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Tracks USA

Adams Motorsports Park

5292 24th St.

Riverside, CA  92509

951-686-3826 

http://www.adamsmotorsportspark.com

 

Altamont Motorsports Park

17001 Midway Rd.

Tracy, CA  95376

925-371-RACE (7223)

www.altamontracing.com

 

Arizona Motorsports Park

15402 W. Camelback Rd.

Litchfield Park, AZ  85340

602-622-0035

[email protected]

http://arizonamotorsportspark.com

 

Arroyo Seco Raceway

20030 New Mexico 549

Deming, NM  88030

575-544-3440

[email protected]

[email protected]

http://www.arroyosecoraceway.com

 

Atlanta Motor Speedway

1500 Tara Place

Hampton, GA  30228

Ed Clark (770) 707-7904

www.atlantamotorspeedway.com

 

Atlanta Motorsports Park

20 Duck Thurmond Rd.

Dawsonville, GA  30534

678-381-8527

http://www.atlantamotorsportspark.com

 

Auto Club Speedway

9300 Cherry Ave.

Fontana, CA  92335

909-429-5000

http://www.autoclubspeedway.com

 

Autobahn Country Club

3795 Centerpoint Way

Joliet, IL  60436

(815) 722-2223

http://www.autobahncc.com

 

Barber Motorsports Park

6040 Barber Motorsports Pkwy.

Birmingham, AL  35094

205-699-9609

http://www.barbermotorsports.com     

 

Blackhawk Farms Raceway

15538 Prairie Rd.

South Beloit, IL  61080

815-389-2000

http://www.blackhawkfarms.com

 

BlueGrass Motorsports Park

1200 U.S. Hwy. 127, N.

Warsaw, KY  40195

(888) 508-7225

http://www.drivebluegrass.com

 

Brainerd International Raceway

5523 Birchdale Rd.

Brainerd, MN  56401

212-824-RACE (7223)

http://www.brainerdraceway.com

 

Bremerton Motorsports Park

7500 Old Clifton Rd.

Bremerton, WA 98312

(360) 674-2280

[email protected]

http://bremertonmotorsportspark.com

 

Buttonwillow Raceway Park

24551 Lerdo Hwy.

Buttonwillow, CA  93206

661-764-5333

http://buttonwillowraceway.com

 

Carolina MotorSports Park

3662 Kershaw Hwy.

Kershaw. SC  29067

803-475-2448

[email protected]

http://www.carolinamotorsportspark.com

 

Charlotte Motor Speedway

5555 Concord Parkway, S.

Concord, NC  28027 

(704) 455-3205 

www.charlottemotorspeedway.com

 

Chuckwalla Valley Raceway

25300 Rice Rd.

Desert Center, CA  92239

760-227-3100

[email protected]

http://goracecvr.com

 

Circuit of the Americas

9201 Circuit of the Americas Blvd.

Austin, TX  78617

512-301-6600

[email protected]

http://circuitoftheamericas.com

 

Daytona International Speedway

1801 W. International Speedway Blvd.

Daytona Beach,  FL 32114

(386) 254-2700

http://www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com

 

Driveway Austin Motorsports

8400 Delwau Lane

Austin, TX  78725

(512) 917-9100 

www.drivewayaustin.com

 

Eagles Canyon Raceway

7629 N. Farm to Market 51

Decatur, TX  76234

940-466-9775

[email protected] 

http://www.eaglescanyon.com

 

ElkhartLake’s Road America

N7390 State Hwy. 67

Plymouth, WI  53073

920-892-4576

http://www.roadamerica.com

 

Genoa Motorsports Park

52326 County Highway 109

Genoa, CO  80818

www.genoamotorsports.com

 

GingerMan Raceway

61414 County Rd. 388

South Haven Charter Township, MI  49090

(269) 253-4445

http://www.gingermanraceway.com

 

Grandsport Speedway

7575 FM 2004 Rd., # 3

Hitchcock, TX  77563

409-986-7223

http://www.grandsportspeedway.com

 

Grattan Raceway Park

7201 Lessiter

Belding, MI  48809

616-691-7221

[email protected] 

http://www.grattanraceway.com

 

