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Said Ken Grammer, Managing Director of both The FIRM and ISA, "Providing world-class training to special forces is the most rewarding aspect of the job and the services we provide."

The Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park (The FIRM)

By Ziva Allen


For our launch issue, Auto TrackDay Monthly has chosen to feature The Firm, an expansive 430 acre motorsports complex, located in sunny north central Florida, just 18 miles from the state penitentiary, housing Florida’s death row.  The Firm stands for Florida International Rally & Motorsports Park, which consists of not only a 1.6 mile road course track for us track day enthusiasts, but also an ATV obstacle circuit, karting circuit and rally circuit.  The rally circuit alone is roughly 7 miles long! 


Military & Security Driver Training


The Firm is also home to the International Security Academy.  In addition to private security agencies, ISA trains the U.S. Military Special Operations Forces.  ISA utilizes The Firm’s tracks, circuits, stages and gun range to carry out its highly specialized training exercises.  Due to The Firm’s close range to the Keystone Heights Airpark, ISA is able to offer additional training in free falling on the airpark’s drop zone.

Said Ken Grammer, Managing Director of both The FIRM and ISA, "providing world-class training to special forces is the most rewarding aspect of the job and the services we provide.  We offer tactical driving training to the elite of the elite forces in the U.S. and Canada. We have the flexibility of crafting our course to encompass mission-specific pre-deployment training in cars, trucks and ATV/UTV vehicles both on pavement and loose surfaces.  We also have an extensive shooting range that includes a 360 degree drive-in range for force-on-force training."  The FIRM also provides rally and road course driver training, maintains a fleet of track prepped cars and has a full shop on site.

In fact, because The FIRM was initially conceived as a military and rally school, "little focus was placed on building what is considered a “proper” race track," says Grammer, who goes on to say, "therefore, the road course was designed primarily to service military driver training so it lacks a few of the required features for hosting larger track day events, such as a proper pit lane, corner stations and a track control tower."  Due to the track's lack of certain traditional features, participation numbers at the FIRM have remained low according to Grammer.  On the other hand Grammer states that, "we have a had a fairly static following with a small uptick in actual race teams coming since our track functions great as a test and tune track."  Keep in mind that the FIRM has a quieter, more leisurely atmosphere than the average track, with less on-track traffic.  Additionally, due to less on-track traffic the FIRM does not have structured run groups and sessions and so there is plenty of track time.  The cost to participate is relatively low at $250 per track day.




If you're looking for other things to do while in Starke and would like to make a family vacation out of your track day weekend, you might consider visiting nearby Camp Blanding Museum.  This museum is home to Camp Blanding, which is a training site for the National Guard.  At one time, Camp Blanding was a major U.S. Army training facility during World War II.  The museum itself houses World War II memorabilia and the grounds have a park memorializing and honoring those who have served our country.  You are also in easy driving distance to the attractions of Orlando, Gainesville and Tampa/St.  Pete.


Getting There


In order to get to the Firm to drive your track car at high speeds, and if you are lucky enough to use U.S. 301 as your route, you will notice the irony in the speed traps the surrounding towns have instituted.  According to Wikipedia:  “Since US 301 is a popular short cut between Northeastern Florida and the Gulf Coast region, a number of towns along the road have been notorious speed traps.  The speed limit drops from 65 mph to 30 mph in a matter of a few hundred feet.  Many have accused the police in Waldo, Starke, Lawtey, and others of giving tickets simply to raise money.  The American Automobile Association has strongly advised motorists to avoid this stretch of the road.”  My advice!  Beware en route to the Firm and then, once on the track, let it rip!


Finish Line


Track days at the FIRM are run either clockwise or counterclockwise, so find out ahead of time and check out the various videos on YouTube for a heads up on the driving line.  They have an excellent website and signing up and paying online are very user friendly.  There is no gas at the track, so fill up before arrival.  Please view the Firm track map and video below prior to your visit and have fun!
















Track Day Driving Line











Clockwise Track Map







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