where can i race my car
September 10, 2006 7:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a track that has a sort of "track day", or race what you brung type deal... not any track though, it must be a circuit track, not drag... and also, the closer to Manchester CT, the better... i've looked around, and found Lime Rock Park, but they have been quite rude and have not answered any of my email's... i also contacted a track in Stafford, and they said "we only let real race cars on our track" so figuring this out is proving to be quite difficult... all i want in reality is a place to take my car, and wind around some turns, to see just what it, and me are made of.
posted by xteraco to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If anyone could answer for Chicago too, that would be awesome.
posted by rbs at 7:49 AM on September 10, 2006

Lime Rock Park looks like your best bet, though you might need to go through the organisers of track days rather than the circuit itself. It looks like they sell out fast, too: the November event is full. The other approach is to go through an owners' club, but that's much easier if you have a classic model or a track-friendly car.
posted by holgate at 7:58 AM on September 10, 2006

I've been trying to find a club for civic owners in the area, still unsuccessful, but thats another post in itself, so i'll keep looking into that... i think if i could fine a club, it might get me closer to the track... i've also been trying to figure out how to get into SCCA autocross
posted by xteraco at 8:06 AM on September 10, 2006

SCCA has a few competition classes where street legal cars, with the addition of roll cages, fire extinguishers, and maybe window nets. And you can check out NASA events for your area, although you usually have to do some race schools and get your competition ticket to be eligible for these. Other enthusiasts clubs try to organize such events too. Sometimes, you can rent a closed track for private events, but in doing so, you sign air tight waivers of liability with the track, and it is never an open to the public event, so you might try that approach, too, at tracks in your area where Porsche, Lexus and other manufacturers are running owner schools.

But street cars driven near their performance limits by untrained drivers have a high propensity for fatal rollover accidents. There's a reason why most people interested in high performance driving are strongly encouraged to get experience in race schools, on low end competition class equipment. Learning hard lessons in an unprepared street car by doing it yourself isn't a smart way to go.
posted by paulsc at 8:12 AM on September 10, 2006

first off, its smart that i wanna do it on the track, and not on the street, so if anybody gets hurt, its me, and not someone else who had nothing to do with it.... second, i have some experiance in racing circuits, unfortunately it was all on the streets, but experiance none the less... i'm trying to find a legal way to push my car
posted by xteraco at 8:20 AM on September 10, 2006

SCCA is huge in MA and NH, you just need to know where to look. When I lived in Boston I was a member of the local Miata club and we had track days every month; at least twice a year there'd be a regional or national event where different classes of cars would compete in autox. You don't mention what kind of car you have, so you could be limited in your choices, though there's always Skip Barber's racing/driving school. They operate in Lime Rock. The New England Region Sportscar Club (NER) has a listing of upcoming events in the area. Look for the ones that interest you, then contact the originating clubs to see how you can join.

Of course, you don't actually have to be a club member to race in SCCA events—you can also go solo. If you complete two accredited drivers schools, you can get a Novice permit. Complete the Novice requirements, race in (IIRC) two regional events, and you get your SCCA Regional Competition License. Complete four regional races and you can get a SCCA National Competition License. Then it's just a matter of signing up and showing up. :)
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:23 AM on September 10, 2006

"first off, its smart that i wanna do it on the track, and not on the street, so if anybody gets hurt, its me, and not someone else who had nothing to do with it. ..."
posted by xteraco at 11:20 AM EST on September 10 [+fave] [!]

You getting hurt doesn't do the track any good, and if they have to hire wreckers to come get your tangled car and dead body out of their trees or fences, the damage you've done to the facilities and public reputation of the track will quickly eat up any fees you might pay them, to say nothing of the frustration and mess of cleaning up after you. What track owners, and I, want you to see is that there are reasonable and approved ways of demonstrating your skills to people who own and operate such facilities, so that your track days are as fun, safe, and memorable as they can be, and so that if an accident does occur, reasonable fire control and medical personnel are standing by to come to your aid.

Put yourself in the track owners place for a few minutes. Don't you imagine they get such requests, nearly every single day? Don't you think they've gone over the pluses and minuses, every which way they can? If you're getting negative reactions from as hallowed a place as Lime Rock, shouldn't you think about the reasons behind those reactions a bit?

Nobody is trying to harsh your glow, xteraco. But you'll have a better chance getting what you want by doing some race or performance schools and getting with sanctioning organizations that do club racing, as I and others have suggested. Once you've demonstrated some skills, you'll find your track days appropriately.
posted by paulsc at 8:43 AM on September 10, 2006

i contacted CART, we'll see what they say.

as for your argument, i still say, better to wreck on a track, and kill only myself, then to fly through someone's yard, and crash into a house, killing the people who live inside... no argument at all... but i'm not against going to club events, or ripping around parkinglots for an autocross type deal, or taking classes...
posted by xteraco at 8:48 AM on September 10, 2006

join a car club. what kind of car do you drive?

German cars have nationwide car clubs, with (safe) racing weekends scheduled. I drive a bmw, when I first bought it, I joined the bmwaca and the bmwcca. the bmw car club of america has events throughout the summer in the general area where I live (the pnw) with courses and organized events.

I went to bremerton washington for a driving course in the morning, then we did an autocross event (course laid out with orange cones) in the afternoon. great fun, safe environment. other courses included racing on the seattle international racecourse, and portland international racecourse as well.

the bremerton track (abandoned runway near the navy base) was also used by the audi club and the porsche club. we had cars of all makes during our weekend, german and non. the emphasis was on safety, not brand.
posted by seawallrunner at 9:18 AM on September 10, 2006

i drive a modified 91 Civic
posted by xteraco at 10:48 AM on September 10, 2006

Take a racing class. They'll use a track, & let you drive on it in your car. I'm not sure they'll take Civics, but maybe they will. My uncle did one with a modified 50th anneversary Corvette coupe & said his was one of the slower cars there.
posted by devilsbrigade at 12:34 PM on September 10, 2006

Looks like NASA has a High Performnce Driving Event (HPDE) at Limerock in November. As long as your car is safe and you have a helmet they should let you run. Make sure you sign up early as these events fill up quickly. Be safe, and have fun!
posted by white_devil at 7:46 PM on September 10, 2006

Lime Rock is an excellent track, well worth the effort to try to drive.
posted by saladin at 6:51 AM on September 11, 2006

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