Hallett Motor Racing Circuit

59901 E. 55 R.

Jennings, OK  74038

918-356-4814

http://www.hallettracing.net

 

Harris Hills Raceway

2840 Harris Hills Rd.

San Marcos, TX  78666

512-692-7190

[email protected]

http://harrishillroad.com

 

Heartland Park Topeka

7530 S.W. Topeka Blvd.

Topeka, KS  66619

785-862-4781

http://www.hpt.com

 

High Plains Raceway

93301 E. Hwy. 36

Deer Trail, CO  80105

970-215-6040 Track Mgr. Glenn Conser

303-769-4771 Track Info Hotline

http://highplainsraceway.com

 

Homestead-Miami Speedway

One Ralph Sanchez Speedway Blvd.

Homestead, FL  33035

305-230-5000

http://www.homesteadmiamispeedway.com

 

Inde Motorsports Ranch, LLC

9301 West Airport Rd.

Willcox, AZ  85643

520-384-0796

http://www.indemotorsports.com

 

Kansas Speedway

400 Speedway Boulevard

Kansas City, Kansas  66111

(913) 328-3300 

www.kansasspeedway.com

 

Lime Rock Park

497 Lime Rock Rd.

Lakeville, CT  06039

800-435-5000

[email protected]

http://www.limerock.com

 

M1 Concourse

164 South Blvd W
Pontiac, MI 48341

866-M1-TRACK

http://m1concourse.com/

 

Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

1021 Monterey-Salinas Hwy.

Salinas, CA  93908

831-242-8201

http://www.mazdaraceway.com

 

Mid America Motorplex

19340 Jesup Ave.

Pacific Junction, IA  51561

712-622-8122

[email protected]

http://midamericamotorplex.com

 

Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course

7721 Steam Corners Rd.

Lexington, OH  44904

800-643-6446

[email protected] 

http://www.midohio.com

 

Monticello Motor Club

67 Cantrell Rd.

Monticello, NY  12701

855-662-2582

http://www.monticellomotorclub.com

 

Motorsport Park Hastings

427 South Showboat Blvd.

Hastings, NE  68901

402-461-8031

[email protected]

[email protected]

http://www.racemph.com

 

MSR Houston

1 Performance Dr.

Angleton, TX  77515

281-369-0677

http://www.msrhouston.com

 

NAPA Speedway

100 Speedway Park Blvd., S.W.

Albuquerque, NM  87121

(505) 352-8888

http://napaspeedwary.com

 

NCM Motorsports Park

505 Grimes Road
Bowling Green, KY 42101 

800-538-3883

http://www.motorsportspark.org/

 

Nelson Ledges Road Course

10342 State Route 305

Garrettsville, OH  44231

440-548-8551

[email protected]

http://www.nelsonledges.com

 

New Hampshire Motor Speedway

1122 Route 106, N.

Loudon, NH  03307

603-783-4931

http://www.nhms.com

 

New Jersey Motorsports Park

8000 Dividing Creek Rd.

Millville, NJ  08332

856-327-8000

[email protected]

http://www.njmp.com

 

No Problem Raceway

Raceway Court

Belle Rose, LA  70341

985-369-3692

[email protected]

http://www.noproblemraceway.com

 

NOLA Motorsports Park

11075 Nicolle Blvd.

Avondale, LA  70094

(504) 302-4875

[email protected]

http://www.nolamotor.com

 

North Carolina Center for Automotive Research

620 Lowe’s Blvd. Rd.

Garysburg, NC 27831 

252-308-2825

[email protected]

http://www.nccar.us

 

Oregon Raceway Park

93811 Blagg Ln.

Grass Valley, OR  97029

541-531-5695

http://www.oregonraceway.com

 

Pacific Raceways

31001 144th Ave., SE

Kent, WA  98042

253-639-5927

http://www.pacificraceways.com

 

Palm Beach International Raceway

17047 Beeline Hwy.

Jupiter, FL  33478

561-622-1400

http://www.racepbir.com

 

Phoenix International Raceway

7602 S. Avondale Blvd.

Avondale, AZ  85323

http://www.phoenixracewayc.com

623-772-2000

 

Pikes Peak International Raceway

16650 Midway Ranch Rd.

Fountain, CO  80817

719-382-7223

[email protected]

http://ppir.com

 

