|08-22-2012 05:59 PM|
I'm new here at FF, though I joined a bit ago. But I've been running at the track in HPDE and Time Trials since 2003.
This is something I put together for another forum, and maybe it will help some here.
I was answering a question online, and found I had amassed a fair list of links to different groups that put on races, HPDEs, driving schools, etc.
I thought it might be useful to some to post this up. I hope others will add to it as I'm sure my list is very incomplete. I have verified that all these websites are current as of this posting. But as for the clubs themselves, again, any help in status change will be useful.
In no particular order except how I collected them:
National Auto Sport Association - nasaproracing.com National
SCCA Sports Car Club of America National
Welcome to NASA Mid Atlantic Mid-Atlantic
NASA :: South East Region Southeast
Tarheel Sportscar Club/Triangle Z Club HPDE/Time Trials Southeast
TrackGuys | Performance Driving Events National
COM Sports Car Club Northeast
Asphalt Ventures Southeast
MVP Track Time Mostly Midwest, some SE
NASA Time Trial Mid-Atlantic
SVT Cobra Mustang Club Official Website Southeast
PDA Driving School Northeast
Sports Car Driving Association - Performance Driving in a Safe and Controlled Environment Northeast
TrackTime4Cars Schedule NJMP
Summit Point Friday at the Track Summit Point
NARRA Online National
MotorsportReg.com : Online registration management tools for driving and social events
Hooked On Driving - Leading National Performance Driving Program, High Performance Driving Experience, High Performance Driving School National
ERME: The Ultimate Motorsports Experience! : Equipe Rapide Motorsports Experience Florida
:: PBOC :: Southeast
Chin MotorSports - More Tracks, More Track Time! Mostly Southeast, some NE and MW
www.MazdaDriverS.com, Track Events, HPDE High Speed Drivers Education
Tracks Unlimited Southeast
TrackMasters Racing California
Nor Cal Shelby Club NorCal
Northern California Racing Club/American Racing Club NorCal
SAAC NW Home Page Northwest
Mustangs Northwest - At a Gallop Northwest
Oregon Region SCCA - Get into motorsports today! Northwest
Cascade Sports Car Club - Home Northwest
IRDC - Home Northwest
AROSC-HPD Home Page SoCal
Barber Driving Experience National
Skip Barber Racing School National
Bondurant Racing School of High Performance Driving Arizona
Jim Russell USA Racing Schools Infineon
Bertil Roos Racing School Eastcoast
10 / 10ths Motorsports Southeast and Midwest
Track Weekend Southeast
Dark Side Index Southeast
ChumpCar World Series
24 Hours of Lemons - Home Page
Turn2 Lapping inc. - Home Northwest
Also, many car clubs (Porsche, BME, Corvette, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, MCA) put on their own track days, usually at a local level, but sometimes on a large scale.
Also, many car clubs (Porsche, BME, Corvette, Mazda, Mercedes Benz, MCA) put on their own track days, usually at a local level, but sometimes on a large scale.
If anyone involved in any of the groups would like me to redirect any of these links, just let me know.
And those were valid as of the begining of this year. Please let me know if any need to be updated.
|08-22-2012 05:06 PM|
I have limited track experience. 2 "weekends" with the Ferrari Club of North Carolina at VIR. First year was in a 1999 F355 on the South Course around the Oak Tree, the second year I choose a 2001 M5 over the Ferrari on the Full Course.
Couple of lessons.
I'm not a very good driver. Leave the aggressive driving for the track in a semi-controlled environment.
Listen to the instructor. He/she has done this before and can help.
Don't do anything (or go any faster) than you are comfortable doing it.
The car is WAY better than me, and I am only limited by my own skills, or lack thereof.
The car does what I tell it to do, even if it's wrong.
Traction control sucks. :)
Traction control can save your butt. :)
Relax, and check your ego at the door. Start slow, and ease into it.
Learn to drive a slow car fast, rather than a fast car into a tire wall. Don't ask.
|09-29-2009 06:23 PM|
Has this thread lost it's "sticky" status? Maybe I missed something on the forum listing but I didn't see the little stickpin icon...
Maybe in the forum "server maintenance" or whatever, some stuff got messed up??
|09-29-2009 05:58 AM|
|sldghmr||Great reading and excellent advice to us new comers....I've done on HPDE and 2 AutoX's now and am still soaking all of this info up. Thanks to all that have posted here!|
|09-28-2009 09:54 PM|
|09-11-2009 11:08 PM|
|09-11-2009 11:03 PM|
Basic high performance driving technique you can practice every time you drive, no matter the speed limit, conditions, etc: LOOK AHEAD!
If you're not looking ahead, you can't control what comes next (brake markers, turn in points, apexes, etc.). Next time you're on an exit ramp and find you're looking 30 ft in front of the car instead where the ramp is going, say out load "look ahead!" and you've saved about $200, because that's about how much it costs for a Bondurant or Skip Barber instructor to say that to you as a student over the course of a couple days of training.
|09-06-2009 01:29 AM|
My story, a transition from auto X, to HPDE, to Racing.
