How Do I Advance?
DE Run Group Advancement Policy
Instructor sign-offs for run group promotions can occur in several ways. First, a student may request an evaluation review of their skills from their instructor (or from the Chief Instructor if already signed-off in an upper level and requesting to move to a higher group). Alternatively, an instructor can recommend a sign-off for promotion, generally after discussion with the driver. The instructor would indicate this reccomendation for advancement on the Student Evaluation Form. Upper-level advancements require both a consultation with the chief instructor, and a written evaluation by a check-out instructor.
A newly signed-off solo student driver will remain in their original run group for the remainder of that event, using an “S” decal to designate the sign-off, but depending on the circumstances, that student may or may not be promoted to the next level at the next event. Changes between run groups during an event are generally not possible, but in exceptional circumstances, arrangements may be made.
Group 1 Run Group
Peachstate policy is that Group 1 students signed-off (for a day or a session) do not automatically progress to Group 2, or cease to require an instructor. Students will be promoted to Group 2 when they meet the written criteria below, and can expect continued instruction in Group 2 as part of Peachstate's instructional program. The goal of Driver's Education is to assist each driver in learning and improving their skill level to the best of their ability. Students can expect to spend at least one or two events in the Group 1 run group with an instructor.
- Drives the line consistently and correctly (with no help for one session).
- Drives at an appropriate pace with the group.
- Demonstrates smooth inputs and finesse.
- Makes only a few minor mistakes, but self-corrects.
- Remains calm in traffic and in passing situations.
- Anticipates the effects of a slower car ahead.
- Does not follow too closely when far from a passing zone.
- Neither gives nor accepts late passing signals.
- Gives passing signals promptly without being reminded.
- Passes with good safety margin distance.
- Exhibits good manners and shows consideration for other drivers.
- Displays full knowledge of procedures, flags and driving terminology.
Group 2 Run Group
Drivers in Group 2 run group are expected to polish their driving skills, increase their confidence, and learn more advanced techniques, as a prerequisite to being promoted to Solo status or into the Group 3 run group. The skills described below are not expected in every Group 2 driver; rather only those evaluated by nationally-certified PCA instructor as ready for promotion. Group 2 run group driver's skillset are shown below, and assume proficiency in Group 1 driver's skills. Promotion to Solo status requires a positive recommendation from a Peachstate instructor plus approval by the Chief Driving Instructor. Students should expect to spend at least 2-3 events in Group 2 with an instructor helping hone their high-performance driving skills.
- Drives the line consistently using the full track.
- Consistently uses very smooth inputs, with special emphasis on proper, smooth braking.
- Uses "ocular vision" techniques (looking ahead) in most corners.
- Carries reasonable momentum into corners.
- Demonstrates competent car control and recovery skills as needed.
- Consistently gives prompt and courteous passing signals.
- Establishes a good and safe driving record for two events, minimum.
- Calmly deals with faster traffic and close passing situations.
- Demonstrates full compliance with Peachstate Region DE safety and driving philosophy.
Group 3 Run Group
The Group 3 run group is a "Solo-only" (no instructor required, but may be requested) group. Group 3 drivers are characterized by a wide range of skills and experience, as drivers gain seat-time and work on advancing their driving skills. These drivers will be working toward improved consistency, use of vision, and the use of momentum. The skills listed below assume proficiency in the skills listed above for Groups 1 & 2. A student can expect to spend at least one active season in Group 3.
- Drives the preferred line consistently and effortlessly.
- Uses "ocular vision" (looking ahead) techniques most of the time.
- Consistently uses very smooth inputs both at medium and higher speeds.
- Uses and can demonstrate trail braking, throttle steer, and heel-and-toe techniques.
- Carries considerable momentum through corners.
- Can safely vary the line in any corner (to avoid debris, for example).
- Calmly deals with cars in close proximity.
- Drives at a pace appropriate for the run group and approaching the limitations of their car.
- Displays a courteous, respectful attitude, avoiding intimidation and overly-aggressive behavior.
Group 4 (Advanced and Instructors) Run Group
Promotion to Group 4 requires a positive recommendation from a Peachstate Instructor and approval by the Chief Driving Instructor. Drivers in Group 4 are expected to be expert in all the driving skills taught by Peachstate. The experienced Group 4 driver should be indistinguishable from the average driver in Group 5. Many Group 4 drivers are, in fact, Peachstate Instructors or expert drivers who prefer to stay in Group 4 due to their car’s top speed and/or horsepower.
Group 5 (Expert and Instructors) Run Group
Group 5 consists of the most experienced drivers in the fastest, highest horsepower cars. Group 5 drivers are experts in all driving skills taught by Peachstate and PCA at large. Many drivers in Group 5 are instructors and/or hold Porsche Club Racing licenses. In recent years, Peachstate has attempted to balance groups 4 and 5 based on a combination of driver skill and the top speed and horsepower of a driver’s car. We have found that this policy helps maintain the balance of the group as a whole and has reduced the tendency of lower horsepower cars to hold up long lines of faster cars waiting for a passing signal.