Pittsburgh International Race Complex

201 Penndale Rd.

Wampum, PA  16157

724-535-1000

http://www.pittrace.com

 

Pocono Raceway

1234 Long Pond Rd.

Long Pond, PA  18334

570 646-2300

http://www.poconoraceway.com

 

Portland International Raceway

1940 N. Victory Blvd.

Portland, OR  97217

503-823-7223

[email protected]

http://portlanderaceway.com

 

Prairie Hills Motorsport Club

244 East Ogden Ave., Ste. 113

Hinsdale, IL  60521 

(219) 232-6032 

www.prairiehillsmc.com

 

Pueblo Motorsports Park

3373 N. Pueblo Blvd.

Pueblo, CO  81008

719-761-1372

[email protected]

http://www.pueblomotorsportspark.net

 

Putnam Park Road Course

5251 S. County Rd. 550 E.

Greencastle, IN  46135

(765) 526-2290

www.putnampark.com

 

Reno-Fernley Raceway

1965 Highway 95-A

Fernley, NV  89408

(571) 212-5146 

www.renofernleyracetrack.com

 

Road America

N7390 Hwy. 67

Plymouth, WI  53020

920.892.4576

[email protected]

http://www.roadamerica.com

 

Road Atlanta

5300 Winder Highway

Braselton, GA  30517 

(770) 967-6143 

www.roadatlanta.com

 

Roebling Road Raceway

1135 Roebling Rd.

Bloomingdale, GA  31302

888-398-7223

http://www.roeblingroad.com

 

Sebring International Raceway

113 Midway Dr.

Sebring, FL  33870

800-626-RACE

http://www.sebringraceway.com

 

Sonoma Raceway

29355 Arnold Dr.

Sonoma, CA  95476

707-938-8448 

http://racesonoma.com

 

SPEEDVEGAS

14200 S Las Vegas Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89054

888-340-2038

https://speedvegas.com/en/

 

Spokane County Raceway

750 N. Hayford Rd.

Airway Heights, WA  99001

509-244-3333

http://www.spokanecountyraceway.com

 

Spring Mountain Motor Sport and Country Club

3601 Nevada 160

Pahrump, NV  89048

(800) 391-6891

[email protected]

http://www.springmountainmotorsports.com

 

Summit Point Motorsports Park

201 Motorsports Park Cir.

Summit Point, WV  25446

304-725-8444

http://summitpoint-raceway.com

 

Talladega Gran Prix Raceway

46 Pilgrim Lane

Munford, Alabama  36268

256-493-2634

[email protected]

http://tgprace.com

 

Texas Motorsport Ranch

9012 Performance Ct.

Cressen, TX  76035

817-512-3162

[email protected]

http://www.motorsportranch.com

 

Texas World Speedway

7529 State Hwy. 6, S.

College Station, TX  77845

(979) 690-2500

http://www.texasworldspeedway.com

 

The FIRM

Florida International Rally & Motorsport Park

7266 Airport Rd.

Starke, FL  32091

352-473-2999

www.gorally.com

 

The Ridge Motorsport Park

1060 Eells Hill Rd.

Shelton, WA  98584

[email protected]

http://www.ridgemotorsportspark.com/

 

Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park

205 E. Thompson Rd.

Thompson, CT  06277

860-923-2280 ext. 205

http://www.thompsonspeedway.com

 

Utah Motorsports Campus

512 S Sheep Ln

Grantsville UT 84074  

435-277-8000 

http://utahmotorsportscampus.com/

 

Virginia International Raceway

1245 Pine Tree Rd.

Alton, VA  24520

434-822-7700

http://virnow.com

 

Waterford Hills Road Racing

4770 Waterford Rd.

Clarkston, MI  48346

[email protected]

http://www.waterfordhills.com

 

Watkins Glen International

2790 County Route 16

Watkins Glen, NY 14891

607-535-2486

[email protected]

http://theglen.com

 

Willow Springs International Raceway

3500 75th St., W.

