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Austin Schnell Fest PCA Driver Education at Austin's Circuit of the Americas

This PCA Driver Education event will be a joint presentation of the Hill Country, Lone Star and Maverick Regions - PCA, with the support of our good friends at the Houston Chapter BMW-CCA. We're calling these events the "Austin Schnell Fests" in order to emphasize the fact that these events are not just for Porsche or BMW Drivers - drivers of every make are invited to participate, and membership in PCA or BMW-CCA is not necessary.

We conduct surveys after each Schnell Fest, and based on your feedback we're making some changes to the June 1-3 event:
  • NEW No Wall in pit lane - you have spoken and we have listened! Drivers exiting track can enter their garages from the pit side.
  • NEW Advanced Run Group Passing - Drivers in the White and Yellow Run Groups may pass anywhere on the track but only with a point-by from the car being passed.
  • NEW Advanced Run Group Grid Procedure "Fast/Faster/Fastest" - Drivers in White and Yellow Run Groups will "self select" one of three grid lines. Drivers who believe their pace puts them in the top third of the run group will line up to the left; drivers in the middle and bottom thirds will line up in the middle and right lines. Cars will be released from the grid by left, middle and right lines. Dramatically improves flow on-track and reduces trains.
  • NEW Limited run group size – Student run groups will be limited to 50 cars. If you are the 51st (or later) person to register and you're in a run group that is full you will be wait-listed and may not make it into the event. Note: you must both register AND PAY to assure yourself a spot.
  • NEW Lower garage pricing - We will have access to 28 Formula 1 garages. Individual quarter-garage slots will be available for $300 for the weekend. A participant can register for up to four garage slots.
  • NEW BGB Motorsports – John Teece of BGB Motorsports will be available to discuss preparing your car for the track including performance and handling modifications designed to enhance your car's performance. John Teece can be reached at: BGB Motorsports' webpage is:
  • NEW OnSite Tires – Chris Macarak and his team from On-Site Tires will be "onsite" at COTA to handle tire sales, mounting and balancing. You can also pre-order tires from Chris and he will bring them to the track and mount them on your wheels. Chris can be reached via email at: On-Site Tires' website is:
  • NEW – Car Numbers Required on the Rear of your car - for this event small rear numbers for each car will be provided. For future events drivers will be responsible for providing rear numbers. This is a measure to reduce trains.

Here are things you'll need to know about the June 1-3 Austin Schnell Fest:

