Your tacit approval to become members of this club is assumed, but let me know if you concur. Our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to have as much fun as we can with our cars without totally pissing off our spouses and/or neglecting our children (completely anyway).
To that end, the 2014 season is starting to get locked down in terms of driving events, schools, etc so I thought I’d send out some links to make it easier for as many of us to have fun as possible.
I’ll go in order from easy and mellow to things that are a bit more of a commitment of time/money/blood:
Advanced Driving Safety Institute (ADSI)
What: an autocross (cones) course set up on a runway at Quonset airbase. About a mile long. Favors handling over BHP mostly. You can run just about anything (“run what ya brung”). Tech inspection is fairly loose. You probably don’t even need a helmet. Runs many Sundays from March to November. First event is 3/30 and two ACF-types are signing up (Alberto and me) so far. You don’t have to do the full day with class either. You can just show up at noon with $125 cash and run the course as many times as you can.
What: A revived road course (~1.5mi) in Northeast CT about an hour from PVD. Looks like it will be as good as Lime Rock and much closer. Access is either by joining as a member (one ACF member has a deposit down) or by joining one of the various car clubs (BMW even if you don’t have a BMW, maybe Audi but not sure if they have a Thompson date but you don’t need an Audi/VW to join, PCA if you have a Porsche, SCCA, SCDA, or HOD (hooked on driving - who knew, right?))
So far, we have two ACF members signed up for a Sept 6, 2014 track date with HOD at Thompson (they also offer 9/5 Friday if you are a person of leisure…lucky bastards you)
Track events require a SNELL 2008+ helmet usually, decent brake pads, and a brake fluid flush within the last year as minimal requirements. Convertibles are often not allowed, unfortunately.
New Hampshire Motor Speedway
What: aside from the NASCAR oval, they have a road course that actually predates the oval (believe it or not) that is almost 2mi I think. Pretty challenging actually and fairly high speeds achieved (130+mph).
Access is again through car clubs.
What: a lovely, bucolic road course and home of the Skip Barber Driving School up in Northeast CT - about 2.25 hours each way from RI. You can get on through clubs, join the club for a hefty fee (looking at you, people of leisure…), or even rent the autocross course for a day for like $3500 to have it all to yourself. Hold yourself back!
Now there are other tracks a bit further afield like Calabogie and Watkins Glen….but serious family neglect is required so I’m personally going to have to wait on those a bit.
Some other good resources to have around:
Sports Car Club of New Hampshire
The Boston Chapter of the BMW Car Club of America - Boston Chapter BMW CCA
Audi VW Club
New England Region | Sports Car Club of America
Northeast Autocross Clubs
Sports Car Club of Vermont
COM Sports Car Club - Event Schedule & Results
High Performance Driving Events, HPDE, Hooked On Driving - Event Listing
Lime Rock Park
Car Clubs | Events | NHMS
Thompson Speedway Motorsports Park | The northeast’s premier motorsports and entertainment destination
f1boston.com, f1outdoors.com - not for kids except racing leagues that start at age 7. Arrive and drive requires actual driver’s license. And money. And sobriety.
Museum: Lars Anderson Auto Museum (Brookline MA) has some great lawn events/shows that kids can run around at too. Nice place.
Wicked Innovation (Subies)
Banchwerks (BMW/VW/Audi and APR software)
Roger’s Tires (Woonsocket)
German Motors (Providence)