^ This was pretty much the point I was trying to make. PeterM1 hit the nail on the head too.
No prudent aircraft owner would let an unknown pilot fly YOUR expensive airplane without giving him/her a quick “proficiency flight evaluation” to observe their flying skills and provide a local area orientation of VFR checkpoints, weather and other pertinent information. It takes less than an hour to do this before letting a pilot rent YOUR airplane (and he’s paying for the time anyway).
Tracking your own car at an HPDE shouldn’t be more difficult than flying someone else’s airplane, but BMWCCA makes it so. Based on my experience, clubs other than BMWCCA will let an experienced driver solo in his/her own car after a quick “proficiency driving evaluation.” In fact, my first time driving with SCDA I did one or two hot laps with an instructor in the first session and I’ve been driving solo with them ever since. I’ve driven once with two different chapters of the BMWCCA and they won’t even consider doing that. I think BMWCCA has too many lawyers involved in their organization or something. I have a valid SCAA Regional Competition License and the BMWCCA still put me with an instructor all day at my last (ever) HPDE event with them. The funny thing is that my instructor had never even driven at the track we were at so I was the one showing him the proper line.
My point is that it’s really not a big deal to let drivers solo in their own cars after they demonstrate a level of good judgment and proficiency, even if it’s their first day driving with a club. Most clubs have controls built in such as two off-track excursions and a driver is done for the day. They also black flag drivers for safety or rules violations. Think about it, if a person driving solo in his own car does something stupid, they’re wrecking their own car and paying for any damage to the track too. This potential for financial liability combined with a self-preservation instinct that most of us possess (and the need to have an operational car to drive home from the track in) are why crashes during HPDEs (run by all car clubs) are so extremely rare.
2007 BMW 335i Sedan, 6MT, ZSP
2004 BMW M3 Coupe, 6MT