thrill” rides is not acceptable. A registered entrant is defined as a person who will be participating in substantially all appropriate aspects of the event (on track, classroom and exercises, any corner working). This does not mean, however, that a registered entrant must attend the event full time, or participate in classroom sessions or exercises that are not scheduled for such entrant (e.g., instructors and advanced students need not participate in classroom session or exercises developed for novice drivers; corner working is not necessary if there are professional corner workers).
  10. Corner Workers: A minimum of one person per designated station and the station must be equipped with an appropriate complement of flags, fire extinguisher, and communication equipment (radio or track hardwire system).
  11. Run Groups: The grouping of drivers into run groups shall be assigned in terms of their track driving experience and capability, as well as speed potential of the cars. All novice drivers shall be assigned an event-approved instructor to ride with them for in-car instruction.
  12. Clothing: All car occupants must wear a Snell approved helmet, which has the current available Snell rating or the one previous Snell rating. Other helmets are acceptable if they are approved for PCA Club Racing. Footwear must be enclosed, non-slip, with a relatively smooth sole. Hiking type deep lugged soles are not acceptable.
  13. Eye Protection: If the car does not have a windshield, the driver must be equipped with eye protection.
  14. Drivers' Meeting: All events must have a drivers' meeting prior to putting cars on the track to review event procedures and policies.
  15. Car Safety Inspection: The car owner must certify that the car is safe to run on the track and that the car has been inspected by an regionally approved person or shop within thirty days prior to the event.
  16. Final Safety Inspection: A final safety inspection of the car shall be performed within 24 hours at a site near or at the event facility.This should include inspection of the helmet, the restraint system, all loose objects to be removed, gas cap must be tight and any other items deemed necessary by the event chairman. The car is identified with a sticker or some other means as having passed the final inspection.
  17. Passing Zones: Passing zones for all groups shall be well defined at the Drivers Meeting. All passing must be completed by the end of the passing zone as defined by the event organizer. Road courses associated with super speedways may use the super speedway turns as passing zones (turns on the portion of the track comprised of the oval section of the super speedway); e.g., Turn 3 at Pocono, or NASCAR Turns 1, 2, 3 and 4 at Texas Motor Speedway. There shall be no passing in any other turns except as allowed by the Expanded Passing Program. Kinks in a straight area of the track will not be considered turns unless specified by the Event Chairman. The Event Chairman shall take into consideration the areas of the track that are preferred for passing, and may restrict certain passing zones to advanced run groups. THERE WILL BE NO PASSING UNDER RED FLAG CONDITIONS. THERE IS ALSO NO PASSING UNDER YELLOW FLAG CONDITIONS EXCEPT FOR SLOW MOVING VEHICLES WHOSE DRIVERS HAVE SIGNALLED THAT THEIR VEHICLES ARE DISABLED.
  18. Passing Signals and Procedures: All passing in the designated areas will be with the use of hand signals to direct the passing car safely around the car being passed. It is preferred that the car being passed remains on line allowing the faster car to pass safely. In the event of drivers who, due to a physical impairment, are unable to use hand signals, the use of turn signals to signal passing will be permitted. It is recommended that such drivers and their cars, if any, be identified in the Drivers' Meeting.
  19. Expanded Passing Program: The Event Chairman may choose to implement the expanded passing program. With expanded passing, passing may occur on all portions of the track, including all turns. If expanded passing is allowed at an event, it shall follow these restrictions:
    • Expanded passing will ONLY be run in the Instructors run group which may include non-instructors.
    • All passing must be initiated WITH A HAND SIGNAL.
    • All signals MUST BE demonstratively clear and there must be one for each car.
    • All signals are “real time”. If you initiate a pass with a signal, expect a car to pass at the time you give the signal, not at the next straight away.
    • All signals are a contract between two drivers. If you initiate, let the car pass. If you are given a signal and decline, you must wave off the signal.
    • No more than two cars side by side in the turn.
    • When entering a turn with another car, NO ONE OWNS THE TURN. Each driver is entitled to 50% of the track as if there was a white line through the center of the turn.
    • The only passengers allowed in the expanded passing run groups are qualified instructors.
    • All drivers of the designated run group must participate in expanded passing. Any driver who does not care to participate must be moved to another run group.
    • When entering a turn with another car, NO ONE OWNS THE TURN. Each driver is entitled to 50% of the track as if there was a white line down the middle.
    • The Chief Driving Instructor may designate up to five (5) instructors per event who may take advanced students as passengers (no beginners or novices), for the purpose of instruction only. Otherwise, the only passengers allowed in the expanded passing run groups are qualified instructors. 