Rosamond, CA  93560

661-256-6666

[email protected]

http://www.willowspringsraceway.com

 

Tracks Canada

www.calabogiemotorsports.com

462 Wilson Farm Road

Calabogie, ON, K0J 1H0 Canada

[email protected]

Track phone:  613-752-1252

Ottawa office phone:  613-727-6252

Toll free:  866-669-TRAK (8725)

 

www.canadiantiremotorsportpark.com

Local: (905) 983-9141
Toll-Free: (800) 866-1072

[email protected]

 

www.castrolraceway.com

(780) 461-5801

Highway 19 & Highway 2 (2 kms West); Nisku; Alberta; Canada
GPS Coordinates: 53.3374847°N 113.5330582°W
EXIT No. (Coming from HWY 2): 525

 

Circuit Mont-Tremblant

http://www.lecircuit.com

819.425.6363

[email protected]

 

www.grandbendmotorplex.com

70292 Grand Bend Line
Grand Bend, Ontario

(519) 238-7223

 

www.missionracewaypark.com

32670 Dyke Road
Mission, British Columbia

(604) 826-6315

 

Shannonville Motorsport Park

www.shannonville.com

(613) 969-1906

7047 Old Hwy #2, Box 259

Shannonville, Ontario K0K 3A0

 

www.torontomotorsportspark.com

1040 Kohler Road

Cayuga, ON

N0A 1E0

[email protected]

Toll free (866) 824-RACE (7223)

(905) 772-0303

Drawing Rules – Terms & Conditions

One entry per person. Must be 18 years or older to enter. The winner is responsible for providing complete and accurate information as requested by Auto TrackDay Monthly, LLC (ATM). This may include name, address, phone number, email address and other information. Taxes and other claims resulting from the acceptance of the prize is also the winner’s responsibility. No purchase is required to enter. 

The winner(s) will be selected at random. Winners will be notified by email This will continue with alternate winner(s) chosen at random until someone has accepted the prize. A voucher for the free track event will be emailed to the winner once they have acknowledged and accepted the prize.

ATM is not responsible for prizes that are lost or stolen, problems encountered while redeeming once it is in the winner’s possession, or problems resulting from any purchase(s) resulting from the acceptance of the prize. By participating, entrants agree to be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of ATM. ATM reserves the right to disqualify persons found tampering with or otherwise abusing any aspect of these drawings as solely determined by ATM. In the event the drawings are compromised by a virus, non-authorized human intervention, tampering or other causes beyond the reasonable control of ATM which corrupts or impairs the administration, security, fairness or proper operation of the Drawings, ATM reserves the right in its sole discretion to suspend, modify or terminate the Drawings. Should the Drawings be terminated prior to the stated expiration date, ATM reserves the right to award prizes based on the entries received before the problem began.

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How to Use the Track Map Below

 

Click on a state to see a list of tracks.  Click on the marker to see information about a specific track.  Some tracks offer track days directly to the public as opposed to having to register through clubs or third-party organizers.  For example, The Florida International Rally and Motorsports park (The FIRM) arranges its own monthly track weekends.  Others only rent to large organizations with the proper liability insurance.  In those cases you will be able to run that track, but first must go through a third-party organizer.  An example in this category would be Sebring International Raceway.  You still can run this famous and world class venue, but will have to sign up for a club or company event held there. There are many companies and clubs that organize track days around the country.  The fees are surprisingly reasonable whether running with a non-profit club or a for-profit business.  In fact, their fees are about the same.  See our TrackDay Organizations Tab for a list of clubs and companies with which you can run.  There are handy links to their websites for your convenience.  Come back to the TrackDay Organizers Tab check the weather as you approach the day of your event to avoid a rain day. Check the organizer's rain check policy.  Click on the gear icon in the upper left corner of the weather application to select the location of your event.  Enjoy!

“Welcome to Auto TrackDay Monthly.  Your One-Stop-Click Track Day and High Performance Driving Experience Source!”

Come here to read articles and how-to's and find all the resources you need to enter and pursue the world of track days.
 
