At the Richard Petty Driving Experience, one-on-one instruction is key. Depending on the p
Want to experience life behind the wheel of a NASCAR Featherlite Modified? Take a ride in 1988 Winston Cup Rookie of the Year Ken Bouchard's specially built two-seater Featherlite Modified with a professional instructor. You can get the thrill of a full-speed, flat-out qualifying run with one or two laps. Or try the Rookie Test Drive and drive the Modified yourself. A safety and technique orientation program prepares you for a 15-lap solo run in a ground-pounding open-wheel racer.
Drive to Victory Lane also offers an Extended Test Drive where you build your speed with two 16-lap runs behind the wheel of a Tour Modified. For the hard-core or somewhat experienced Modified driver, the school offers the Saturday Night Feature. This is a full day of instruction with three runs to increase your skill and speed. Improve your racing line and settle into the rhythm of running a five-eighths-mile oval track for 42 laps.
For the racer who wants some extra practice with feedback, Drive to Victory Lane has full competition training from Ken Bouchard and his staff, including qualifying, with instruction and reviews between each run.
Bob Bondurant School of High
Location: Firebird International
Raceway facility, Phoenix, Ariz.
Cost: $1,895 to $4,850
Web site: www.bondurant.com
Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving offers its four-day Grand Prix Road Racing class for those who are interested in pursuing racing as a career. This course combines plenty of track time on Bondurant's purpose-built, state-of-the-art training facility in race-prepared Ford Mustang GTs or Formula Fords. Graduates of the Grand Prix Road Racing course are eligible for a SCCA Regional License as well as various other competition licenses.
For those of you who have racing experience, whether in your own car or from a previous Bondurant course, the Advanced Road Racing course is designed to improve specific areas of your driving and racing techniques. The course uses SVT Mustang Cobras (the Formula Ford is also available for an extra fee) and utilizes Pi Data Acquisition systems training.
Drivetech Racing School
Location: Various tracks
Cost: $95 to $2,100
Web site: www.drivetech.com
Drivetech Racing School students can drive a high-powered NASCAR racer in a controlled environment. The school provides classroom instruction, course materials, and Simpson helmets and driving suits. Drivetech believes its low prices mean more people can afford to start a racing career with first-rate training or just experience a lifetime thrill.
Following a one-hour session to discuss driving techniques, safety procedures and other important issues, it's straight to the car. After a few warm-up laps behind the pace car, it's time to put the pedal down. Instructors coach drivers over the in-car radio, and drivers are allowed to pass slower traffic.
Drivetech offers a variety of courses for the aspiring driver. The Taste of Speed is 20 minutes of driving, simply for the thrill of doing so. The Racing Adventure is 30 minutes of driving, plus one pit stop. The Super Racing Adventure is 40 minutes of driving, plus two pit stops. These courses are designed to have lots of green-flag racing. The Championship Adventure is a one- or two-day class that features 60 minutes of driving per day. Drivers can play one-on-one pursuit with an instructor, race side-by-side, work on starts, qualifying or just plain driving.
Fast Track High Performance
Location: Various tracks
Cost: $90 to $2,700
Web site: www.fasttrackracing.com
Fast Track High Performance Driving School uses Winston Cup-style stock cars-some of which have actually competed on the racing circuit-capable of reaching speeds from 70 mph to 150 mph, depending on track conditions, experience and the students skill level.