Driving Article

Speedway Developments

By Carl W. Irving
(50%) Driving Events Coordinator, Houston Chapter BMW CCA

A couple of issues back, I wrote about some of the opportunities for high speed driver's education provided by the Porsche Club. Since then, the scene has evolved somewhat. In some respects, very much to the advantage of the BMW driver interested in learning about high speed driving. On one hand, the Porsche events are getting increasingly difficult Club's to take part in. On alternative has appeared.the other hand, another

The alternative in question is the Texas World Speedway Motor Club. This organization the brainchild of Steve Olsen, director of the Lone Star Region Porsche Club driver's events, and track owner Richard Conole. Seeing that the LSR PCA events are usually fully (or over-) booked, it became clear that another venue for driver's education -- not limited to a single car make would be beneficial and a viable business opportunity. In this respect, the TWS Motor Club is structured in a slightly different fashion than the LSR PCA course: it is a for-profit driving club where drivers of suitable sports cars (meaning Yugos need not apply) can learn about driving at speed on a real race track. The educational aspect is still first and foremost -- this is not a racing club -- but the club's charter is to provide a venue to allow their members to come back again and again, well, because it's fun.

The TWS Motor Club driving events are scheduled approximately once a month and, by design, allow fewer simultaneous cars on the track -- to the pleasure of the participants (less cars equals more track time, of course!). As far as I can tell from feedback obtained from drivers, these events are entirely the equal of LSR PCA driver's ed. schools in terms of educational value and safety. The Texas World Speedway track is manned by volunteer flag marshals and fully equipped with rescue and safety vehicles operated by the same crews that work the racing events. One downside to this club, as opposed to the Porsche Club's organization is cost. Not unexpectedly, renting the track for fewer participants does mean higher prices, but when put in terms of track time per dollar, the difference is not as great. Pricing is subscription-based, where it is possible to participate in a single event, but membership for multiple events is rewarded by lower prices.

Current pricing is: $225 for a trial membership (one two-day event), $400 for two events, $575 for three, $750 for four, $900 for five and $1050 for a six-event subscription.

For more information, contact:

Texas World Speedway Inc.
P.O. Box 11000,
College Station, TX 77842

Tel.: (409) 690-2500