Can I take my buddy for a ride?
Click for Hooked On Driving Passenger Ride Policy
Explain the coaching that goes on – how does it work?
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.
Who are the coaches?
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.
Can a coach drive my car?
Yes, at YOUR OWN risk. This is between you and the coach, but we don’t prevent it across the board, because there can be a good benefit from a coach driving your car at just a bit quicker pace than you, to show you the flow of the track, smoothness and a bit higher level of the capabilities of your car. However – DO NOT ask the coach to push the car and do a “scare ride.” These can be dangerous and push you too quickly to a faster pace.
Can I drive my convertible in HOD events?
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.
Does my car insurance cover me for this event?
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.
What is your safety record as an organization?
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.
Is there a membership fee?
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.
How do I contact one of my coaches?
Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can forward your contact information to the coach who will certainly welcome the dialogue.
What run group should I sign up for?
First timer in a track day? Group A. Even if you have track experience, we want you to start out in Group A (in most cases) just to get familiar with the facility and course. We have made a commitment to the intermediate Group B drivers that we won’t have anyone in their group who is just learning about that blind over the hill turn, or the really slow kink…so when in doubt, Group A – its always easier to move you up, than to “demote” you to a lower group after having had a tough run with faster cars.
Group B – Intermediate: They know the track, manage traffic without issues, and are driving consistently and on a safe driving line. This driver is predictable and starting to show some speed and confidence. While you don’t have to be driving really fast to be in Group B, you do have to be watching your mirrors, flag stations and handling the course as if you’re invisible…blending in to the group.
Group C – Advanced: These folks have turned up the pace while showing a safe and consistent line. They are exhibiting more advanced skills such as left-foot braking, heel and toe, and alternate lines to match the capabilities of their cars. Some may have upgraded brakes and/or suspension and tires, which can create a mismatch of pace if they stay in Group B. Speed differentials can be larger in Group C, so the skills learned in A and B become more important in C. While the C pace is definitely quicker, we stress with this group that this is NOT a competition, and that patience must be exercised in circulating the track, or they will be black flagged to discuss corrective measures.
Group D: Race prepped cars: This includes cars with structural, four point (or more) roll hoops, five point harnesses and a fire bottle. Basically, this is a time trial car setup for most clubs like SCCA, PCA or BMWCCA. We do not allow a beginner driver in a race-prepped car into D. The driver must be at an advanced level. In Group D, we allow open passing, with MANDATORY wave-bys. AND – passing is NOT to be accomplished in hard braking zones. While Group D runs race prepped cars, we remind all that this is NOT a competition of ANY kind!!
Can I bring my wife/son/daughter to ride with me?
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.
I have done track days. Can I coach my buddy/son/etc?
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.
Can I use my lap timer?
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.
Can I wear my motorcycle helmet?
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.
How do I become a coach?
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.
Can my son or daughter drive if he’s between 16-18?
Yes, if they have a valid driver’s license, and with both parents’ or guardians’ waiver signatures.
HOD Policy on Convertibles: 2011
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 (1990-2006), 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. Fiberglas 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, but LIMITED to A and B run groups, and are restricted from running R compound tires: Porsche Cabriolet (996, 997), Boxster, BMW Z4, Audi TT, Nissan 350/370Z roadster, BMW M3 and 3 series (1999-present), Audi Convertible, Honda S2000, Mazda Miata 2007-present, 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.