 
 
Featured articles profile drivers, Track day cars, road course venues, high performance driving experience providers and technology to make us all safer, better and faster.  Find a library of how-to articles on getting started, driving techniques, car modifications and electronic aids for capturing data and video; the core of driver coaching and technical improvement.  Ready to try out a Track day or prepping for your next event?  Check out our list of tracks and Track day providers.  Have something to sell or looking for that next upgrade?  Peruse our member classifieds.  You will need to register to post items for sale.  Have a question to ask or advice to give?  Post in our Track day focused forum.  Again, take a moment to register before posting.  See our contact us tab if you feel like writing or have cool photos or videos to share.  You may just find yourself in print.  Please support us by registering and logging in when visiting and click on our affiliates and advertising partners.  We would love to hear from you.  Let us know what articles and features you are looking for and we will do our best to include them.  Our goal is to make this a resource for all those who have caught the Track day driving bug. 

Welcome to Auto Track Day Monthly/Track Day Zone

By Michael Allen

February 1, 2014

 

Porsche 911 996 at PBIR

I was born a car nut.  I used to pretend I was driving as I sat alongside my father in the family car, while holding a plastic toy corvette and using it as my imaginary steering wheel.  We had a 1969 Chrysler 300 with an 8 cylinder, 440 cubic inch, four barrel carbureted, 300 horsepower engine; hence the name Chrysler 300.  That car was fast.  I have been reading automotive magazines for as long as I can remember.  My first car was a Dodge Dart.  In 2000, I purchased a new Porsche Boxster.  After my purchase, I discovered in the glove box a brochure from the Porsche Club of America (PCA).  I checked out their website, liked what I saw and joined the club.  After reading about their driver education program I signed up for a two-day track event at what used to be called Moroso Motorsports Park, now known as Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR).

I was nervous and overwhelmed that first day, not knowing what to expect of the day, my instructor, my peers and myself.  In fact, the first day was a blur.  It went by in a flash.  As I learned, everyone arrives at sunrise.  At Moroso, a long line of cars line up at the gate.  An array of sports cars and race-prepped cars are sitting on trailers.  I could see people beginning to congregate at the head of the line, sipping coffee on a chilly winter Florida morning, and chatting with fellow drivers.  Finally, the gates open and we move inside, staking out territory and emptying our vehicles of any loose objects.  Later on I would hear the story about the guy who hit the brakes hard on his first run and a gun slid out from underneath the seat.  This was the rare occasion when the instructor was more intimidated than the first time student.

The organizers call us over for the mandatory drivers’ meeting.  They run through the plan for the day.  The “Green” group will begin their day at 9 a.m. doing class time and their first run on the track will begin at 10 a.m.  That will be followed by 3 more runs during the balance of the day of 30 minutes each.  The rules are reviewed.  Passing only in the straights and only after a point by.  The driver being passed stays on the driving line so there is no confusion about who is going where.  A corner worker reviews the flag rules.  At the end of the meeting we are paired off with our instructors.  Bob has 2 students for the day.  Me in the green group and another guy in the blue or intermediate group.  Bob, like me, is also a Boxster driver.  They try to match drivers up by the type of car they have.  Bob will be familiar with how my Boxster will handle on track. Introductions are made and we are interviewed briefly.  Any prior experience?  Goals for the day?  The last thing Bob tells me is to pick him up where his car is parked for my run group.  Oh, and yeah, “let’s have fun today.”  But before we begin, Bob runs off to drive in the instructors’ run group.  They are re-conning the track for debris and driving conditions.  Green group folks head off to the classroom session led by the chief instructor.

In the classroom, there is a review of vehicle dynamics.  We are reminded that our cars are attached to the ground through 4 little contact patches about the size of a fist.  Those contact patches determine the total amount of grip available.  If you use 50% of the total grip for braking and 60% for turning, well you have exceeded the grip available.  And if you do this, going for a spin is in your immediate future.  We will be focusing on learning the driving line, the fastest way around the track, and learning to use the controls of the car. If you can learn the line and how to shuffle steer, you will have accomplished a lot in your first two-day event.

After class it is time to saddle up.  The butterflies, they are a-fluttering.  I struggle to put on the helmet and get it strapped.  My hands are shaking.  I head over to pick up Bob.  He is going to drive my car for the first lap or two for demonstration of the line and to make sure it is in good operating condition.  He takes it easy and narrates what he is doing all the way.  Brake now, turn in, hit the apex, track out, unwind the wheel and feed in the throttle.  It is my turn, the moment of reckoning.  Will I make it?  Will I embarrass myself?  What will Bob think?  Will I be disinvited from the party?  What do I do first?  Will I remember the line?  Will my peers blow my doors off?

