Adventure Driving Schools That Push You to Your Limit

Get behind the wheel of a Jeep and crawl up seemingly vertical sandstone cliffs or speed around a racetrack in a Formula race car at one of these adventure driving schools.

By: Steve Larese

Adventure Driving Schools

Whether you’ve just received your driver’s license or you want to take your years of experience to a new (legal) level, these adventure driving courses inject adrenaline and education into a variety of driving experiences. From learning how to use your new Jeep’s jack to cornering a Formula 1 race car around some of the country’s most iconic racetracks, these courses cater to a wide range of students, interests and skill levels. Sign up and buckle in to learn about safety, mechanics, etiquette and skills necessary to overcome obstacles and navigate dirt and paved tracks with economy, grace and speed.

Outlaw Jeep Adventures with Cooper Tires

Based in the Jeeping mecca of Moab, Utah, Outlaw Jeep Adventures lets students get behind the wheel of a jacked-up Jeep with 40-inch Cooper off-road tires to tackle famous routes such as Seven-Mile Rim Trail and Hell’s Revenge. Clients learn about proper tire inflation for climbing seemingly sheer slick-rock, when to engage lockers, how to finesse over fender-denting boulders and other skills necessary to navigate rugged backcountry. Jeeps are supplied, and three-hour and full-day tours are available.

DirtFish Rally Racing School

Load into a souped-up Subaru and tear around the rally track at DirtFish Rally Racing School’s 300-acres in Snoqualmie, Washington. FUNdamentals classes start at two hours and give a taste of what it takes to be a rally racer, the three-day all-in classes include one-on-one coaching for those ready to race for real. Skills taught include how to slide around loose-dirt corners, how to handle bumps at speed and other techniques that are useful whether you’re rally racing or just driving in poor weather or road conditions.

Frank Hawley's Drag Racing School

Tuck in behind the wheel of a dragster or Super Gas Firebird and feel the G's as you launch from the line at National Hot Rod Association champion driver Frank Hawley’s school in Gainesville, Georgia. Classroom instruction covers everything from safety and vehicle operation to the psychology and neuropsychology of racing. Students may choose from a half-day class that includes 1/8-mile and 1/4-mile runs or the full-day Dragster Adventure Challenge that ends with a real side-by-side race.

Bondurant Racing School

In business since 1968, the Bondurant Racing School offers courses covering advanced road racing, high-performance driving, open-wheel formula racing and even go-cart racing for groups at their Chandler, Arizona, track. Other classes include military/executive defensive driving, and the advanced teen driving course puts teenagers behind the wheel of a Fiat 124 Spider Abarth to learn skid control, accident avoidance, on-track driving and other skills that contribute to safety in the real world.

Escape & Evasion Driving Experience

Teaching at his not-so-secret Escape & Evasion Driving Experience facility in Cedar City, Utah, former CIA officer Jason Hanson and his team elucidate the finer points of smashing through roadblocks, thwarting carjacking attempts, racing in reverse, Y-turns and other defensive skills usually taught to spies. The two-day course is offered to groups of 12 people and costs $1,997 per person.

Exotics Racing

Dream of opening up a Lamborghini Aventador, McLaren 570S, Ferrari F12 Berlinetta or other six-digit sports car around the track? You can at Exotics Racing at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway or in Los Angeles at the Auto Club Speedway, where $300 to $500 will buy you five laps around either of the 1.2-mile tracks. Exotics Racing’s one-day racing school trains drivers in a Porsche 991 GT3, Ferrari 458 Italia or Lamborghini Huracan with a dedicated instructor, using a skid pad to develop skills before taking to the track.

Mario Andretti Racing Experience

Learn from one of racing’s all-time best and his team at the Mario Andretti Racing Experience at speedways throughout the country. Drivers slip into open-wheel, Indy-style race cars for several driving experiences ranging from the three-hour practice session to the World Champion Experience that trains and tests drivers for a full day. Want to leave the driving to a professional? Go on a ride along in a two-seat racer at top speeds with a racing instructor.

Lucas Oil School of Racing

Lucas Oil School of Racing offers extensive race training in open cockpit Formula 1 cars at tracks throughout the country, including the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca with its infamous "Corkscrew." Partnering with Cooper Tires, Lucas Oil offers a two-day basic course that introduces students to their cars, provides classroom lecture and has students making multiple laps throughout the day leading up to passing techniques. The two-day advanced lapping course introduces solid racing techniques including safe and strategic passing.

Northeast Off-Road Adventures

Perfect for those who want to learn all that their Jeep or other off-road vehicle can do, Northeast Off-Road Adventures in Ellenville, New York, trains students on their own vehicles, or provides Jeeps for the off-road curious. Students learn skills such as how to fully operate their vehicles' off-road features, how to use jacks, how to free vehicles from sand and mud, and how to overcome obstacles. Rutted trails filled with sand pits and boulder gardens etch the school’s 68-acres, so there’s plenty of terrain to tackle.

Rally Ready Driving School

As Texas’ "premiere loose surface car control school," Rally Ready trains students on more than six-miles of grade-A Texas dirt tracks at its facility outside of Austin. A stable of professional rally racers teaches students the ins-and-outs and ups-and-downs of rally racing. Flooring through corners, Scandinavian Flicking, left-foot braking, launching into blind corners, handbrake turns and other rally driving techniques are covered in half-day to three-day courses. For those eager to try out what they’ve learned in class, Rally Ready has 140-acres open for track days during which clients can race their own vehicles on their extensive courses.