Performance Driver Education Day –
May 31, 2023

Lotus, Ltd. and Mercedes-Benz Club of America (MBCA) are proud to announce another exciting Performance Driver Education Day on May 31, 2023. We are also pleased to announce the continuation of the Performance Driver Experience taste of the track program.

Watkins Glen International, at the southern tip of Lake Seneca in New York, is one of North America’s oldest road courses and was home to the U.S. Grand Prix for many years. Lotus won several times with Innes Ireland, Jimmy Clark, Jochen Rindt, Ronnie Peterson, and Emerson Fittipaldi while others such as Mario Andretti also took podium finishes for Lotus.

What better way to explore the handling of your Lotus or Mercedes-Benz than on one of North America’s premier road courses. The intent of the Lotus, Ltd./MBCA’s Driver Education program is to teach you the skills to handle your car better. Besides having plain old fun with your car, the techniques you’ll learn will make you a safer, more aware driver on the street! Afraid to take your car on the racetrack because it might get damaged? That’s understandable, it can happen. However, it can also happen on the street. The race track is a controlled environment in which you have far more freedom to make a “mistake” than on the street. (However, if you really want your car protected, read about optional track insurance coverage below.) If you are a beginner or novice driver, during our High Performance Driver Education Day, you will have a seasoned instructor with you at all times to guide and teach you at a pace with which you are comfortable. There is no pressure and no trophies at a Driver Education day. It’s all about safety, car control, and fun! Yes, in that order.

You do NOT need a Lotus or Mercedes-Benz to attend this event. Any marque is welcome if properly equipped. You do NOT need to be a Lotus, Ltd. or Mercedes-Benz Club of America member to attend. You are encouraged to tell your friends about this event and have them join us for a wonderful day at Watkins Glen!

The cost for this year’s, Lotus, Ltd./MBCA  Performance Driver Education Day is $445(US) when you register prior to April 30, 2023. After April 31, a $50 late registration fee will be applied without exception. The late fee is necessary because we WANT YOU TO REGISTER BEFORE April 30, so we can do the necessary planning to hold the event. Any registrations after May 14, 2023 will be accepted at the event chair’s discretion. You can register NOW at

Beginning and Novice drivers requiring instructors will be approved as instructors become available for you and will be assigned on a first registered basis. So, register early to increase your chances of getting an instructor and into the event. All fees will be refunded if we do not have an instructor for you. Garage space at the track will be available for an additional $40 on a first come first served basis. Lunch will not be offered at the Event. Please arrange for you own lunch. Please remember to bring bottled water to drink. You must stay hydrated for track activities and it is best to bring your own. We cannot provide bottled water per track regulations.

If you are an instructor and wish to help us, please contact David Nagler at for consideration.

Registration is now open at If you don’t already have a account, it’s a simple, free signup on their website. If for some reason you cannot do that, please let us know and we will make alternate arrangements but we prefer all to register on-line at Just search on Watkins Glen after you register on their site to find our event on the website.

We have arranged for Tuesday night trailer and car drop off at the track. The track will be open for drop off between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. Even if you’re not dropping a car off, we encourage you to come to the track between 6:15pm and 7:30pm for registration and tech to ease the rush in the morning. Following the drop off, we will be holding a get together at the Nickel Pit BBQ on Franklin St,, arriving there about 8-8:30 PM on Tuesday night.

We now have two sources for your HPDE day car insurance should you wish to insure your car for the day. Hagerty will now offer HPDE day insurance for your car whether or not Hagerty insures your car for street use. Visit their website at for more information.

We are also letting you know that a few of our drivers are using On Track Insurance (
You can also call them to  provide coverage for your car should you desire.

I found the rates for both companies to very reasonable.  Please understand that neither club has any connection with Hagerty or On Track Insurance other than to let participants know that their coverage is available to those that wish to purchase it separately from the registration fees.

Some Things Drivers Will Need to Know Before You Arrive!

You are responsible for getting your car professionally inspected for safety and for bringing the form with you. All forms are available on our page and will be attached to your registration confirmation letter. You will not be able to participate without the safety form. Cars are required to have equal seating and restraint systems for both driver and Instructor. You will need a Snell (SA) 2015 or Snell (SA) 2020 Helmet. Snell 2010 helmets are NOT acceptable anymore. Motorcycle (M) or expired helmets are NOT,I repeat NOT acceptable!  Cars must be roll over certified by the manufacturer. Lotus Elise/Exige are okay as are the Mercedes-Benz SL’s and Cabriolet from 1990 on, and R107 SL’s with hardtop 1973-89, and Porsche 911 and 914 targas and 911 cabriolets from 1997 on. Other open cars must have at least a 4-point competition rated roll bar. Open cars will need arm restraints for both driver and instructor or the top must be in place. You must supply arm restraints for your instructor if you have an open car.

