These are Racing Schools and racing experiences. These places allow you to get behind the wheel of a (stock, champ, modified, indy style) race car and take laps around a track.
- While many use the term "school" we feel it important to explain what actually you should expect. Some in fact do work to decrease your lap times (increasing track speed) but most work only to control your speed. This is why some use the term "experience" and many so called schools should also. We use the two terms interchangably for that reason.
- Many big name drivers own or sponsor the racing schools but rarely are they seen at the classes. Instructors are often unknown drivers although a few schools (who can IMHO use the name) have excellent experienced drivers.
- Each school offers different curriculum, equipment, tracks, instructors, etc. and a lot of research should be done before signing up. The cheapest may be that way because of what you get (or don't get) while some of the most expensive are not the best choices either. Research.
- Remember that 50 laps on a 1/2 mile is not the same amount of time as 50 laps on a 1 mile track. But if you want to learn how to drive a 1/2 mile then it does have a benefit.
- The cars are often stated as the same cars that were in major races. While the chassis (and bodies) may be the same the engines have normally been "de-tuned" to decrease the horsepower and increase engine life. Many still have more power than people can handle but if you are expecting 700HP in a Winston Cup car you will be disapointed.
- They will not prepare you for a racing career. Even a three day class will not teach you enough skills for entry into the Daytona 500, Indy 500, Italian Grand Prix or to win your first Saturday night race at the local track. The tracks do not represent what the average beginner racer competes at. Many of the cars (chassis) are not what you would be starting out with. You need a license from NASCAR, FIA, CART, etc. and this requires previous racing (resume) experience.
- You will not be "discovered" at a racing school. There is in fact the story of Jeff Gordon having been discovered at a racing school. This was only because of a combination of things that fell into place on that particular day. Also Jeff had years of racing experience before that day! There are no "racing scouts" at racing schools and the schools are not looking for the next great driver. Most great drivers are "discovered" at local tracks after years of racing.
- Some offer a "follow the leader" approach. This means an instructor is driving a pace car in front of several drivers. You are not allowed to pass the pace car so he controls the speed. Normally if you attempt to pass him they will pull you off the track and send you off. The speeds may in fact be faster than you can handle but if not you will be limited by the pace car. For some people this is a better approach because you have someone else to show you the proper line around the track and not feel like you may go fast enough to crash. Actual speeds with some exceed 100mph!
- If you are thinking of getting into racing they are nearly all great to experience what running at higher than normal speeds on a real race track is like. The adrenalen rush can not be explained and you will definitly have a better understanding of what professional race drivers experience. Depending on the type of school you attend you may have a better idea of what type of racing you want to get involved with. If still unsure we recommend Karts or the Legends as great starting points for new drivers.