The green group is naturally tentative the first day.  Everyone is in the same boat but all goes smoothly.  The instructors keep everyone calm and motivated.  They want you to come back and they want you to have a positive experience.  You are the life blood of the hobby.  The real goal of the first day is to get used to track driving.  It is not like anything you have done on the public roads.  There is nothing like coming to the end of a straight and having to whoa your car down to take a tight turn.  It is definitely not like cruising at speed on a gently winding highway.  We all know that takes no skill.  Track driving takes a series of skills that will be mastered gradually over the coming months.  It is all about seat time, becoming comfortable and gaining confidence.

It is on the second day that things fall into place.  The jitters are over.  You fall into a rhythm and work on your skills and driving the lineNissan 350Z on the straight at Homestead Raceway smoothly and consistently.  During my second or third session Bob asks, well screams over at me, “Let me know when you are ready to go faster.”  We are driving with the windows open and full helmets and it is not easy to hear.  After another lap or 2 I am in a groove and feeling good.  Bob gives a sort of shrug as if to ask, what are you waiting for?  I figure he has confidence in me or else he wouldn’t have invited me to go faster.  I bite the bullet and tell him I am ready.  Bob launched into the best coaching I have ever had.  He is intense now.  He is yelling and giving me clear hand signals.  A clenched fist pulled down in front of his face while exhorting me to “brake hard.”  “Turn in, apex, track out, full throttle, brake hard.”  We go like that for 2 full laps.  Bob is talking me through a lap at true speed and it is amazing.  I did not know the car could do it.  I did not know I could do it.

The feelings of exhilaration and exhaustion mingle together at the end of the weekend.  Goodbyes are offered but the newbies do not want to leave.  People bench race and tell their war stories.  There is a warm feel of camaraderie and new friendships are found.  Conversations are punctuated with the telltale hand gestures of 2 cars following each other into and out of a turn.  You know.  One hand following the other as if to represent the cars in line on track.  We all do it. We cannot help it. The relaxed but tired feeling lasts for a couple of days.  Snippets of laps are recalled and replayed in the mind’s eye.  Did I pass anyone?  Did anyone pass me?  At this point I am hooked.  I am addicted.  I cannot wait to come back and give it another go.  I have tested myself.  My experience of myself has permanently changed.  I cannot say how.  I just know.

I would go on to do many more track day events.  I believe it is about 36 events or so now.  This has included the Skip Barber three-day racing school at Moroso in open wheel formula cars and a two-day lapping school at Sebring with the Panoz school.  Charles Espenlaub was one of my instructors.  I graduated along to the blue group and then to the solo group, being signed off on a very good day by two Porsche Club instructors.  I became an instructor myself eventually and have had a new range of positive experiences working with students.  I have ridden shotgun in such awesome vehicles as a 600 horsepower Dodge Viper convertible, a Mustang Cobra and A Subaru Impreza WRX STI. One guy even had a retired NASCAR racer. I had to climb in through the window. I do not think he heard a word I said.

The wait between events became too much to bare and so I took up kart racing.  I became the John Smith Subs Night Karting Series track champion at Moroso in 2005.  I have driven trackday events at Homestead, the Firm and Sebring, in addition to PBIR.  Along the way I have met professional racers Shane Lewis, Guy Cosmo, Guy Smith, Walter Borhen, Bert and Brian Frisselle, Peter Argetsinger and Kevin Buckler.  Buckler showed up at a PCA event the weekend after he won the 24 Hours of Daytona outright in a Porsche GT3-RS, beating out the Daytona Prototypes in their first year of development.  Very cool.  The car still had all the tire rubber marks all over it from Daytona.  I have signed the same wall at Chicanes in Sebring as Mario Andretti, Parnelli Jones, AJ Foyt and Paul Newman.  I have made good friends and enjoyed the tailgating atmosphere in the paddock areas waiting for that next run group.  My wife and I now participate together in track days.  After the Boxster, I drove a 911 and a 350Z.  They were all street legal but lightly modified track cars.  My wife and I share our current track car; a Mitsubishi Evolution X MR.  It is an awesome vehicle with a dual clutch transmission, magnesium shifter paddles, all-wheel drive, active yaw control, Brembo brakes, Eibach springs on Bilstein struts, BBS wheels and Recaro seats.  Dare I say it?  I think the Evo is the best handling and fastest of the track cars I have driven.  It is a blast to drive and it handles our marital double stinting without a problem.  One long time racer we met said of the Evo, “Between the dual clutch tranny and the AWD, it’s almost like cheating.” I suppose it is controversial to be driving a two-pedal, but it is definitely faster to flick the paddles than to push in the clutch, heel and toe downshift and then row the stick.

