Hooked On Driving - First Timers
Who We Are & What We Do
Hooked On Driving (HOD) is a community of individuals who share a passion for driving their cars. Founded in 2004, HOD has the goal of being the first true, trusted national brand of performance driving programs, and is well on the way to accomplishing this goal. Hooked On Driving currently operates in 6 key regions of the U.S. including: Northern California/Reno, Northeast U.S., Florida, Great Lakes, Southern States, and the Pacific Northwest. Drivers are welcome to travel from one region to another and participate with their own cars, or contact the Region owner to arrange an "arrive and drive" rental.
HOD is primarily focused on providing high performance driver training for those with capable cars, in the controlled environment of a race course – with NO competition or training for competition. All that is needed to participate is a safe, well maintained and reliable car, and an auto racing helmet with an SA 2005 designation or newer. There are some restrictions on driving convertibles – click HERE for the HOD policy on convertibles. Most regions have resources for cars to rent for the program. With a focus on safety, coaching, learning and fun, HOD drivers are able to experience their cars at a higher level on a track than would be safe or prudent on the public highways. As a result, drivers gain a new appreciation of their car – its capabilities, strengths and weaknesses; as well as their own skills as a driver and the need to develop those skills.
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Your First Day with Hooked On DrivingDownload this article in PDF format here
First of all, congratulations on taking the first step in enjoying your car at a higher level than is prudent on the streets and highways. Having seen hundreds of men and women take this first step, we can safely speculate that this will be one of the best moves of your hobby life. Most participants with Hooked on Driving come away from their first day with us invigorated, somewhat humbled, challenged to improve, and downright giddy. This is fun stuff. That having been said, this is also a step that you should not take lightly. While we have an excellent safety record at Hooked on Driving, taking your street car onto a race track is not without inherent risks. You will do so on your own responsibility and liability. There is no insurance coverage for property damage or bodily harm through Hooked on Driving.
View these two segments from the Hooked On Driving latest "Getting On Track" DVD. BEFORE YOU GO!!
Buy the dvd TODAY here
Enough with the warnings. You’ve decided to join us – now what’s next? Here is a list of items that you are accountable to tend to before you arrive at the track: Inspect (or have a qualified technician) inspect your car.
Items to check include:
Next, its time to clean out the car. Believe it or not, I recently drove a participant’s car for a lap to find that there was a Maxfli rattling around under the pedals! Garage door openers, child seats, junk in the trunk, all need to be stowed safely. We all end up with a pile of stuff that we store by the car at the track. No one has ever had a problem with theft.
You’ll need a helmet. If this is your first time, and you’re not sure if you’ll like what we do, you can rent a helmet from the track for $25. This may be a good option rather than borrowing an old motorcycle helmet that doesn’t fit. If you are already hooked on driving, we suggest buying an SA Snell certified auto racing helmet. This type of helmet is quite different than a motorcycle helmet, for good reasons. We’ll not expound on this here, but feel free to ask if you’re ready to buy. Also, a full face, with large eye port is a good idea. Lastly, its more expensive, but Kevlar makes for a much lighter and thus, safer helmet.
Last but most important, have yourself ready. If you have more than a 90 minute drive one way to the track, we highly recommend checking in to the local motel the night before. We have information on motels near most of our tracks under the "Trip Planner" section of the website, found here: http://www.hookedondriving.com/trip-planner
See you soon!
Self-Tech Car Inspection ChecklistHere is a self-tech sheet, fill it out after inspecting your car, and bring it with you to the event!
Tech Document: Car Inspection Checklist
Frequently Asked QuestionsClick on the questions to find out answers.
There will be a coach assigned to you as a Group A beginner that will work with you during the day. He/she will ride in the passenger seat and guide you on the driving line, technique and encourage you as they see fit. You can stick with one coach as you’d like, or switch off during the day. Most coaches will meet you at the “pre-grid” where you line up before going out. As you gain confidence on the track, ask the coach if you’re ready to be “signed off for solo” which should be noted in your log book. Even if you are ok to drive solo, we encourage you to take advantage of these great folks who are sharing their passion on a voluntary basis. If at any time you don’t get along with a coach, or you’re getting information that doesn’t sound right, PLEASE let your group leader know immediately!!
