This report, about a recent The Drivers Edge school event, demonstrates that Racing Ready is revitalizing its approach – to provide information & resources for the reader to become a successful racing competitor. This 2-day drivers’ school took place over the April 18-19, 2009 weekend at Harris Hill Road (H2R).
The Drivers Edge is a respected, affordable, high speed driving awareness experience, well-organized since 1995. In this environment an amateur driver can learn & work at his pace to grow his “at speed” driving abilities. There is both classroom instruction & plenty of track time. Based on a driver’s experience (or a lack thereof), the student driver is placed in run groups by color. Green, Blue, Yellow or Red – from inexperienced novice to those advanced enough to be ready to race.
The Novice & Intermediate students always start out with an instructor in the car (the vehicle is student provided). You really have to prove you have learned the appropriate skill within your group, before you can advance to the next color group. In this way you are building on a stable foundation of skill & demonstrated abilities. I was told that many students are able to progress at least one run group level over the course of a weekend school.
I met and spoke with Rick Schwalenberg, The Drivers Edge President & founder. Although he was very busy, he graciously took the time to visit with me. He explained the basics of the teaching/learning process that one goes through with The Drivers Edge. He even proudly acclaimed that this is the only school that starts off Sunday morning with a prayer/church service. This is a good indication of the sincere foundation Rick & this school is based upon. Here’s what he has to say:
“Our events are presented in a fun and challenging way, with the most important element being safety. Our passion to teach performance driving is what keeps the customers coming back for more. Our goal is for everything drivers learn here to translate into better, and ultimately, safer driving everywhere—on the street and the track. God has truly blessed us with The Drivers Edge.”
Although I arrived late at this session (after attending SPOKES 2009 Autocross #4) I was quite impressed by the organization and professional attitude of the instructors and the way things were being run. This was their first teaching event at H2R. It sounds like they enjoyed working at this venue and will be back. The following week there were going to go through a lessons learned review to improve the next school they conduct at H2R. They also teach these same 2-day driving courses at other Texas road tracks, such as:
- Texas Motor Speedway
- Motorsport Ranch
- Texas World Speedway
- Eagle’s Canyon Raceway
This, obviously, is a Texas-based performance driving school. But there are others throughout the States (and also internationally), teaching at this same professional level. I plan to find out more of them to profile here. This is all part of getting this site to be a well-rounded reference the the up & coming amateur racer.
Racing Ready enjoys the sport & skills learned through participating in autocross, but the next big step is participation in HPDEs (High Performance Driver Education events) like those put on by The Drivers Edge. We need more of this!
P.S. – In talking with Rick, I told him that I’d like to become an instructor. Without hesitation, he enthusiastically asked me to send him my teaching/racing creds! Well whoops, I forgot to include the word someday… I happily told him I’d take a raincheck on his offer. Something to push forward to… 🙂