Saturday, April 15, 2017

BMWCCA Car Control Clinic

Last year in May, I attended a day-long BMWCCA Car Control Clinic held at Monterey Bay.  The CCC is an event that is geared toward teaching one about how to drive safely by understanding the capabilities of the car and vehicle dynamics such as weight transfer.  I have been to driving events before, but I thought this one was the most thorough.  One is required to take this class before being allowed to participate in higher speed events.  The cost of attending the CCC is very modest (< $100) since one is using one's own car and all of the instructors are unpaid volunteers.  It is a low speed event (max speed < 30 mph), so the wear and tear on the car is not too bad.

The event was held in the parking lot of the Marina airport which provided for a large open area.  We were told to push the car as hard as we could since the worst that would happen would be skidding out of control and hitting a cone.

The details of the exercises are described in this document.

It was raining most of the day of the event, and the event happens rain or shine.  The day started with an inspection of the car.  They didn't really do as detailed of a check as is described in the document.  What they did was a cursory check of the engine bay and then just asked about tire pressures.

Next, there was instruction about seating position (pedal reach, steering reach, seat height), position of the hands on the steering wheel and how to move the hands when turning, and adjusting mirrors.

We then had a bunch of exercises as described in the document above--braking, avoidance, skidpad, and slalom.  During the exercises, we were accompanied by one or more instructors that would make observations about our driving and coach us to do the right thing.  Despite prodding from the instructor, I didn't push the car hard enough to hit my personal limits, so I didn't hit any cones and I didn't skid out of control.

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