Answers to your most pressing questions…
Mark your calendars (or register now – its open!) for SoCal’s next hosted track event at Buttonwillow Raceway near Bakersfield from November 14-15. It’s a Monday-Tuesday with registration and drivers’ meetings Sunday evening. If you’ve ever wondered what all of the excitement of driving on a track is about, you’ll have no better opportunity than to do it with us.
Your Audi Club has a reputation for producing quality track events in a safe and nurturing environment. Qualified instructors provide expert guidance, assurance and encouragement. Ask anyone who has ventured out, it’s a blast!
Click here to jump to more information and registration.
So…if the idea of being on a track is intriguing, yet intimidating, here are a few FAQ’s that might put you at ease and prompt the thought, “I’m going to do this!”
High performance driving education – HPDE – is a great way to get to know more about your car’s capabilities. It's a chance to drive your car in a fun, safe, learning environment, on some of the the most fun tracks in Southern California. This is not to be confused with racing. It's a chance to learn more about yourself, your driving skills, and your car. It's also a chance to meet and socialize with a diverse group of people who really enjoy our Audi brand of cars.
Many who have not been to a track are concerned or fearful about a number of issues. I’m afraid I will hurt my car. What if I can’t keep up? My car isn’t a race car; it’s totally stock, right from the dealer. A track seems like such an intimidating environment. Do other women come to these events? These are all very natural questions and concerns, so let me take a few minutes to discuss each one.
I’m afraid I will hurt my car: I can honestly tell you that in the twenty five or more track events I have attended, I have never seen a first-timer hurt his or her car. Novice drivers spend the morning of the first day in classroom session and driving exercises off the track learning vehicle dynamics. The class and exercises are designed to enhance your car control skills and knowledge of your car. During these driving exercises you drive your own car and have club instructors assist in developing better driving skills. This provides helpful input to ensure you get the most out of the experience as you prepare to move to the track environment.
What if I can’t keep up? A track seems like such an intimidating environment: After the car control sessions the balance of the learning is on the track. Run groups are established to allow students to be on track with other drivers of similar experience. At most events first-timers are only on the track with other first-timers, and novice students always have an instructor in the car during track sessions. Passing is allowed at designated sections of the course and under controlled circumstances, making for as safe of an environment as possible.
My car isn’t a race car; it’s totally stock, right from the dealer: If your car is totally stock, you’ll be in good company; that’s the way most who are just getting started with HPDE driving are. And other than making sure your car is in proper running order (tires-brakes-oil-etc) you don’t need to do anything extraordinary before coming to an event.
Am I going to wear out my brakes and tires? It’s very unlikely that you will run through your street tires or brakes at your first event. Novice drivers tend to be conservative and cautious. This translates to minimal wear and tear on your car, it's brakes, and tires.
I don’t have a helmet. Do I need one? Yes. Helmets are a necessity in the active environment of the track and can be rented at the event. However, as an incentive to coming out, first time drivers are provided a helmet rental free of charge. The club will pick up this expense.
Do other women come to these events? Absolutely! Women usually make up 25-30% of the first-timers group, and many return for event after event. The club has several women instructors as well.
Is it expensive? Registration for our two day events is $425 for students. This includes two full days at the track with instruction, lunches at the track, a banquet dinner the eve of the first track day (which includes give-aways, raffle and auction), an event shirt, instructional material, and a ton of fun. A “first-timer’s” meeting Sunday evening is designed to welcome you in, talk about the schedule and the event, and answer any lingering questions. The only other costs you are likely to incur would be for gas and lodging (which in the case of Buttonwillow is about $55/night). Comparable events put on by for-profit organizations can range from $250 a day upward, without all of the food, event materials and swag.