Sommer Schnell is North Star BMW CCA’s High-Performance Driving Event (HPDE) held annually in early June at Brainerd International Raceway. This program, hosted by our Chapter since the 1980s provides a unique opportunity for you to drive your car at speed and to experience the thrill of becoming one with your car.
Your BMW or other high-performance vehicle is an amazingly capable car. At our Sommer Schnell HPDE you will be able to realize your car’s capabilities, learn the limits of those capabilities under controlled conditions, and practice the skills needed to control your car safely within those limits.
What We Do
The primary goal of HPDE is to develop and hone your car control skills. It is not how to drive fast, although speed will come with improving skills. We seek to produce not necessarily the fastest, but the most proficient drivers possible. Students alternate between time on the track with an instructor and classroom sessions.
During the on-track sessions, you drive the full 2.5-mile track at progressively higher speeds throughout the school. An instructor works with you to learn the proper lines of the track and improve your driving mechanics. Braking, cornering, and accelerating techniques are refined continuously during these sessions. Classroom sessions reinforce what you are doing and learning while in the car.
The skills learned will not only be invaluable on the track, but they may also save your car – and your life – on the highway. The individualized instruction is a key to the program that has been developed over decades and compares favorably with commercial schools costing many times more.
Who is Eligible?
All levels of students, at least 18 years old with all makes and models of cars are welcome. BMW CCA membership is required but you don't have to drive a BMW to participate in our schools and enjoy the experience.
Our driving schools are set up to meet everyone's needs, and instructors work with you to understand your wishes, abilities, and comfort level. We want everyone to enjoy the track, the friends, and the facility.
About our Instructors
Our instructors come from two basic driving backgrounds: accomplished driving school students, and successful amateur racers. Regardless of their backgrounds, our instructors conform to a uniformly high standard of competence, professionalism, and enthusiasm for teaching.
Candidates selected from our student roster have a documented record of achievement. Candidates applying from a racing background must have comparable skills and experience. As part of the qualification process, we apply a series of student instruction simulations (using our instructors as the “students”) to ensure that the instructor candidate understands not only how to drive, but how to teach and display impeccable attitude and driving etiquette.
We draw our instructors from BMW CCA chapters, Sports Car Club of America (SCCA), Audi Club, Porsche Club, and other marque clubs. We select our instructors very carefully to ensure that every student receives the best possible instruction from the safest, most professional, and most knowledgeable people we can find. We are very proud of our instructor corps, and we trust that you will share that pride.