Cars, like ballerinas and Tilt-A-Whirls, look younger when nicely groomed and don't show what they're really made of until you get them up to full speed. Test your odometer with today's Groupon: for $125, you get admittance to the racing Mini School at Harris Hill Road in San Marcos (a $250 value).
Harris Hill Road houses a 1.8-mile racetrack designed by track expert David Donovan that twists and turns 11 times through 150 feet of elevation changes, featuring a 962-foot straightaway and an 80-foot rise and drop in turn 4 named “Santa Rita.” Up to 10 determined drivers roll up in their own sportscars or sports sedans for an approximately two-hour school. Harris Hill’s speedy curriculum breaks into four sessions, starting with a classroom session where racers discuss safety and are introduced to car-control techniques useful on the racetrack, the street, and in the supermarket aisles. The intrepid instructors then familiarize their driving disciples with the track and their cars, teaching students how to coax speed out of their gearshifts and getting them on a first-name basis with their brake pads. Finally, Harris Hill Road unleashes rubber-burners on the track, accompanied by their instructors, to show what they've learned about safety, control, and speed.
Drivers must wear long cotton pants and are encouraged to bring their own helmets along with their cars; if they don't have a helmet, Harris Hill Road stores a loaner stock for students. Classes are scheduled to start at 12:30 p.m. and are typically available one Friday, Saturday, and Sunday a month from May through August. The first class is available on April 22. Additional classes may be scheduled later in the season.
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