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Austin Schnell Fest

Austin Schnell Fest - November 17-19, 2017
PCA Driver Education at Austin's Circuit of the Americas
Includes instructed Beginner and Novice Run Groups!

Our next Driver Ed Event will be November 17-19, 2017 at Circuit of the Americas. It's the weekend immediately before Thanksgiving. 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 conducted a driver survey after our May Schnell Fest, and based on your feedback we're making some changes to the November 17-19 event:

  • NEW Limited run group size - 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 at least 20 Formula 1 garages available for rent: Whole garages will rent for $1,000 for the weekend. As many as six cars can be put in a single garage (it helps if you're all in the same run group!). Individual quarter-garage slots will be available for $300 for the weekend. All run groups will run three days, this includes the beginner (green) run group.
Here are things you'll need to know about the November 17-19 Austin Schnell Fest:
  • Registration will open at Noon Central Time on Friday September 15th.
  • 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, Wally Ruiz, at to make special arrangements. COTA has just told us that the gate will not open for load-in on Thursday November 16 earlier than 5:15 p.m. We have to "stage" parking at COTA in order to use the Main Paddock space most efficiently. This means that big rigs that need to be close to a particular Formula 1 Garage must be parked first so that they can access their assigned parking spot before the paddock fills up with cars. Don't be upset if a vehicle that arrives after you is allowed to park before you do - it's a function of efficiently filling up the available paddock space!
  • 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; It will be scheduled for Friday.
  • Classes: Throughout the weekend all run groups will have classes in the Media Center press room. Those of you who attended the May Schnell Fest 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 November 18th and again on Sunday November 19th 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 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. COTA may also provide one or two food trucks to give us some variety.
  • Bottled water: We will have coolers of bottled water placed strategically around the paddock throughout the weekend. We encourage you to stay hydrated!!!!
  • Driver's Lounge: We will set aside two Formula 1 garages near the grid which will have tables and chairs and comfortable furniture for lounging, electrical outlets, and a well-stocked cooler with bottled water and soft drinks.
  • Hospitality Suite: We will have one of the large COTA second floor 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: Cancellations received by Noon Central Time on Wednesday November 1st 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 November 10th. No exceptions. Registration will close on November 10th. Registrations received between November 1 and November 10 are subject to the above policy!

Please plan on joining us in Austin November 17-19 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