Many coaches have competition background, but we don’t see this as essential for sharing our skill and enthusiasm for the sport. We know every coach, trust their own driving on track, and they have a clear understanding of what techniques we teach at what time. They are volunteers with many days of track driving experience and they have shown themselves capable to communicate their input effectively from the passenger seat – not an easy task when at speed!! NOTE: As we use volunteers to coach, we cannot always guarantee a coach for every beginner driver, every time on track. Rest assured though, that you will have guidance and coaching during the day – whether by a “lead and follow” coach driving ahead of you, or by taking turns with a coach every other session.
We allow open cars with structural roll protection (i.e. Boxster, S2000, TT roadster, Ferrari 360/430 Spider) and pop up protection such as BMW E46 M3 Convertible, Porsche 996/997 Cabriolet. We do not allow convertibles with no rollover protection to run. Cars such as the Corvette Convertible, 993 Cabriolet, Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky are not allowed without after market, 4 point roll protection.
This is for you to research with your insurance agent. Because we are not a “wheel to wheel” or speed competition, many policies MAY cover you – but do NOT rely on this information. Some companies have begun to put exclusions for “any event at a racing facility” which would exclude us.
We have had three damaged cars in 6 years of track events, and no injuries. While there is liability for things happening on track, we consider ourselves conservative in the management of these events. And, as a result, we believe that we can significantly reduce the threat of incidents by readily warning aggressive behavior, and occasionally asking an argumentative driver to pack it up and head home. The one thing we cannot control is the liability of a mechanical issue creating a problem. A blown engine, putting oil on the track, or this kind of situation is something that we have very little or no control over – on the other hand, this would be true of driving on the public highways as well.
At this time, there is no membership required for HOD. At such time that we institute one, there will be more then enough value given in return for the fee.
Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can forward your contact information to the coach who will certainly welcome the dialogue.
First timer in a track day?
We do allow immediate family to ride with immediate family. However, this is only after a driver has been signed off as solo-ready by a coach.
Let’s talk about this one. No to the buddy question, but on the son, or immediate family (i.e. wife) contact email@example.com and we’ll review this on a case by case basis. Bottom line is, we have coached all of our coaches to be on the same page and use the same terminology. It can be confusing for Dad, capable as he may be, to take a different coaching approach than everyone else on track, so while we may occasionally make an exception, we’d rather not.
As of this date, we have no prohibition of these devices, but we are on the cusp of banning them. If you operate with passing zones, which we do in A, B, and C groups, lap times will be meaningless. Sometimes you’ll have an open lap, but we don’t want the timing to indicate ANY competition, because there is NOT any competition going on. Also, we don’t want you to be pressed into making a pass, just to keep up a “hot lap.” Bottom line – it’s your composure and willingness to operate by the rules that will keep you safe. If you happen to have a lap timer on the wall, but drive within our rules, for the time being, we’re ok with it. But why? Ask your coach other objective ways to measure your progress – there are plenty.
No. HOD requires auto racing helmets, with a Snell Foundation SA2005, or SA2010, or newer rating. To find the Snell sticker, look under the foam inside the back of the helmet. If it says M, it is a motorcycle helmet. A DOT rating does not qualify. This is done out of concern for safety of our drivers and guests (any passengers included). SA rated helmets have outer shells, inner foam, and linings made specific for use in an automobile. Also, if you are driving an open car such as a Boxster, you will be required to have some form of eye protection, so an enclosed helmet with a visor is highly recommended. HOD locations will endeavor to make rentals or loaners available, but if you need an SA rated helmet, it is your responsibility to check for their availability at your event, and if not, to purchase or source one otherwise.
Get to know us and let us get to know you. Operate at a high B or C level of driving without incident and go to meetings to learn. Be a regular – as we run a business an can’ t afford to graduate everyone into being coaches. But mostly, you must have a passion for what we do, how we operate, and how to communicate all of that. Talk to a group leader about your interest.
Yes, if they have a valid driver’s license, and with both parents’ or guardians’ waiver signatures.
Should a participant cancel more than 7 days before a scheduled event date, Hooked on Driving will provide a credit code, at same value, toward a future HOD event, to be used within the next 12 months. If the cancellation is 30 days before an event, the same credit will be offered or the option of a refund minus a 10% processing fee. There will be no credit for cancellations within seven (7) days of an event, except in the case of a family emergency.
Please be sure to set your spam blocker to accept emails from www.hookedondriving.com, and also do this in your browser. In some cases, your internet service provider is intervening and blocking group emails and we cannot help on this situation.