WeeAsp, has really put together a great collection of info for anyone wanting to get into the road race / time trial scene.
Since March of 2007 I have run about 20-25 track events, and have probably logged over 2000 miles on track. Here's how it went for me.
Back in 2007 I started running autocross events in my Focus. It was about 12 years since my last autocross from the days I used to run a rusty but moderately modified Alfa Spider.
The Focus had a few mods, mainly Koni yellows, a big rear sway bar, some strut braces, SS brakelines, Hawk HP+ pads, and for AutoX the coveted Kumho V710's.
I was a decent autocross driver, and spent most of my first year learing how to toss a front wheel drive car around a parking lot, without burning up the front tires, or looping it due to abrupt power off oversteer.
In May of 2007 I attended my first HPDE, it was with NASA/PDA at Pocono East. It was an interesting experience, I not only had a chance to experience car control techniques at speeds close to 120MPH, I also learned about boiling brake fluid, and having a set of tires loose grip from overheating. The conventional Castrol DOT4 fluid didn't cut it, and using autoX tires for road racing is not adviseable.
I continued a mix of AutoX and HPDE's that year. In 2008 I concentrated more on HPDE/Time Trials, and only did a few AutoX events. The car recieved a few mods over the 2007/2008 winter, and I installed an Autopower bolt-in 4pt roll bar. (safety is everything to me) At this point it was still a daily driver.
Through 2008, both the car and I made some improvments. My driving was becoming more controlled, and the car was allowing me to post respectable times on every track. By the midpoint of 2008, I had made a personal commitment to cross over to competitive racing, and started taking a more serious approach to attending events, better planning, getting proper rest, thinking about my physical fitness etc.
In 2009, I was lucky enough to have a friend, and experienced SCCA racer loan me his RX7 to attend race school in March. My car was not converted to a race legal vehicle yet, so I needed something to drive in the Race School.
The good news is that I passed that school, I now have an SCCA regional license for racing and have completed 2, 2 day events with SCCA.
I have spent a small fortune turing my daily driver into a race car, I would not advise this to anyone, it's much cheaper to buy a turn key car, or build your own off of a worn out used car with a solid chassis.
Clubs I have run with:
NASA/PDA: - A good club with access to many tracks in the north east. They have some good instructors, but not always. Thier events are reasonably well organized, and they are well prepared with saftey and workers etc. I have seen them reprimand agressive drivers.
EMRA: - These guys run great low key/low cost events. It's a local club in the North East, with no national afiliations. Ego's are non-existent, and everyone seems to have a blast. There are plenty of experienced drivers in this group, you can get some good instruction and you will ALWAYS have fun.
SCCA: - I have only run one HPDE (SCCA calls it PDX) with SCCA, but I have done all my racing so far with them. With all respects to NASA and EMRA, in my opinion SCCA runs the most well organized and professional events overall.
I won't get into the politics of racing clubs and the differences between SCCA / NASA, they both have issues. The best quote I read on this subject was "SCCA is a club pretending to be a business, and NASA is a business pretending to be a club."
I will say that building a competitive car for SCCA can be challenging because of the way they class cars etc, typically only a handful of cars in any one class become competitive. NASA uses a point system, with base classing based on HP/WT, so it does not matter what car you have, there is a good chance it will get classed in a competitive base class. From there it's up to you to select the most effective mods for your car based on the points system (similar to BMWCCA and PCA)
Tracks I have driven:
Pocono International, Long Pond PA.
There are several road race configurations built on the infield of the Nascar Tri-Oval. I have driven the 3 configurations known as North, East, and South.
It's a great facility, ample garages/paddock areas, decent food on site, and showers, but the infield courses are nothing more than strips of pavement through the infield. The infield is very "lumpy" and if you go off track in the wrong place, it can get ugly. (I came off track on the East course, hit a big berm that KO'd my RF fog lamp, cracked the bumper cover, wiped out some air defelectors and trashed my lower radiator support. I was lucky to put it all back in place to drive it home)
NJ Motorsports Park, Millville NJ.
This is a fine work in progress. (5 year contruction plans, that include "rally stage" and 4X4 venues) I have driven both the Lighning and Thuderbolt circuits. These are well developed facilties, but amenities are split up between the 2 courses. Thunderbolt has the guest suites, garages and showers, Lightning has the larger paved paddock, and fuel tanks. I love both of these tracks, they have plenty of run-off and are among the best laid out tracks from a safety standpoint. There are some blind spots and tricky turns, but plenty of room to go off track safely if needed. It's biggest drawback might be the amount of dust that gets kicked up when drivers drive/spin off track. Your car will probably need to be detailed at the end of the day, and during my last event there, I had to drive through a heavy dust cloud at close to racing speeds. Probably the scariest 3 seconds in my past 26 months of track events!
