2013 NASCAR Hall of Fame inductee Rusty Wallace allows amateurs to feel first-hand how a real race car rumbles as its tires scorch a professional speedway. Participants can either ride shotgun with an experienced driver or hop behind the wheel to tackle the track themselves. For more of the genuine experience, drivers don the full array of safety gear before climbing or vaulting through the window, including a sleek racing suit, helmet, and HANS neck-protection device.
Many people have driver's licenses, but very few know how to drive stock cars, race trucks, and road-course cars. These vehicles are usually the province of professional racers, except at The Racing School. Here, civilians can learn how to drive big-powered vehicles, too. Highlights of the school's high-octane race car experiences include:
The instructors: All current or one-time professional race car drivers
The gear: It's the stuff of professional racing dreams: A driving suit and helmet
The cars: They all have horsepower of 500+, and they've all been professionally raced before.
The speed: Instructors encourage visitors to drive at real race speeds.
The experience: Though it varies by package, newbies typically take the wheel themselves, zooming laps around pro racetracks such as Waterford Speedbowl, Thompson Speedway and Devil's Bowl VT.
The safety record: It's perfect.
The memories: When it's over, drivers can take home photos and video footage of their time as a star driver.
TSMP Exotics provides thrill seekers the opportunity to test drive and experience an adrenaline-boosting time behind the wheel of an exotic automobile. Drivers will choose from a Ferrari 458 Italia or Lamborghini Gallardo LP-570; whose power and handling easily conquer the turns and straightaways our professionally designed first-class autocross courses geared towards providing you with the thrill of experiencing the cornering ability of Italian & German super cars.
We pride ourselves in having the latest model year cars and are always updating our fleet with new and exciting models. To make the experience accessible and safe for any driver, every vehicle comes equipped with an automatic transmission and a professional instructor in the passenger seat to provide support and advice. TSMP Exotic’s philosophy hinges on giving drivers the indescribable experience of navigating a ribbon of asphalt while seated behind the wheel of a luxury super car, all while keeping safety a main priority. With over 75 years experience in the motorsports world the TSMP team ensures that you will have a save, fun and professional experience.
The Racing School has facilitated more than 14 years of thrilling moments just like this (and documented many of them on video). The staff here consists of current and former professional racers, who teach novices how to handle traditional stock cars, race trucks, road course cars and other high-octane vehicles. Once instructors cover acceleration, braking and the other essentials, training culminates with a driving experience at professional-level tracks, including New London Waterford Speedbowl, Devils Bowl Speedway, and Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park. Here, the experts give newbies the freedom to drive like pros, encouraging passing and letting drivers set their own pace.
American Muscle Driving Experience's auto-racing pedigree runs deep. Tommy Baldwin Jr., son of former driver Tom Baldwin, founded his own racing team in 2009. Steve Park, a former driver himself, notched wins in three top racing series. Together, the two New York natives pass down their motorsports knowledge to provide customers with a pedal-to-the-metal racing experience. On the grounds of Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park in northeast Connecticut, guests can take stock and American muscle cars for a spin on a professional track. Visitors can also sit in the passenger seat for a thrill-seeking ride-along experience.
FIAT 500 Rally puts ordinary citizens at the helm of a FIAT 500 Abarth and sends them screeching over professional autocross courses. Each course nationwide is assembled from traffic cones on a wide-open stretch of pavement, with identical turns and straightaways designed to test the driver's concentration, reaction time, and ability to resist cruise control. Drivers strive for personal-best lap times and a spot on the national leaderboard, which determines who gets invited to a year-end finale race to compete for a Ferrari 458 Italia.