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Old 08-27-2010, 07:31 AM   #1
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Track racing

I have always wanted to go to one of those fancy racing schools that teach you how to drive around a track, and pay a ton of money to do so. anyone know of any that aren't incredibly expensive but are still a great time? i'm located in the new england area.

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Old 08-27-2010, 10:40 AM   #2
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Englishtown has one, they have a brand new road coarse
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:33 PM   #3
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I started doing track days in this area back in 2007. I have run with several clubs including EMRA, NASA, and SCCA. They hold events @ Pocono Raceway PA (on the 3 infield circuits), Lime Rock CT, New Jersey Motorsports Park (Millville NJ). If you are up for a 4.5 hour ride, you can also run with them at Watkins Glen in upstate NY, or Summit Point in WV.

Prices vary based on the track and club hosting the event. The least expensive being the E-town road course, but as you read below, I'm not too crazy about that facility. For the more professional venues, you will pay between $195 and $350 for a day at the track. EMRA charges $195 for a day at Pocono, or Summit Pt. Which is a great price, they also offer a $100 discount for "first timers" which means you can run @ Pocono for less than $100! Regardless of the club hosting the event, places like Lime Rock and Watkins Glen are expensive, typically between $325 - $395 for the day. NJMP is slightly cheaper.

EMRA (Eastern Motor Racing Association) is a well established local low key/low cost club that is alot of fun to run with. For my first 2 years, I ran most of the Time Trial events with them. They have plenty of guys with good experience and you can get excellent basic instruction for car control and driving the best line on track for a great price.

NASA is a national club with a limited presence in the North East. They have a partnership with a local club (Performance Drivers Association - PDA) to manage events in this area. I have run with them also, they offer instruction etc, but I personally do not enjoy running with them. Entry fees are higher than with EMRA, but I don't think you get much more for your $$$.

SCCA is the time honored national club that hosts events from the lowest levels of grassroots motorsports with regional auto cross events nationwide, to full blown professional race series like the Speed World Challenge/Koni Challenge etc. After I got licensed with SCCA for regional road racing, I have run with them almost exclusively. I have done one race event with EMRA, and I occasionally run a test day with EMRA or NASA now.

I have never run on the Englishtown road course except at lower speeds for some SCCA autocross events that have been run there. There is a "drivers club" of some sorts that is directly affiiliated with the Englishtown organization. While they do offer instruction, I feel that the track is very confined and does not have the best layout from a perspective of safety. I'm not saying it's "unsafe" it's just very unforgiving and under the wrong circumstances could be catastrophic. I have seen bad things happen at autocross events, just search youtube and you can see some ugly things happen in parking lots at speeds < 60mph. For the price and location, it might be worth taking a trip to e-Town just to get aquainted with the idea of turning wheels on a road course. Just don't use that as a representation of a proper road course venue, it's a very small and tight layout.

I would highly recommend EMRA as a better alternative, SCCA also holds some "PDX" events on the NJMP road course a couple times a year. NASA/PDA runs track days, and time trials many times a year.

Also FWIW, SCCA is the only club that offers liability insurance, included with the entrance fees. For details visit the SCCA national website, or inquire with one of the regional clubs.

Here are some links:

SCCA (North NJ and South NJ regions)

SCCA National website for PDX info.


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