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      12-08-2021, 04:03 AM   #1
cesarlcase
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Never been on a road course

I'm from NY. As the title states, I've never been on a road course and feel that's something I must accomplish. So far from my research, I gather that you must be part of a club (if correct, what club?) And that it's extremely expensive from $300- to nearly $1000 per visit. If you don't have a club can you still race alone? Would def meet up with some eastcoast track guys for an event. TIA
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      12-08-2021, 10:05 AM   #2
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The track is something very special

BMWCCA and PCA run many events in the Northeast. It's around 50/year to be part of either and that gives you access to their HPDE program.

In my view, there is very little to be gained by 'going out and sending it'. The track has specific techniques and requires you to learn through an instructor. Both of those groups have pretty serious instructor cores and they will help you learn how to drive fast at the track.

I'd average it to 300 a day for entry fees, which usually includes an instructor.
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      12-08-2021, 02:10 PM   #3
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Get ready for an expensive addiction.

You'll need a club because it's extremely expensive to rent a track out, get insurance policies, emergency services, etc...

If you want to go without a club, I think you can hop on something like trackrabbit and pick up a guest day at New Jersey Motorsports Park. It will run you approximately $300. You'll probably do a lead-follow for your first event so you won't be able to go full send which may be a good thing if you're completely new to this.

Long term, you'll want to find a club that you enjoy. Everyone here has clubs that they belong/tend to deal with. SYT_Shadow runs a lot of PCA events from what I know about that fast spaniard. I personally, along with Montaver and a few other people typically run with NASA Northeast. jfritz27 has been running with another one (I think HOD) but he is also a NASA member. NASA/PCA/SCCA/BMWCCA are the clubs who typically have the expensive available weekends at tracks. The smaller organizations like Chin (I actually like them the most - more than NASA), SCDA (another great one), HOD, etc... typically get the open days available during the week which makes it difficult for a lot of people to do the track day but on the plus side it's a bit cheaper.

They all have pros/cons. SCCA local chapters are not very well organized in my opinion but has a nice crowd and their track days aren't quite as congested. NASA drivers are more full send than the other clubs I've dealt with but they are terrible at congestion and managing track time - they have a really good general liability policy as well. SCDA/Chin are both very well run organizations and manage track time decently but weekdays can be tough for some (they do occasionally have weekends).

Either way, if you decide to join NASA you can ask me for a referral and I'll send you the $50 track certificate they send me.

Looking forward to seeing you out there.
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      12-08-2021, 03:35 PM   #4
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If your new I recommend SCDA1.com. They have a great novice program. You'll get solid instruction with a focus on safety without them treating you like a baby. They might do helmet rentals otherwise you can take a trip to Stable Energy in NJ for a fitting.

SCDA has loads of events at Lime Rock Rock which is under 2 hours from Manhattan. They also run events at LRP's new and improved autox corse which is a fun way to dip the tip.

buy track insurance.
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      12-08-2021, 03:48 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by D_SheerDrivingPleasure View Post
buy track insurance.
Always!!!

If you're new to this subforum, cesarlcase, find my thread where I talk about my incident at Watkins Glen earlier this year (Corvette total loss).
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      12-08-2021, 08:55 PM   #6
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All good advice above.

When you're first starting out, you want clubs that give solid instruction. Another vote for SCDA, my experience has been they strike a good balance between solid instructors, density, and overall vibe. I started a lot with BMW CCA, and really liked my instructors (but like everything it can be hit or miss). I think PCA is pretty solid for instruction too (you can find a lot of track-specific tutorial vids on youtube out of PCA). Chin is probably the most regimented, you can't go wrong with them, and often fewer cars in their novice groups. Once you get signed off to intermediate/solo, then I think you can feel more freedom to go where the availability is.

My local south Jersey club that does most of their events at NJMP (my closest track) is moehpde.com. Good value, but mostly weekdays. I can't speak for quality of instruction as I only hooked up with them once I was out of novice, but my sense is that it's not at the level of the ones mentioned above.

The biggest track tip: smooth is fast. It will soon sound cliche because you'll hear everyone say it, but it's true. These cars can be intimidating, but if you make this your #1 rule, and never harshly jab at anything your body touches in the car (gas, brakes, wheel) and have some common sense, you will rarely, if ever, get into trouble in the early stages (even with TC fully off, which I encourage you to do sooner than later, as many others would as well I think).
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      12-08-2021, 09:54 PM   #7
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Track season for HPDE is done up here until end of March. In the meantime you could do an SCCA car control at Limerock Park where you can do the skid pad and their infield auto cross course. Great for pushing the car beyond the limits of grip in a safe environment where you won't do any damage. You can get a good feel for the balance of the car beyond what you would normally feel on a public road. It costs about $300 for the day, some good vids on YouTube so you can see what it's like. If you have done any Go Karting that's also super fun for learning the basic dynamics of driving fast.

Like others said pick a club, either you go marquee specific (BMWCCA, PCA, Audi club etc) or a group like NASA, Chin, Hooked on Driving etc. All have their pros and cons depending on your aptitude for it, but you can't really go wrong. It's a long, fun, addictive (and expensive &#128513 journey but it's a very rewarding hobby if you really get into it.
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      12-08-2021, 10:20 PM   #8
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The tri-state legion is in full recruitment mode for our newest frat pledge.
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      12-09-2021, 10:15 AM   #9
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Tri-state slaps different.
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      12-13-2021, 03:03 AM   #10
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Finding clubs to sign up for track days are pretty easy with https://www.motorsportreg.com/
You can also find driving schools through that site.

Personally, I took instruction at BMW M School before I went on a road course, and I'm glad I did because I felt like I was way more prepared and relaxed to enjoy the day. There should be similar performance driving schools in your area.

Welcome to the hobby! It's not cheap by any means, but you don't have to be a millionaire either!
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      12-13-2021, 12:22 PM   #11
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$300/day sounds cheap compared to $60 per 30 min session + $250 annual membership at Suzuka, and that's the price with Honda subsidizing track insurance and session price. You need at least 50 cars here to do anywhere near that price.
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      12-13-2021, 12:32 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyrix1st View Post
$300/day sounds cheap compared to $60 per 30 min session + $250 annual membership at Suzuka, and that's the price with Honda subsidizing track insurance and session price. You need at least 50 cars here to do anywhere near that price.
Suzuka is one of the greatest tracks in the world though. I'd pay extra to drive Suzuka or Spa.
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