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 participants 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. 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.
Do I need special Insurance? HOD has an amazing track record for safety for both drivers and their cars. Some standard auto policies may cover you while you are driving with HOD, but HOD cannot guarantee this and recommends a review of the exclusions on your policies. If at all in doubt we recommend our partner Lockton Affinity HPDE Insurance .
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: https://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
Map of HOD HPDE EventsOur Venue Map View a map of HOD venues
Frequently Asked QuestionsClick on the questions to find out answers.
Whenever possible there will be a Coach assigned to first-time Drivers in A Group. Some drivers, with prior experience, may not have a Coach for every session but we strive to get a Coach in every A Group car at some point during the day. B Group and above Drivers may request and get Coaching, based upon Coach availability. Your Coach will usually ride in the passenger seat, but in some situations they may lead you on the track from another car, known as Lead/follow Coaching. As you gain confidence on the track, ask your coach if you're ready to be signed off for solo. Even if you are ok to drive solo, we encourage you to take advantage of further Coaching upon request.
Scheduling the exact number of coaches with students is a challenge, so we cannot always guarantee a coach for every beginner driver, every time on track. However, the A Group leader will see to it that every student has guidance and coaching during the day. In all cases, students are encouraged to speak up and let HOD know how their day is going and if there is anything we can do to improve your experience. As you will learn, SAFETY is our number one goal. If your Coach refuses to ride in your car, indicating they do not feel safe riding with you, it is likely your day is done. It is critical that you listen and respond to your Coach, as they are trusting you to follow instructions to be safe, above all else.
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.
HOD does not allow cars without rollover protection to drive in our High Performance Driving Events. This would include Porsche Cabriolet, pre-996 (air-cooled), Mustang, Corvette, Camaro, Firebird, Miata (all generations), Solstice, GXP, Solaris, first gen Z3's, most British and Italian sports cars from the 40's through the 80's. T Top versions of these cars are allowed, as are all Corvette Coupes. Fiberglass hardtops do not provide structural protection thus they do not qualify the car.
In order for these cars to be eligible, they must have four-point, structural roll hoops installed to an SCCA Solo 1 Time Trial rules standard. They can be bolt in or welded, but must provide a full hoop with down bars from the corners of the hoop triangulating toward the rear of the car. We highly recommend that cars with this kind of protection installed, also utilize a five point safety belt system for both driver and passenger.
The following convertibles with factory rollover protection, are allowed: Porsche Cabriolet (996, 997), Boxster, BMW Z4, Audi TT, Nissan 350/370Z roadster, BMW M3 and 3 series (1999-present), Audi Convertible, Honda S2000, Mercedes S, SLK and CLK, and other cars with stated production "factory rollover" protection.
NOTE: it is also required that drivers of cars with their tops down, have eye protection, with a minimum of glasses/sunglasses, but HOD recommends a full-faced helmet with shield down.
Miata Owners, please note: Mazda makes no claim that their bars on 2006 and newer Miatas offer rollover protection. An after-market roll hoop meeting the requirements stated above must be installed.
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.
Yes, there is an annual family Team HOD membership fee of $49. With it comes an membership card, once an annual waiver and car inspection form is completed and sent in. There are numerous discounts available to Team HOD members as noted in the package you will receive. This fee supports the national growth efforts of Hooked On Driving. For more information see TEAM HOD membership here.
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.
Below is our current cancelation and refund policy. If you have any concerns about our policies please contact prior to purchasing an event. Thank you!
Mechanical failure or the failure of a shop to have a car ready: We are aware of the logistical requirements of our hobby, and things don’t always work out exactly as planned. Please understand that we will work with you if there are unforeseen car issues, but we cannot take full responsibility for something that is completely out of our hands. Depending on the circumstances, there will be a proportionate cost of a cancellation or early departure based on mechanical or car issues.
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.