12 High Performance Driving Schools & Experiences

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If you are an automotive enthusiast it's likely you have dreamed of getting out on the track to learn how to push a car and yourself to the limit. Driving schools and racing experiances give you the chance to get behind the wheel of an exotic car for a few laps, suit up and learn to drive a full-on race car or to go on the ultimate off-road racing adventure. No matter what kind of car or motorsport you're into there is a school or driving experience that will let you be a heel-toe hero for at least the day. 

Here are my top picks for driving experiences and racing schools in North America 
(* Denotes school I have personally been to).


Porsche Driving Experience
Location(s): 
Los Angeles, California
Atlanta, Georgia 
Birmingham, Alabama

Porsche has invested a lot into their two North American experience centers where visitors can take their Porsche SUV on off-road courses, or they can learn more advanced car control on the road course and skid pad. For those looking to for more the Porsche Sport Driving School at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama is where you can learn how to drive a 911 from world-class instructors like Hurley Haywood.


Skip Barber Racing School
Locations(s):
Lakeville, Connecticut
Millville, New Jersey

Founded by former SCCA road racing champion and Grand Prix driver Skip Barber, the racing school offers drivers several different experiences from a single day driving the course to multiday advanced racing classes, if you ever wanted to learn how to get the most out of Mustang, this is the school for you. Classes are held at Lime Rock Park and the New Jersey Motorsports Park, both well-regarded road racing courses in the northeast. 


Exotics Racing *
Location(s):
Las Vegas, Nevada
Fontana, California

If you have ever wanted to slide behind the wheel of a Ferrari, Lamborgini, or Porsche GT3 and take it for a spirited drive, Exotics Racing is one of the best ways to get behind the wheel of a supercar. While it is not really a racing school, you will have an instructor in the car giving you pointers on how you can get the most out of the car and track. With a range of cars from a Porsche Cayman GTS all the way up to a McLaren 570S there are 5 lap packages that start at under $200. Other options include ride alongs with a professional driver or drifter if you really want to see what the cars can do. 


VORE Adrenaline Compound*
Location(s):
Las Vegas, Nevada

If you have ever wanted to race the Mint 400, but only had an afternoon than VORE is for you. From Trophylite Truck Racing and Ford Raptor to Desert Tours and UTV off-road adventures VORE gets you behind the wheel and getting dirty in no time. They also have a Mustang Drifting program and for those who need a little more to get their adrenaline pumping, you can shoot machine guns, blow up a taxi, and go skydiving, it is a one-stop-shop for being a badass.


Frank Hawley Drag Racing School*
Location(s):
Fontana, California
Gainesville, Florida
Las Vegas, Nevada
Norwalk, Ohio
Reading, Pennsylvania 

If you have ever wanted to know what it is like to feel the roar of a V8 engine sitting right behind your head as you rip down the drag strip at 130mph, this is the school for you. From Dragster Adventure day experiences that start in the classroom and end on the drag strip to full racing school programs to get you legal to race with the pros, Frank Hawley can help


Dirtfish Rally School
Location(s):
Snoqualmie, Washington 

If you were like me growing up watching WRC, you wanted to be Colin McRae sliding sideway making little hatchbacks do what they shouldn't be able to do. Now you can get the experience of racing down a gravel road at top speed and having to powerslide through the turns. With short experiences that are just two hours, to full-on three-day rally schools and one-on-one coaching Dirtfish can make your rally dreams a reality.


BMW Performance School*
Location(s):
Thermal, California
Greenville, South Carolina

If you have ever wanted to learn how to drive "The Ultimate Driving Machine" well, you need to go to their school. With courses that focus on everything from driver safety to racing and even learning how to drift, it is an amazing experience. If you have ordered a new BMW you can even arrange to take delivery or it at the performance center where you will learn how to get the most out of your BMW or MINI.


Formula Americas
Location(s):
Austin, Texas

Hosted at Circuit of the Americas, Formula Americas gives you the chance to take an open-wheel race are on the same track as your Formula 1 heroes. The hour and a half program start with classroom instruction, laps in an Audi (COTA also hosts the Audi Driving Experience) to familiarize you with the track, and then three hot laps around the 2.3 mile Grand Prix track. 


Lexus Performance Driving School*
Location(s):
Various Tracks Around the US

For fans of the brand or those just interested in seeing what a Lexus performance car can do the Lexus Performance Driving School is likely coming to a track near you. The traveling school crisscrosses the country to some of the best race tracks in the USA. By the end of the program, you will have auto crossed, drifted, and taken the car out on the track for some high-speed laps.


SpeedVegas
Location(s):
Las Vegas, Nevada

Like other dream car track experiences, SpeedVegas has a wide selection of car for you to choose from, including American muscle like the Shelby GT all the way to the exotic Ferrari 458 Italia. Pick your car, number of laps, and have a blast on the track that was used to film Top Gear America. You can also buy pre-set multi-car packages that allow you a few laps in several different performance and supercars. 


Wide Open Baja*
Location(s):
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Ensenada, Mexico

If you are a fan of off-road racing than you know the Baja 1000 is one of the most challenging and celebrated races in the world. Wide Open Baja offers half-day to four-day Baja adventures that put you behind the wheel of a real race proven Baja Challenge car. If you get hooked don't worry Wide Open Baja also offers complete "Arrive & Drive" racing packages, allowing you to show up in Mexico and race in a SCORE stationed race like the Baja 500/1000, or San Felipe 250.


Richard Petty Driving Experience*
Location(s):
Most NASCAR Tracks

If you are a fan of NASCAR the thrill of being behind the wheel of a NASCAR feeling the Gs pulling you into your seat as you enter the banked corner is something you need to experience. From riding along for a few laps with a professional driver to a full racing experience complete with a crew chief meeting, on track training, 40 laps where passing is allowed, and more.


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