As far as I am concerned, I have fulfilled many bucket list items already.  It is probably no surprise that my bucket is full of driving events, car stuff and cars.  I am so fortunate to be able to share this hobby with my wife.  Driving as many new tracks as often as possible is our goal.  Can you tell?  I am a car nut and I love track day driving events.  Do I want to race cars?  Not me.  I am one of those career HPDE and instructing people.  My wife and I have developed this on line magazine for you.  We realize that there is little available to scratch that driving itch between events.  We would love to read about cars and tracks, events and tech items, but there is no journalistic venue meant specifically for us.  There are the major car magazines, but the track day articles are few and far between.  There is that autocross-oriented magazine, but how many of us have the patience for auto-X and really want to learn how to weld and fabricate.  I know, I know.  Autocross is excellent for learning car control.  But waiting all day for five or six 55 second runs?  Really?  Give me turn 1 at Sebring at 90 miles an hour, looking for the cone on top of the fence for the apex and letting the car drift out toward the wall at track out.  There is nothing like that feeling.  We take a journalistic approach to this magazine.  We have all too often seen how others will write an “article” about some new product only to find a full page ad from the manufacturer of that product a page or two later.  We do not sell out to the advertisers and will offer you objective evaluations of car mods, trackday companies, and venues.  In addition to journalistic articles, we have assembled resources for you to learn about track day driving and to plan your next steps and events.  We have a forum for you to post questions, pictures, videos and experiences.  We have a classifieds section for our readers to buy and sell trackday related items and vehicles.  We are interested in receiving your submissions.  Send us articles, videos and pictures.  You just may end up in print.  Use our contact-us page to let us know what you want to learn and read about.  Thank you for joining us.  We look forward to seeing you again on this wild ride.

 

Welcome to Auto Track Day Monthly/Track Day Zone (Part II)

By Ziva Allen

February 1, 2014

 

Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution X MR at The FIRMIn putting out our first issue, we want to take a few moments to introduce ourselves, tell you a little bit about ourselves, and give you a view into who we are and how we found ourselves publishing this magazine.

Finding myself in the track day world is not something I envisioned twenty years ago.  Loving to drive, yet finding no outlet for it however, had always left me yearning.  Among my fondest memories as a little girl while going on family outings in upstate New York are of sitting behind my father in the backseat, watching in awe as he maneuvered the car up the highway.  In fact, we had a special spot – right there on the Taconic State Parkway!  As we got closer and closer to that spot, my brother and I would yell in glee from the backseat, egging our father on, “You could do it Daddy!  You could do it.”  And then as we got closer to “our” spot, for just a short burst, my father would pick up speed, my brother and I yelling louder and louder from the backseat encouraging him on, the car would go faster and faster, and then suddenly, just like that, we were airborne.  For just that one brief moment in time.  And my heart would skip a beat.  He always knew where that little blip in the road was and how to create that magic for us.  And I was in awe.  I could not wait to get my license to drive.  But I had many years to wait.  And many lessons to learn. 

Then when I did finally get my license and began to drive, I discovered some things about myself.  One, I was inherently good at it.  Two, I never wanted to be the passenger in someone else’s car.  And three, there were two kinds of passengers in my car.  The kind who would announce, “Let me out.  I don’t want to drive with you again.”  And the other, “I’ve never felt safer with anyone else.”  What I came to discover early on is that my reflexes are quicker than the average person’s, I have a natural ability to sense and anticipate the road ahead as well as others around me, and to maneuver and manipulate accordingly.  It would be many years later, after meeting my husband Michael, a track day enthusiast with a track school education, years of studying under instructors and an instructor himself, that I would come to learn that I was already doing naturally what others had spent years learning.  As he tells me, I know the apex simply because I do and no one had to tell me to use the whole road.  From the moment we met, he felt at home in my car.  (And the rest of that story is history!).

