The Sports Car Club of British Columbia (sccbc.net) runs a race driver training program twice a year, in March and July, for anyone wanting to become a race car driver or to improve their driving skills. The training takes place on the road course at Mission Raceway, in Mission BC. It is run by a group of dedicated and skilled SCCBC instructors and course workers.
I joined the July session, which has a classroom day on the 8th, and two track days on the 14th and 15th.
You are allowed to bring any street car that passes technical inspection. I opted to rent a race prepared 1990 Honda Civic Si from an SCCBC member. I have a soft spot for these cars as when I was in high school, my dad bought one and soon after he got me into autocross with it. Probably one of the best cars to run in terms of fun:money ratio. Renting the Civic did add more money to the overall cost, but I do not regret it as I feel it has better prepared me for future races. Also our street car, a 1992 Honda Civic DX – bone stock – with tires skinnier than most mountain bikes, wouldn’t have been as enjoyable with all that body roll and tire squeal.
The classroom day was very informative and covers pretty much everything from car setup, car control, course flags and much more. It’s a good introduction to what you will come to experience the following weekend. You are handed a manual which you tested on at the end of your first track day.
The first track day starts off with the drivers being split in three groups for several exercises, heel-toe shifting, vision practice and basic cornering. You are then assigned an instructor with one or two other drivers, and start lapping at a slow pace. They teach you proper racing lines and being consistent. The pace gets quicker each time, and when the instructor feels like you have met a certain driving level they let you go lapping on your own.
Passing was allowed on the first day, they usually wait until the second until introducing it – which was a nice touch. All passing in training is only allowed with points in designated corders (point with your left hand finger the side you want the person behind you to go). If someone is trailing you for a few turns you will let them pass in the next designated corner, just like an open track lapping style session.
The second day of training was essentially everything from the first day, with essentially more track time and ending with a mock start. It is up to the instructors if they feel you have passed the course, and upon successful completion you may apply for a Novice Race License. This allows you to race with other novices while under supervision, and you are required to complete three novice races and volunteer at tech inspection and in a corner station in order to receive a senior license.
SCCBC offers an excellent program and I would suggest anyone that enjoys motorsports to consider joining and challenging yourself, you will not regret it!