    All drivers of the designated run group must willingly participate in expanded passing. Any driver who does not care to participate must be moved to another run group. This program is self-policed and any passing done without a signal or over aggressive driving may result in exclusion from the program or may be dealt with as decided by Regional DE management.
  20. Event Control Center: The event control center must have the ability at all times when cars are on the track, to be in communication with the corner stations and track fire and emergency center.
  21. Grid/Pit Marshall: The event organizers must designate a grid and/or pit-out Marshall to control the flow of cars on and off the track.
  22. Chief of Course: The flag station or person that communicates with event control and all corners. The chief of course is responsible for all reports and actions of each of the corner stations. The person coordinates all of the actions of the corner stations. It can be the same person as in Event Control but tracks that use professional corner workers will usually designate one person on their team for this role.
  23. PCA Observers' Report: The PCA Observers' Report form must be completed by an impartial party (i.e., not the Event Chairperson or the Chief Instructor) who attended the event.
  24. Post Event Report: The PCA Post Event Report form must be completed by the Event Chairperson. 
  25. Chief Instructor: The event chairman must designate an individual as Chief Instructor who may also be the Attitude Adjustment Counselor.
  26. Safety Inspector: The event organizers shall designate a person responsible for car inspection at the event.
  27. Novice Meeting: There shall be a mandatory session for all novice drivers, which could include track etiquette and flagging responsibilities.
  28. Erratic Driving: Four wheels off, spin, and/or contact, the driver must come into the pits to have the car looked over and to be queried for the cause.
  29. Entrant Age: The minimum age for any driving entrant is eighteen years.
  30. Identification: All cars must be identified with a legible number. Either the car or the driver must be identified by run group. The use of colored wrist bands to identify the entrant and his or her run group is highly recommended.
  31. Lap Timing: PCA DE Programs are not timed events. Any timing is done for instructional purposes only, and is not part of the operation of the event.
  32. NO ALCOHOL OR CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES CAN BE CONSUMED BY ANY PARTICIPANT DURING THE HOURS OF EVENT OPERATION, OR BY ANY PERSON AT THE SITE OF THE EVENT DURING THE HOURS OF EVENT OPERATION. This is not intended to prevent participants from taking medication as long as it does NOT have an effect upon the person's ability to control a vehicle at speed.
  33. Event Registration: Every entrant must complete a registration form which must include emergency contact information.
  34. Instructor Qualification: Every Region and Zone who organizes a DE event must have an instructor qualification program.
  35. Track Contractual Requirements: The event organizers must adhere to any facility safety requirement that is more stringent than the PCA minimum standards; e.g., track density, open car standard, etc.
  36. Accident Policy: In the event of any car-to-car contact or other contact resulting in physical damage to an automobile that cannot be buffed out, an incident report must be submitted to the individuals indicated on the current Incident Report Form within five (5) business days. (Damage caused by debris or to the wheels/suspension/under-carriage from an off-track excursion does not require a report.) The report form is available on the web site and is now part of the insurance packet received from the National Office when you submitted an insurance enrollment form. In case of bodily injury to any individual at the event, a report must be written and submitted to our National Insurance Chairman on the next business day. 
  37. Time Trials:Regions may optionally offer a Time Trial at a DE event. A Time Trial brings a competitive aspect to the DE. After all of the untimed sessions of a DE are finished, there is a final session that is timed for the purpose of official scoring. During the Time Trial portion of the event, cars are sent out one at a time on to the track to have their designated number of timed laps. All the allowed timed laps are run continuously, as in practice; however there shall be no passing. Cars must be released with enough spacing to avoid bunching up, so proper spacing of the cars is really crucial. Typically, this means that only two or three cars can be on the track at a time during timed runs. The Event Gridmaster should grid cars by speed potential and driver ability, sending the fastest cars first, and should use his best judgment and discretion as to the spacing.

     

    The Event Chair should have an additional drivers meeting before timed runs start. This drivers meeting should review (at least): No passing; flag rules; maintaining distance between cars; number of laps to be driven; any safety concerns.

     

    The purpose of Time Trialing is to give the entrants a clear track with no distractions, to get an impartial lap time, and potentially have rankings among the drivers. As always safety is the primary concern during PCA track events. All standards that apply to a Drivers Education will apply to the Time Trial portion of the event except as noted in this section. NOTE THAT THE PCA LIABILITY INSURANCE SPECIFICALLY PROHIBITS WHEEL-TO-WHEEL COMPETITION IN THIS CONTEXT.

  38. Demonstration Rides:Our Driver’s Education (DE) program is based on the core assumption that these events are instructional in character. Our DE Instructors ride with students in their cars in an educational capacity. An Instructor is defined as a fully registered entrant who has signed all waivers and has successfully completed an approved PCA regional or national program. A Student is defined as a fully registered entrant who has signed all waivers, paid the regionally stated registration fee, and is driving a car that has met all required safety standards. There are no exceptions.

  39. 38.1: Demonstration Rides for DE Students

    There may be times when a “demonstration ride” by an instructor is helpful to further enhance the educational process. A Demonstration Ride is defined as a student riding with an instructor in one run group higher than the student’s assigned group. For example, if a novice student would benefit from a demonstration ride, the ride would occur in an instructed beginner run group, not an advanced group. If the instructor has more than one student, the demonstration ride can occur in the lowest experience run group possible. The purpose of this ride is to demonstrate the proper driving techniques to help the student correct his/her issues, not to show how well the instructor can drive the facility. All DE event rules apply.

