8 Performance Driving Schools for Your Bucket List

When it comes to vehicles, there are two ways to operate them: drone around the streets or really drive them. Concerned you fall in the wrong camp? Don’t worry, as all across the country there are performance driving schools ready to take you from a robot to a real-deal driver. Last time we visited this topic, we highlighted several top-notch options across the States, and it went over extremely well with you guys. But we just scratched the surface! So, today we’re back to take a look at eight more driving schools that’ll have you pushing pedal to the metal with ease.

Ford Performance Racing School – Raptor Assault

While most of the driving schools on this list are dominated by asphalt settings, we didn’t want to ignore off-road challenges. The Ford Performance Racing School in Tooele, Utah, offers racing lessons and even license courses for road cars, but they also offer exclusive off-road training sessions for Raptor owners. These courses are free of charge for owners of 2017 and 2018 models and are designed to help drivers learn about all the features that make the Raptor the off-road cheetah that it is. With six different terrain modes, Raptor owners can put them all to the test in the high sands of Utah at the only driving school officially backed by the Ford Motor Company.

Frank Hawley Drag Racing School

Led by world champion NHRA driver Frank Hawley, this school in Gainsville, Florida prepares drivers for the real-world challenges of ripping through the quarter mile. Yes, there’s a whole lot more to drag racing than simply pointing your car toward the end of the track and hitting the gas. And who better to teach you the ins and outs than a world champion? The first of its kind, the Frank Hawley Drag Racing School will put you behind the wheel of a full-sized, competition-ready dragster. Whether you’re training for a career or just looking for a thrill, this is one experience you won’t forget.

Cory Kruseman Sprint Car and Midget Driving School

Dirt racing is almost an underground form of auto racing, but some of the most renowned drivers in history got their start here. World famous drivers like Jeff Gordon and Mario Andretti are just two big names who have roots in the clay. There are a lot of reasons to get involved with sprint and midget car racing but one of the biggest discouragements is when you find that the learning experience generally starts on race day. The Cory Kruseman Sprint Car and Midget Driving School in Ventura, California, gives drivers the chance to go through a comprehensive course on safety and driving instruction. These cars are small, but they have a ton of power. With professional driver Kruseman and his team by your side, you’re sure to get a handle on them.

Allen Berg Racing School

In Salinas, California, you have an opportunity to do something you couldn’t do anywhere else. Open-wheel cars are associated with what is widely accepted as the highest level of automotive racing there is. Many dream of being behind the wheel of a Formula car but very few will actually do so—and even fewer will have the opportunity to be trained by an actual F1 driver. The Allen Berg Racing School gives those who dare the opportunity to do both. With state-of-the-art cars, this driving school offers more track time per day than any other racing program. Participants will get the chance to learn how to really handle one of these incredible vehicles, led by former F1 Championship driver, Allen Berg.

Simraceway Performance Driving

Driving open wheel cars is a dream for many, but not all. Some want to experience a thrill behind a variety of high-performance vehicles. The Simraceway Performance driving center in Sonoma, California, is a prestigious driving school that gives students the opportunity to drive just about anything you can find on the track. From F3 cars to go-karts, and yes—even track days in your own vehicle—the Simraceway driving experience will quench your need for speed on the legendary Sonoma Raceway.

Buck Baker’s Seat Time Racing School

California may seem like a hub for performance driving schools, but Charlotte, North Carolina, offers just as much excitement. For example, Buck Baker’s Seat Time Racing School was the first of its kind and has been running since 1980. Giving students the opportunity to get behind the wheel of a stock car, it teaches the finer points of this driving style. With a racing career that spanned almost 40 years, Buck Baker was NASCAR’s first ever back-to-back champion. After retiring, he started the driving school with his son Buddy Baker (also a champion NASCAR driver) and taught each and every one of the instructors in this program. Fun fact: Jeff Gordon drove his first stock car at this school!

California Superbike School

Here at The Engine Block, we don’t really get much time to talk about our sister industry on two wheels. However, most of us who love cars and trucks also love motorcycles—especially superbikes. Superbike racing is an intense sport that incorporates extreme speeds and total control over a machine. Those looking for the opportunity to learn how to ride a superbike should look to Los Angeles California, specifically to the California Superbike School. Offering professional training and immediate feedback, this “driving” school has been at it since 1980. It’s not as easy as riding a bike, but here, you can learn to do it the right way.

Desert Race School

As we said earlier, many of these driving schools focus on pavement. And while the Raptor Assault is pretty sweet, not all of us can afford to throw down close to $50k for one of those beasts. In the world of off-road adventures though, there are few events more hardcore than desert racing. And who among us wouldn’t love to be behind the wheel of an epic desert racing machine? Well, the Desert Race School gives us the chance. This two-day session, led by Baja drivers Ron, Austin, and Shannon Stobaugh will teach you everything you need to know about being a successful racer and team owner. Taking place in the Las Vegas Baja, the program covers everything from off-road driving skills and safety, to prep, communications, and racing craft.

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