When we learn to drive, among the cardinal rules is one about not breaking the speed limit. We’re rightly told that it’s dangerous, reckless, and you’ll feel stupid too when the police stop and ticket you. On the other hand, every experienced driver knows that there’s a lot to be learned from properly arranged high-speed driving, especially for the younger and/or less experienced drivers. Plus, it's just a lot of fun getting the chance to push the cars to the limit. This is where a great racing school comes in.
What is a Racing School?
The name seems obvious, but let’s be 100-percent clear. A racing school refers to one of the many enterprises and organizations --- some of them well-known car brands --- setting up classes, track days and other paid-for experiences that help speed-seekers and those just in need of some advanced driving skills alike.
You’ll find driving schools of various kinds all over the country, some of the most popular and exciting we have named below to get you started. It’s also important to understand what benefits you are getting from these experiences, so in today’s piece, we’ve got you covered there, as well.
Great Performance Driving Schools in the US
Below are some of the most interesting and apparently high-quality examples that we have sourced for readers:
1. Porsche Driving Experience (LA and Atlanta)
Who doesn’t dream of driving a Porsche? Pay a visit to porschedriving.com and you can not only do just that, but you can really put the pedal to the metal and see what this fine machine can do. With locations in east and west, drivers on either coast can enjoy taking the Porsche at speed on the custom track, or something with an additional practical element like how to regain control when aquaplaning. If you’re more in the mood for an adventure with the Porsche, you can tackle the off-road course.
2. Exotics Racing (Las Vegas and Fontana, CA)
We understand, the first one is a bit heavy on the Porsche cars --- it is an official Porsche offering, after all --- but there are many more choices for those who love supercars but would like to try something other than the German masterpiece. Head to either Las Vegas or Fontana, California to find Exotics Racing. There, you can try a test drive in just about any supercar you can think of: Aston Martin, Lamborghini, Ferrari, BMW i8, Corvette, McLaren, Maserati, and many more. Visit exoticsracing.com to learn more.
3. Drift101 (Rosamond, CA)
Racing schools are also a great place to learn skills and abilities that you otherwise won’t be able to use on the street. One of those is drifting, a skill that you might see in the movies or old Japanese animations and dream about doing yourself. A school like Drift101 based in Rosamond, which is about 80 miles north of Los Angeles, can make that dream come true. It offers classes for learners at all levels, even the never-done-before beginners. They also offer flexible add-ons for groups, filming your experience to create a video souvenir and more. Visit drift101.com to learn more.
4. BMW Performance School (Thermal, CA, and Greenville, SC)
BMW’s performance driving school has two locations on either cost, the first in Thermal, California and the other in Greenville, South Carolina. Their website, bmwperformancecenter.com details the many driving tuition options, including classes for teens, instruction for those looking to get their race license, one- or two-day experiences in the M performance series and much more. They also cater to group and corporate events. It’s another great all-round choice for those who want to learn advanced driving skills, or simply the chance to take a high-cost high-specification BMW M series flying around a track. This is a great option for BMW owners who want to step up their game from the normal commute.
5. Dirtfish Rally School (Snoqualmie, WA)
Yes, Snoqualmie is a real place, and it houses another of the more unique driving school experiences in the form of Dirtfish Rally School. Besides drifting, rally driving is another big fantasy driving type. It’s also another one of those that a curious driver might wonder how to even get started. Schools like Dirtfish offer programs of differing levels in their Rally School, including “The Basics” where you learn the entry-level skills, followed by “Up Your Game” and “All In” where you can dive into more advanced techniques. More information can be found on their website, dirtfish.com.
6. Richard Petty Driving Experience (Daytona, FL)
No racing school recommendation list would be complete without at least one NASCAR experience. Head to Daytona, Florida to experience driving a NASCAR vehicle for yourself, or just go for a ride-along with a seasoned pro. The Richard Petty school allows you to choose a price according to total track time, ranging from 5 minutes (from $199.99) up to 48 minutes (from $1919.99). You can also get instruction from a spotter via radio for an additional unique learning experience. Visit drivepetty.com to get more information.
Benefits of Attending a Racing School
Racing school isn’t the cheapest hobby one can get into, but it does come with a lot of extra benefits, even when only attending a single or small handful of times:
1. Driving Skills
Many of these performance driving schools are geared toward speed enthusiasts and thrill seekers, of course, but there’s an extremely practical side to them that you can’t ignore. Many offer lessons on things like defensive driving, regaining control of a vehicle when encountering a hazard like surface water, and many more. They also can teach you how to drive off road, or how to handle a race track, all of which contribute to a deeper ad richer skill set that enhances our everyday driving.
2. Teen Safety
Parents interested in keeping their teens safe on the road are quickly discovering the many benefits of these performance driving schools. Many accidents that teens get involved in are due to a lack of experience and advanced driving skill. The things mentioned in the point above can have the added bonus effect of keeping your teenage son or daughter safer on the road; helping them keep calm in a crisis, and driving with precision and purpose on the highway.
3. The Sheer Fun of It All
One more undeniable benefit of the racing school is an unforgettable life experience, and a good chance to bond with friends and colleagues. Racing schools typically offer experiences both for individuals and groups, and they make a great pick for corporate events, too. Furthermore, it’s a place you can experience the fun of these things without any risk to the public or your criminal record! Flying down Route 66 in a BMW M4 at 110mph with your local cars and coffee crew won’t be looked upon kindly by the local authorities.
Racing School: An American Institution
In conclusion, the racing school is a truly American concept. It reflects the desire of many an American to break barriers (not literally, we hope), try new things and experience the very pinnacle of automotive greatness. It’s part of the great American inheritance. Check out racing schools in your local area and go along to see how much you can learn from these unique centers of automotive excellence.
Some people get so into it that they end up going out and buying their own track car online so they can play around every weekend. If you do the same, make sure to do extensive checks and an inspection to ensure the vehicle is still in good condition! Track cars can see a lot of stress on the internals as I'm sure you could guess.
Shopping for a used vehicle to keep on the road? Check out the Topmarq listings for some great used cars for sale by owner!