I did my first track day event quite differently than my husband did his.  As you have read, Michael put in his dues.  He put in a lot of time.  He went to school.  And he studied under coaches for some time before he ventured out onto the track solo.  I took a different route onto the track my first time.  First of all, making the decision to participate in this activity was easy for me.  I already had three very important components.  One, I’ve always loved to drive.  Two, I knew I had natural ability.  And three, it’s in my husband’s blood and, as they say, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.  I’m no dummy.  But also, I knew about myself that I could simply take the car out onto the track and just do it!  And I wanted to do it by myself.  Just me and the car.  I do not suggest going this route for everyone.  I am a firm believer that everyone’s natural ability is different.  Everyone must drive within their personal limits and their own personal capabilities.  And that is different for everyone.  Maturity is a key component to self-realization.  If you are not mature enough to know your limits as I believe I know mine, you are not mature enough to undertake track day driving solo without training.  You are then a danger to yourself and to others and we all have a responsibility out there to be safe for us all.  However, this is the route I took and it was the right route for me.  Of course I was nervous that first time out on the track.  And of course I was the only girl.  As I entered the track that very first time, I specifically remember feeling confident and just simply – ready.  I’m finally here. 

Just a little bit about the car we drive on the track and why we chose it.  We drive a 2011 Mitsubishi Evolution X MR.  Although my husband had always driven standards on the track, I have always had a personal philosophy about standard versus automatic (which is a whole other article) and so we began to discuss looking into a dual clutch transmission.  We looked at several, one of them being BMW’s dual clutch transmission.  We arrived at the dealership and the salesman brought us out to the lot.  However, in honesty, we never even test drove the car because the BMW was not my cup of tea.  But then, when we got to the Mitsubishi dealership and I saw the MR, I knew I was in love.  But that feeling only paled in comparison to how I felt on that test drive!  And I knew then that I could not wait to get this car out on the track.  Take a look at our feature on The FIRM in this issue.

I find it interesting that although I grew up loving to drive and have spent my entire adulthood loving to drive, until I met my husband, I had never even heard of nor given any thought into how I could possibly drive for recreational purposes – off of the road.  And when I came to learn that he drives his car on a track, legally, and that anyone could do it, well to be honest, I was shocked.  And I’ve always asked myself why would I not have known of this activity?  Now that I am involved though I can see that, to an extent, the activity is somewhat exclusive to men.  I have felt welcomed and included.  But I have also at times felt unwelcomed and excluded.  It is my hope, through putting out this magazine, that I could attract more women to this activity. 

My husband and I sort of stumbled upon the idea to put out this magazine while having a conversation about car magazines in general.  Michael has been an avid car magazine reader practically since he could read.  He’s always got four or five car magazines going at any one time.  But he would complain to me that really the only reason he reads these magazines is in the hopes that he could find one, just one, article catered to the amateur track day driver enthusiast.  I remember, upon hearing him say this the first time, turning to him and exclaiming, “What?”  I could not believe that in all of these magazines and with all of the time he spent reading them, that there was not one magazine exclusively covering our hobby!  And I knew then.  If there is anyone capable of putting out a magazine, it is Michael.  And if there is anyone capable of helping, it is me.  Why not do it ourselves? 

Michael earned his Ph.D. and has published previously.  Throughout my school years, I was on our school’s newspaper staff and ran the creative writing club.  In general, Michael and I both have always loved to write.  In putting out this magazine, we now have an outlet for writing while filling a need, not only for ourselves, but for the track day community as a whole.  Having said that, we hope you come to appreciate this site as, above all, your track day news source.  We will keep you current on the hard news of the day as it relates to our beloved hobby.  Other car magazines disguise their advertisements as articles.  There is no credibility there.  Our magazine will not only exclusively cover track day only information, but our articles will be true journalism.  Credibility is our number one goal.

Finally, it is our hope also that you, the reader, see this magazine as a source to which you can turn to fulfill all your track day needs.  We hope you see this site as your hub.  Whether it be while planning your next track day event, reading about your peers, utilizing the classifieds or simply feeling part of the track day community between events, we hope you come here to fill those needs. 

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