New drivers are finding the SCDA Lead-Shadow model of high performance driver education fun, comfortable, and effective.   

August 19, 2020

The Sports Car Driving Association is built on the belief that any driver can learn to be a high performance driver with the tutelage of a trained and experienced instructor.  Beginning with the SCDA Virtual Classroom program, Novice drivers learn high performance driving techniques, racetrack protocols and track-specific tips and details.  Through the new SCDA Quick Start Guide series of videos, new drivers receive suggestions and requirements when  preparing their car and themselves for a safe day at the track. 

Another significant advance in the SCDA HPDE program is the implementation of the unique Lead-Shadow model.  With health restrictions as a result of the COVID-19 virus, delivering safe in-car instruction is prohibitively difficult. The Lead-Shadow delivers a safe, effective and enjoyable solution.  The SCDA Lead-Shadow can pair one, two or three Novice Drivers with a Certified Instructor. Team assignments are based on experience level, vehicle performance and stated goals for the event. Considerable time is spent developing Instructor-Student relationships prior to the first time on track. A team briefing prior to each session and debrief following help make the on-track learning permanent.

How it Works

The SCDA Lead-Shadow process involves an Instructor guiding the team from a meeting point through the staging process and onto the track.  The Instructor models the ideal driving line while communicating with the team through in-car radios. Unused helmet headsets are provided free by the SCDA. Instructors also use hand gestures to support the radio communication and keep the team informed.  During the time on track, team members take turns following directly behind the Instructor and using the Point-By process to facilitate passing.  Additionally, corner observers will offer radio feedback in real time and provide feedback to drivers at the session debrief.

The SCDA has received glowing feedback from Novice drivers and veteran Instructors regarding their learning experience. Drivers are reporting learning the track and driving line quickly, building speed at a rate that is comfortable and enjoying the opportunity to work with their Instructor before and after each session. The SCDA is continuing to refine the Lead-Shadow program and expects to implement it for the rest of the 2020 season.

About the SCDA

Founded in 1995, the Sports Car Driving Association (SCDA) provides the driving enthusiast the opportunity to experience high performance driving in a safe and controlled environment. SCDA events are strictly driver educational events, and are non-competitive. SCDA welcomes everyone from novices with no track experience, as well as seasoned track drivers. We invite you to explore our website to learn more about us and our events at some of the best tracks in the East Coast.