Please contact Jim Roberts at, if you have any questions about the compliance of your vehicle.

We are once again offering our Performance Driving Experience for those who want a “taste” of the full Education Day.

You will be shadowing an instructor who has a beginning (Green) student. You will attend the morning drivers meeting for general information you’ll need during the day. Then you will attend the Beginner/Novice classroom session to make you aware of what you will experience when you first get on the track. For your first on-track session in the morning, your instructor will drive with you as a passenger. The instructor will point out various aspects of the track such as flag station positions, braking, turn-in, apex, and track-out instructions. Then in the afternoon, your instructor will accompany you in your car with you driving. Since no helmet is required for The Experience, speeds are not to exceed 70 mph and will be limited by your instructor. No passing will be allowed and speeds will be strictly enforced with gentle braking and moderate cornering speeds. You may use any car as long as it is street registered, inspected and insured. Please also keep in mind that your everyday car insurance will probably not cover you when you are on a racetrack. The event enrollment will be limited and will be taken on a first come, first taken basis and is really limited by the number of instructors we have for the event. Cost is $125.

Event Policies & Indemnity Policy

Participants acknowledge that The Mercedes-Benz Club of America and Lotus, Ltd driving events entail known and unanticipated risks which could result in damage to the participant, to property or to third parties, physical or emotional injury, paralysis or death. The participant understands that such risks simply cannot be eliminated without jeopardizing the essential qualities of the driving event. Participation in this event is purely voluntary, the participant expressly agrees to accept and assume all associated risks and elects to participate in spite of the risks.

Refund and Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received at least 30 days prior to the event will receive a full refund subject to a $20 per entrant service charge.

Cancellations received at least 2 weeks prior to the event will receive a refund of 50% of their registration fee.

Cancellations received within two weeks of an event WILL NOT RECEIVE A REFUND. Event will be held RAIN or SHINE!!!!!!!

In addition, NO REFUND WILL BE MADE FOR NO SHOWS. If garage space is full and you have paid, your $40 will be refunded.


Spectators are welcome at the event and there is no cost. However, Watkins Glen requires visitors to be preregistered in order to get into the track. If you would like to come, watch, and hang out with your fellow car buddies, you must contact us in advance of May 31st, so we can get you credentials and entrance into the event. Please email Tony at, if interested.


The LOONYs have been staying the Watkins Motel for the Lotus Rendezvous that we hold in September and really like the 1960’s look and feel of the motel.  The Watkins Motel ( has only 17 rooms and I have personally booked the entire motel for Tuesday May 30th. The cost is $120 per night by our special arrangement. Payment is made by mailing me a check for the day or days you want. You can stay earlier or later at the same price per day if you wish, just let me know. Since I have reserved the whole motel, you MUST contact ME,, if you want one of the 12 rooms left. I need to confirm those rooms by April 30, so if you want one, let me know ASAP. Please note that all monies I receive go directly the motel. Everyone pays the same price! Nothing is retained by the organizers!

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel,, has in the past offered a special “Car Club” rate Please call them, mention the “Car Club” rate to check their rates.

Laps During the “Lunch Hour” at Watkins Glen

Your car must be street registered for the “Lunch Hour” Laps.

This lapping of the track is done at low speed and is run entirely by Watkins Glen International.  Lotus Ltd and the Mercedes-Benz Club of America have nothing to do with this and we are only notifying you that it is available and if you are interested please contact the race track. No helmets or roll bars are required for the “Lunch Hour” Laps and you do not need a Lotus for this. Any street registered vehicle is welcome! I have seen motorhomes on the track at this time!

We are very happy to have The Mercedes Benz Club of America, Finger Lakes Section join us for the fourth year in sponsoring this day at the Glen. We look forward to our continuing relationship with the Finger Lakes Section so that we may keep bringing our club members events like this. So, please come join us for a fun and Sports Car filled day at Watkins Glen. It’s one of those “bucket list” days you’ll be talking about for a long time to come!

Please email Tony at if interested in the event and you have any questions.

Start Line - Watkins Glen