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High Performance Driver's Education

Please Join FOPIR (Friends of PIR)

I’m not sure if you have followed any of the news this summer related to Portland International Raceway, but at city council meeting earlier this year the Mayor made the suggestion that PIR should be moved. Now, a Citizens Advisory Committee has been asked to find ways to reduce noise in north Portland. PIR is currently high on the Committee’s list of sources of noise. This committee will be coming out with its recommendations in the next year. So once again PIR is under attack.  

Now more than ever PIR needs your support. A broad spectrum of PIR users has formed a non-profit corporation to champion the benefits of PIR, and is looking to get as many members as it can. BMW Automobile Club of America is actively involved and has appointed a member to FOPIR's Advisory Council. I urge you to go to the Friends of PIR website, www.friendsofpir.com, and join. There you will find information about the organization, its mission, and its objectives. It costs you nothing, it obligates you to nothing, but your membership will help build that organization’s numbers and with those, it’s strength to preserve and enhance the great community resource we enjoy. Please go to their website and join now. If you are already a member, please encourage others to join.

If we don’t act now, we may end up one day wondering what ever happened to PIR.

Thank you
Greg Meythaler
Chief Driving Instructor
Portland BMW Club

General Driving School Pricing, Overview and Rules

For those new to our PIR driving events or needing a quick refresher, this is your heads-up.

  • The standard price for our HPDE events is $200, with pre-registration pricing of $185 available up to two weeks prior to the event.

  • The event is designed to safely provide instruction and enjoyment.

  • Friends and family are welcome if they behave, but leave the family pet at home.

  • Everyone including guests and observers must sign waivers.

  • Bring your paperwork, license and insurance info as necessary.

  • No drivers or passengers under 18 are allowed on the track.

  • No alcohol or mind-altering drugs are permitted at PIR.

  • Everyone waits his turn, and everyone pitches in when needed.

  • Follow instructions given by your event staff and turn workers.

  • No race-prepared cars are allowed in sessions with street vehicles ­ groups are separate.

  • Keep you pit staging area clean and well organized.

  • Your car must pass tech inspection to drive.

  • We take cash and good checks to cover event fees.

  • Two people max per car ­ no exceptions.

  • During a session, all occupants must be securely seat belted.

  • Driver and passenger must wear a Snell 2000 or better helmet.

  • No open sunroofs allowed.

  • Windows are all the way up or all the way down.

  • Open cars require roll bars (or approved factory roll-over protection) and eye protection.

  • No wheel to wheel driving is allowed.

  • Passing is allowed only on the front and back straights.

  • Always signal faster cars to pass you on the right on the front straight.

  • A passing mistake can end your driving for the day.

  • Use hand signals to enhance on-track communication.

  • Watch your mirrors frequently for cars near and behind you.

  • Always wave to the turn workers on the cool down lap.

  • The Club is the final authority in the event of a dispute.

  • Event change and cancellation policy for Portland BMW Club HPDE Days:   We will accept event changes and cancellation up to 48 hours before the event and you will receive a credit towards a Portland BMW Club HPDE event in the same calendar year; if we can fill your spot for that event.  If we are not able to fill your spot for this event then there will be no credit offered.  Event credits are non-transferable.  A $40 cancellation fee will be assessed if we are able to move your registration to another day in the same calendar year.

Driving School Flag Rules

Yellow Flag

Yellow flags may be displayed at any turn station if a hazard exists.

Yellow Stationary

Vehicle debris near track, proceed with caution, no passing allowed.

Yellow Waving

On track hazard, slow down, observe, no passing allowed.


Safely move right, allow faster cars to pass on your left.


You have a mechanical problem OR you have done something wrong. Exit the track at the next opportunity and consult with Starter or Driving Chair.


You have a mechanical problem. Exit the track at the next opportunity and immediately consult with Starter or Driving Chair.


Track is temporarily closed due to an extreme hazard. Safely slow down and pull over to the right side of the main straight or exit the track. Wait for clearance from the Starter or Driving Chair to proceed.

Red Exception

When the Chicane is open, the hazard is in the Chicane itself. Detour to the main straight and do not enter the Chicane. This part of the track is temporarily closed.


Often called an "oil flag", this indicates there is a problem with, or change in, the surface ahead. This commonly means there is oil on the track. It also can mean water or another substance causing a change in the racing surface.


The track is open -- GO.


The session is over, exit track after your cool down lap. Wave to your turn workers.

PIR Passing Rules

Main Straight Passing Rules

  1. Slower Cars stay "on-line" (driver's left) the overtaking car passes on the right.

  2. The overtaking car needs complete the pass by the double cones that mark the end of the passing zone.

  3. 3. The over taking car needs to safely merge back "on line" before the braking zone.



Back Straight Passing Rules

  1. All passing is done on the left. Slower cars (line 1)should stay to the right, driving about 7-10 feet from the wall.
  2. All passing must be completed by the last passing cones to allow faster cars (line 2) to safely merge back to the right in time to reach the braking zone.

PIR Chicane Rules

  1. Line 1 indicates the normal use and path through the Chicane.

  2. Line 2 indicates what to do if the Chicane is blocked by a red flag at the turn station.  In this instance, cars proceed on the main straight and do not enter the Chicane.  The Chicane is temporarily closed.

  3. A car that is spun out in the Chicane must slow or stop at the end of the Chicane at XXX and be waved back on the track by a turn worker prior to re-entering the main straight.

  4. If the Chicane is open and a car misses the entrance, it must stop at {{{}}}, and be waved back into the traffic flow by a turn worker before proceeding.

  5. The Chicane is reopen ONLY when the turn worker removes the red flag from the turn station and the Chicane entrance.


NOTE: There is NO passing in the Chicane.

2014 Track Day Events

For 2014 our club will be involved in putting on four events at Portland International Raceway

Here are the event dates for 2014:

Mortorsportreg is all setup to handle registrations go to: http://portlandbmwclub.motorsportreg.com/




Coming off a great season we had one of the first times in memory where the weather held out all year with nearly perfect conditions at each event. Our run groups were organized into Instructor, Advanced, Intermediate, and Novice. This breakout reflected differences in both driver skill levels and vehicle performance. 


For the novices we provided a strong ground school that helped orient the newer participant to performance 

driving, and provided an in-car instructor. We consistently received reports from the drivers on the helpfulness and skill of their instructors! Hats off to Benny and the corner team members who helped provide a safe and well organized event for everyone. The safety team did a great job of making sure the track was clear and ready while assisting drivers with the occasional mechanical issue. The tech team was top-notch with their outstanding skills and the ability to move cars quickly through the check-in process. I must also mention the registration team who made sure drivers had the correct paperwork, numbers, and provided great hands-on to make the overall driver experience fun and efficient.

We frequently receive feedback that our HPDE program at PIR provides the best dollar value, strong instruction, and one of the best driver experiences of any program at the track. We have lined up a number of days for 2015 that promise to have have something for everyone. With winter project time approaching, we hope to see you and your car next Spring at the track with BMW ACA.
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