    In our DE program, there are other forms of Demonstration Rides for Non-Students and they are as follows:


    38.2 Taste of the Track (DE Track Sampler)

    The sole purpose of the “Taste of the Track” program is to introduce a driving enthusiast to the wonderful world of high performance driving PCA style. We understand that some drivers would like to learn more about the PCA Driver’s Education program, but are not quite ready to be a full-time DE Student. With that in mind, this program has the following requirements:

    Requirements for the Participant:
    • Must be at least eighteen years of age.
    • Must complete the appropriate entry form, pay the region’s fee, and print & sign all appropriate insurance waivers.
    • Must attend the Region’s novice student activities, including the general driver’s meeting and Novice classroom session(s).
    • Must comply with the PCA Region’s clothing requirements for this event.
    • Helmets are not required.

    Requirements for the Region:
    • Designate a specific “Taste of the Track” run group session in the daily schedule. This run group is for the Taste of the Track participants only.
    • Assign an approved DE Instructor to each Taste of the Track participant.
    • The DE Instructor will drive his/her own vehicle in the designated run group. Instructors may choose to explain the basics of driving (e.g., car control, the line, dealing with traffic) and explain event & track rules (e.g., run group format, corner worker stations).
    • Only the approved DE Instructor and her/his student are allowed in the car.
    • All vehicle doors must be securely closed and seatbelts securely fastened.
    • Helmets are not required.
    • It is mandatory to keep speeds well below “track speed,” with a maximum speed of 60 mph.
    • No passing is allowed.

    Note 1: If any of the above requirements are not met, PCA may choose to not insure the activity.

    Note 2: Track Tours or Taste of the Track Programs would be subject to the rules and contractual terms of the individual facilities.


    38.3 Track Tours (Parade Laps)

    Regions may optionally implement a Track Tour program. This program allows Non-Students the opportunity to experience the track in a comfortable low-speed session. Passengers are allowed.

    Requirements for the Participant(s):
    • The participant will be driving his/her own vehicle.
    • The driver participant must have a valid driver’s license, pay the region’s entrance fee, and must print & sign the appropriate insurance waivers.
    • All vehicle occupants must sign the appropriate insurance waiver. Under age participants (minors) must have a responsible adult print & sign the appropriate waiver for them, and shall use DOT approved restraints appropriate for their age & weight. All occupants will use at least DOT seatbelts.
    • Helmets are not required.
    • All vehicle doors must be securely closed and seatbelts securely fastened.
    • It is mandatory to keep speeds well below “track speed,” with a maximum speed of 60 mph.
    • No passing is allowed.

    Requirements for the Region:
    • The Track Tour program will be run separately from other run groups and may be run without corner workers.
    • No passing is allowed during this session.
    • There will be enough pace cars well-spaced in the group to keep speeds below “track speed,” with a maximum speed of 60 mph. Pace car drivers must be at least 18 years of age and be appointed by the Region’s DE event management team.
    • Participating vehicles are not limited to Porsches. All participating vehicles must be either approved by the Chief Tech Inspector as generally roadworthy or have a valid state registration. Motorcycles and off-road vehicles are not allowed.

    Note 1: If any of the above requirements are not met, PCA may choose to not insure the activity.

    Note 2: Track Tours or Taste of the Track Programs would be subject to the rules and contractual terms of the individual facilities.


    38.4 Demonstration Rides for Non-Students (Hot Laps, Thrill Rides)

    Approximately half of the PCA Regions host DE events. In an effort to provide prospective students/sponsors/friends/family a “taste” of the DE experience, regions may have offered rides with an experienced DE Instructor during a run group session. While we understand the importance of these efforts, some significant risk management concerns have been presented to the Executive Council. After much discussion, consultation, and careful consideration, the EC has determined that it is necessary to prohibit Hot Lap rides.

    However, we do understand the value of offering tours of the track to various persons. In order to support the regions hosting DE events, regions can use the Track Tour model per the specifications noted in 38.3. In addition, if appropriate, a region may allow Non-Students to attend a Green Student classroom session, enjoy lunch with region members, or observe from a corner worker station and/or from the control tower.  

     

The purpose of the "Minimum Standards" is to provide a Region with a base point on which to build their own regional program. The standards were designed to be minimal in nature so that any region can have more stringent rules, but none should have any more lenient. Any Region that plans to run a DE event must strive to meet all the minimum standards. A Region's repeated failure to comply after warnings of noncompliance or a Region's refusal to adhere to these standards could prevent the Region from obtaining PCA insurance for future events. Substantial compliance with these standards would be part of the Observer's Report process. One of the functions of the advisory committee is to review and modify these standards, if required. Any modifications to these standards will need Executive Council approval.

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