Street Survival – Summer 2019: Tire Rack Street Survival Update


By Larry Engel

Tire Rack Street Survival The New Jersey Chapter held the first of its Tire Rack Street Survival Schools on Sunday, June 30th at Campgaw Reservation in Mahwah. As usual, we had an overflow list of students wanting to participate. We accepted a record 34 young drivers for the event, which kept our all-volunteer staff extremely busy for the entire day.

For those of you not familiar with Street Survival, it is a program of the BMW CCA Foundation, a 501 c (3) charitable organization established by the club in 2002 to support teen safety and other important programs for the preservation of BMW history in the US. It also runs a museum in Greer, SC.

The Street Survival program is designed for young drivers age 16-21 who have a learners permit or license, and it combines classroom sessions with behind the wheel exercises on a carefully monitored closed course. Each student has a trained coach riding shotgun for all exercises. Exercises include panic braking, emergency lane change, slalom, wet skidpad, and others. Students learn important skills that aren’t normally practiced or taught but could mean the difference between being in a car crash and avoiding one. In addition, students learn some of the signals when a car is nearing its limit and the things they can do to bring it back under control.

Classroom Training – Photo by Brian Morgan
Braking Exercise – Photo by Brian Morgan
Handling Exercise – Photo by Brian Morgan

The New Jersey Chapter has run two schools each year for many years, the only exception being 2015 when we hosted Oktoberfest. Even then we conducted one school. We have an exceptionally dedicated corps of volunteer coaches and staff who make the events run like clockwork. If you’re interested in becoming a coach and you have autocross or driver school experience, go to the Street Survival website and take the short training course under the “become a coach” link at the bottom of the page. Please send evidence of completion to

Our second event will be held on Sunday, September 29 at Campgaw Reservation in Mahwah. By the time you read this it will probably be full, but we are also discussing the possibility of holding a third school in November at NJ Motorsports Park with a core group of our coaches and others from NJMP and South Jersey. For more information on the program, go to You can also check out the foundation. Their website is If you’re not already doing so, please consider making a tax deductible donation to keep these great programs running!