As a lifelong NJ resident, I was excited to attend one of the first Road Race events held here in 45 years when EMRA ran it's sprints and time trials 7/12/2008.
Lime Rock Park, New Caanan CT.
This is an older race track with a great history. Former CT resident, Paul Newman turned many laps here! Since this track has been turned into a "membership" track, there are fewer open track days, and fees are a bit higher now than in the past. It's a very fast, fun and challenging track. The recent reconstruction/repaving means the course is now smooth as silk, and very predictable. The facilites are modest, but it's such a classic track who cares! Food prices are insane however, I strongly advise to pack a lunch! It's a great track for a Focus, lots of turns only one major straight so it's perfect for lower HP cars.
"The Glen" - Watkins Glen International, Dix NY
This is without a doubt my favorite course that I have been on. I guess it's mainly due to the fact I remember it from childhood seeing the formula 1 races on TV, with the likes of Jackie Stewart, Fittipaldi, Jim Clarke etc. My first event there was a holy experience, if I died on Rt17 driving home from that weekend, I would have died in complete inner peace with no regrets in this life!
This is a SERIOUS track, all buisness and everything a track should be. BUT, there are a few places you can get into trouble. (I'm pretty sure someone puts some serious damage on thier car there once a weekend) So if you do go there as a novice or for your first event, take it slow and listen to your instructor. The long course is over 3 miles long, has about 14 turns and 3 major straights. The elevation changes are significant, and some of the turns include technical features that make them difficult to master. It's one of the most expensive tracks I have been to, so you probably won't turn laps there for less than $350-$400. For an extra $80-$100 you can usually reserve a space in the NASCAR garages.
Summit Point Motorsports Park, Summit Point WV (Main Course)
This is another GREAT older classic race track, but unlike Lime Rock, or the Glen, since it has fallen of the professional racing circuit it has not been expanded or developed in recent years so the amenities are limited. (it's lovingly called "Scummit Point" by many....) There is food and fuel on-site, and a "pro-shop" if you forgot a few things, but no garages, and not much of a paved paddock. The track is split between a highspeed wide open circuit, and a tight, twisty and technical section. (much like NJMP Thuderbolt) The track was resurfaced in 2007, and they had to redo some of the corners this year, but it's in generally decent condition. It's a relatively safe track, but it's somewhat "carved" into the landscape in some places so if you really loose it, you might find yourself buried in a tirewall. Just take it easy in the tricky spots and you'll be OK. All in all, I think this might be my second favorite track. You can usuaully find a good bargain here, and the track is very challenging. Plus for me a it's a nice road trip, a chance to get away from the psycho pace of the NYC metro area.
Silverstone "Stowe Circuit" UK.
I was on an extended business trip to the UK in the spring of 2008, so I wanted to do something on track in the UK. For about $350 I rented a Formula Ford for 2 20 minute sessions around a small practice circuit at the famous Siverstone Grand Prix facility. One day, I plan on racing an open wheel car, and I decided this was a neat way of checking one out. It was too short, but what fun!
Some of the tracks I want to drive:
Road Atlanta (might do this one in 2010)
|09-05-2009 08:21 PM|
I do need to get better brake pads...working on burning up the stock set I have on! lol Agreed about the Dunlop Direzza Star Specs: I'm very impressed considering they are reasonably priced "street" tires (using a set for track day/time trial duty for now), not DOT R-compound 60 wear rating race rubber. Sure, Victoracers or something like that would drop my lap times, but also beat up both my wallet and suspension bushings just a bit quicker ;)
|11-26-2008 07:00 PM|
Track: Lime Rock Park
Number of days: 7 or so.
Vehicle: 2003 SVT Focus (basically stock) and sometimes my father's Z06 when he lets me :)
I have about 7 track days behind me now all at Lime Rock Park. I used to work in Marketing there and it's the closest. The EMS staff highly recommended SCDA and PDA in the name of safety. I remember watching "other clubs" out on track while in meetings and seeing and hearing of very dangerous/foolish stuff sometimes. SCDA and PDA do not tolerate "yahoos". You also usually find many of the students in much higher level of nice cars there which is fun too (Ferrari, Porsches, Lotus, Lambo, blah blah blah).
The higher performance driving schools are the best and safest way to learn. Maybe they are more expensive but much safer and a great amount of track time. The in car instructors are excellent and friendly. The classroom instruction is also great truly giving you a judgement free education on driving technique and logic. Ask Questions?!
It is so much fun every time I get out on track. I can't wait to drive at more tracks when I have the time and extra money for travel.
To sum up, track days have made me a more confident, aware, and conscientious driver. It has helped lessen that "need for speed" and provided a fun and safe environment to drive.
Just make sure your car is safe and ready for the event. Tires and brakes especially. You cannot afford to skimp on safety at any events like this. The speeds involved can kill.
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