  • Registration will open at Noon Central Time on Friday April 20th.
  • Registration Fee: Registration fee is $945 for the three day weekend. If you compare this to the registration fees charged by other groups it is a remarkable value! One day or two-day registrations are not available.
  • Run Sessions: Each run group will have four roughly 25-minute run sessions each day. A schedule will be posted on the event website shortly.
  • Instruction: Beginner and novice drivers (green group and non-solo blue group drivers) will be instructed. This means that an experienced PCA, BMW-CCA or other marque driving instructor will be with these students in the right seat of their car at all times while on track. Our instructors use helmet communicators to communicate with their students.
  • Parking: We will try to limit our parking to the Main Paddock at COTA. If you have special parking needs (such as a large-footprint vehicle, or want to be paddocked together with particular people) please contact our event Parking Guru, Dave Foreman, at to make special arrangements.
  • Helmets and Clothing: All car occupants must wear a Snell "K" "M" or "SA" approved helmet, which has the current available Snell rating (Snell 2015) or the one previous Snell rating (Snell 2010). Snell 2005 helmets have expired and may not be used. Other helmets are acceptable if they are approved for PCA Club Racing. Long pants are required. Natural fibers are required. Footwear must be enclosed, non-slip, with a relatively smooth sole. Hiking type deep lugged soles are not acceptable.
  • Car Tech Inspection: In order to participate your car must have a technical inspection not more than 30 days prior to the event. The car owner must certify that the car is safe to run on the track and that the car has been inspected by a dealer or other reputable automobile repair facility. Both a representative of the inspecting dealer/repair shop and the owner by complete THIS FORM.
  • Equal Restraints: All vehicles must be equipped with a properly installed lap and shoulder restraint system. Both the student and the instructor shall have the same restraint system. So, if only the driver's seat is equipped with a 5 or 6 point harness, then both the driver and the instructor will use the 3 point factory lap and shoulder restraint system.
  • Cabriolet/Convertible Cars with factory installed rollover protection: Any make of car delivered with factory installed roll over protection meets the minimum standards for PCA DE events. (For example, Boxsters have factory installed roll over protection that meets this requirement and can be drive in PCA D.E. events). In these cars we recommend the soft-top be in the up position or the hard top installed. If the soft top is in the down position, an arm restraint system* must be used. An SFI and/or FIA approved arm restraint system is required.
  • Cabriolet/Convertible Cars without factory installed rollover protection: 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 additional roll over protection. All sunroofs must be in the closed position. The windshield alone is not considered to be factory roll over protection.
  • Chalk Talk: Time is TBD, but will be scheduled for Thursday afternoon approximately 5:00 p.m.
  • Classes: Throughout the weekend all run groups will have classes in the Media Center Press Room. Those of you who have attended previous Austin Schnell Fests know how informative and fun the classes are!
  • Hotel: A block of reduced rate hotel rooms has been reserved at Austin Microtel (512) 386-7800. Check the event website for updates as we are talking to other area hotels about reduced rate room blocks.
  • Parade Laps: At Noon on Saturday June 2nd and again on Sunday June 3rd we will do paced parade laps for charity. Folks wishing to participate in the parade laps should go to the grid at Noon. A nominal donation is required which will be shared equally among the sponsoring clubs' charities. No passing is allowed, and speeds will be paced, but you can drive your family car and your friends/family on the racing surface of COTA!
  • Food: All three days of the weekend the "COTA Cafe" will be open from 11:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. serving hot lunch and sandwiches. We will also have the highly acclaimed Redfin Food Truck serving breakfast and lunch all three days.
  • Bottled water: We will have coolers of bottled water placed strategically around the paddock throughout the weekend. We encourage you to stay hydrated!!!!
  • Hospitality Suite: We will have one of the large COTA second floor "Paddock Club" Hospitality Rooms available for use throughout the weekend. This is a comfortable airconditioned/heated space where family members can relax while you are driving. It also is a good spot to watch cars on the main straight heading to Turn 1, and cars coming through the carousel.
  • Cancellation policy and refunds: Cancellations received by Noon Central Time on May 17th will receive a full refund. Persons who cancel later than that deadline will receive a refund only if we are able to fill your spot with another driver by Noon Central Time on May 25th. If we are unable to fill your spot with another driver by Noon Central Time on May 25th then you do not receive a refund - no exceptions. Registration will close on May 25th. Registrations received between May 17th and May 25th are subject to the above policy! If you do not show up for the event you will not receive a refund.
  • REGISTRATION PRIORITY IS BASED ON TIME OF PAYMENT, NOT TIME OF REGISTRATION! To make things clear: (1) The time that you make payment counts! Your spot in the "queue" of registrations is based not on the time that you submit your registration but based on the time of your payment. If, at the time of registration, you do not pay, another applicant who registers later but pays before you will be accepted before you. Remember time of payment counts! (2) PCA and BMW-CCA members will receive a 7-day registration preference before non-PCA members. After 7-days, all applications will be treated equally. Register early! (3) It is your responsibility to enter your verified PCA or BMW-CCA membership number at the time you register. If no club membership number is entered at registration, it will be assumed that you are not a PCA or BMW-CCA member. As such, you will be treated as a non-PCA or non-BMW-CCA member. It is YOUR responsibility to give us your club membership number! If you have not entered your PCA or BMW-CCA number, it is your fault and you will lose any preference!

Please plan on joining us in Austin June 1-3 for Austin Schnell Fest Driver Ed Event! If you have any questions please contact Thanks!

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Hill Country Region PCA

Houston Chapter BMW CCA

Lone Star Region PCA

Maverick Region PCA