Save the date – we’re planning a Street Survival event in June this year on the parking lot at Iowa Speedway in Newton. Plans are to hold this one on Sunday, June 8 – but stay tuned, as at this writing we are still nailing down the final details with the track.
www.streetsurvival.org is the place to register that 15-21 year-old driver in your family. Parents and grandparents, this is one of the best gifts you can give your teen. Look for the Schedule/Registration tab on that site. We’ll have more about the event in the next NewsWerks and on our website as well. You can also check it out on Facebook – go to Tire Rack Street Survival Iowa to see pictures and comments from recent schools here.
We always need volunteers for event staff as well. Please contact event chairman Fred Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or registrar Becky Brighton (email@example.com), or look for our staff
registration page on www.motorsportreg.com.
Registration should go live in early March. Not sure how you can contribute? – just call or email us about where you can serve. Street Survival is a great public service that our chapter provides to the community, and you’ll even get a free shirt and lunch for helping out!
We have held our Longest Day Driving School every June since 2002 when MidAmerica Motorplex first opened. But this year, we’re going to do things just a little differently. Because of a schedule conflict with BMW CCA Oktoberfest, our driving school will be on July 18-20. And since we’re not so close to the longest day of the year (the source of the original name), this time we’re calling the event Hot Cars in the Summertime. (With apologies to Sly and the Family Stone, for those of a certain age…)
Expect to see all of the usual features of our driving schools, like great instruction in high-performance driving, a wonderful Saturday dinner catered by Don and Stacy Van Lengen, and all-around good fun. Count on some exciting new features as well. Host hotel will be the Holiday Inn Express in Council Bluffs, and they already have a room block available for us – just ask for the Iowa BMW rate. Registration opens on www.motorsportreg.com on April 1. More to come in the next NewsWerks, but meanwhile go to event info and forms: http://www.bmwia.org/driving-school/
We have some traditions in our chapter, and one of the longest-standing is our Longest Day Driving School, held every June since 2002. This year’s details: MidAmerica Motorplex (near Council Bluffs) is the Where, June 7-9 is the When, and YOU are the Who. The tradition always includes some of the same elements – fun on the track, good times with fellow club members and enthusiasts, and several social gatherings as part of the whole event. And each year, we try to add some new features to complement both the instructional side and the fun factor.
MidAmerica Motorplex (MAM) is one of the best tracks available for learning more about high performance driving and car control. The track layout is considered very technical, so figuring out the best line through its large variety of corner shapes can be challenging. Meanwhile, it has very low penalties for doing something wrong, unlike tracks that are lined with steel (“Armco”) barriers or concrete walls. Advanced drivers can keep working on new techniques with only the grass as the main casualty from error. And, novices find MAM very easy to get used to while learning what high-performance driving is about.
Saturday and Sunday are when most of the action happens for students; Friday’s track session is reserved as an orientation and skills-polishing day for instructors and advanced students.
Just go to the LDDS page, Longest Day Driving School. Or, register online at Motorsportreg.com. Hurry – we have a very useful event memento that is free to those who register by May 7, our way of saying thanks to those who sign up early. Our host hotel, where we also provide the Friday evening reception, is the SpringHill Suites in Council Bluffs, phone 712-256-6500. We have a block of rooms reserved; just ask for Iowa BMW Club. The room block is in effect until May 5. Final deadline for registration – Monday, June 3 or sooner if the school fills up.
Oh – we missed the Why in the leadoff! In no particular order – because it’s fun, it can be a challenge, it can help you in street driving skills – and it’s fun!
When this NewsWerks lands in your box, there will be only about a week left to sign up for our new May version of the Tire Rack Street Survival teen driving clinic. At this writing we still have a few spots left, so don’t delay!
Go to www.streetsurvival.org, and register that 15-21 year-old driver in your family. Parents and grandparents, this is one of the best gifts you can give your teen. They may resist getting up early on a weekend morning for it – after all, they KNOW how to drive… But once they get there and start trying to do the car control exercises, they’ll see that there is a lot more to learn about driving skills and traffic awareness, and they’ll have fun learning it. By the afternoon, they’ll be thanking you for providing the opportunity!
We can use more event staff as well. If you haven’t already signed up, please contact Fred Bell (firstname.lastname@example.org) or registrar Becky Brighton (email@example.com), or just go to our staff registration page on www.motorsportreg.com. Not sure how you can contribute? Just call or email us about where you can serve. Street Survival is a great public service that our chapter provides to the community, and you’ll even get a free shirt and lunch for helping out!
For the last 8 years or so, we’ve had a Tire Rack® Street Survival teen driving safety course in Iowa each fall. We have a NEW angle on it this season – in addition to the fall events in the Des Moines and Quad Cities areas, we’re also doing a spring school at the Iowa Speedway parking lot in Newton.
Date for the event is Saturday, May 18. Our chapter is leading the effort on this one, with help from the Des Moines Valley SCCA folks for equipment and some volunteers. DMVR’s club racers will be competing on the infield road course that day, while we use the parking lots to teach teens to learn a lot more about car control and accident avoidance than they ever saw in driver’s education. Plans are to use a break in the racing action to also take the students out for a parade lap around the track behind the pace car!
The course is aimed at ages 15-21; students must either have a driver’s license or have held a learner’s permit for at least half of the period required before licensing by the state of issue. Students learn what it feels like when the car is about to lose traction, and learn how to avoid or correct the problem. Street Survival is an excellent prep for winter driving in Iowa, but also applies to many other instances where dealing with traction is an issue – gravel roads, rain, or emergency situations.
Check out http://streetsurvival.org/ for more information about the course. The site includes a very good video showing how the training is done in the student’s car by a trained instructor on a closed course.
Registration for students is on the Street Survival website under the Registration/School Schedule tab, Iowa Speedway student registration. For local information, the contact is registrar Becky Brighton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please help us to publicize the event to parents of potential students: contact friends, family, and co-workers who have young drivers in their households – the life you save may be theirs!
We are not going to have as many of the usual volunteers available from DMVR because of their race commitments this time. So we really need additional help from Iowa Chapter members as in-car instructors and as volunteer workers at the event. Please contact Becky or myself with any questions about how you can help or what it takes. Street Survival is a great way to contribute back to our communities – let’s all make it a ‘smashing’ (pun-only, not literal) success! Staff volunteers register on Motorsportreg.com – look for it on their schedule as the Iowa Chapter event on May 18.