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Track Tested

Corvette Z51 popular at Hooked on Driving events

Andy Bolig - June 05, 2014 10:09 AM

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Having demo drives alongside our customers' varied and impressive sports cars is the driving equivalent of full disclosure.

The 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 Coupes from partner Chevrolet that are available for track drives by attendees are growing in popularity. These track-ready sports cars are impressing the high-performance driving education (HPDE) program participants, who have become among the first in the country to experience the seventh generation Corvette in a road course.

"Putting the Stingray Z51 on the track shows the confidence the company has in its new Corvette," said Hooked on Driving founder David Ray. "Having demo drives alongside our customers' varied and impressive sports cars is the driving equivalent of full disclosure. Some of our participants are already re-writing their new car shopping lists based on their drives.  The new Stingray is consistently changing perceptions and impressing everyone who experiences the car."

HOD has introduced the Corvette test drive program in all of its six regions, which feature programs at 24 road courses across the country, including the Northeast (New York-New Jersey), Southern States (South Carolina-Georgia), Florida, Great Lakes (Chicago), Pacific Northwest (Washington-Oregon), and California.  These regions include tracks like Watkins Glen, Autobahn Country Club, Atlanta Motorsports Park, Palm Beach International, Ridge Motorsports Park, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

HOD was founded 10 years ago by David Ray who, after competing as a club racer for many years, discovered the fun of driving on track in a non-competitive environment.  "After starting as a hobby business, our customers helped us with the name, Hooked on Driving, and the rest is history.  Our events are dedicated to building a passionate community of car lovers eager to experience skilled, high-speed driving on a closed course, and gain a deeper appreciation of their own cars' capabilities. They also become safer drivers on the public highways, of which we are very proud," stated Ray.

Beginners in the program have a coach in the passenger seat who teaches the driver high-performance techniques in their own car. As is HOD's philosophy, a diversity of marques adds to the fun atmosphere at HOD events. "While we are highlighting the Corvette as a great road and track car, HOD will always encourage owners of all capable marques to drive with us. The paddocks at our events are virtual car shows, with brands from all four corners of the world," said Ray.

HOD drivers can progress from the basic Beginner group, where classroom theory and protocols are taught, through Intermediate to Advanced-level driving skills.  A driver is welcome to stay in the Beginner or Intermediate group as long as they want, as long as they're safe and having a good time. Coaches are vetted, trained volunteers that help keep the cost of programs down. HOD also produces corporate events, which can be for client entertainment or a reward to employees.

Most cars are fine for HOD – all the owner needs to do is be certain it is in good working order. The rest is up to them, but the results show that many develop very good track skills. Some move on to serious competition in other organizations. Ray is proud to acknowledge that HOD has spawned many top-level competition drivers – some of whom have come back to coach. The Corvette test drive program will continue at every HOD event this year.

For Your Information:
Hooked on Driving is a community of individuals who share a passion for driving their cars. Founded in 2004, HOD is meeting its goal of being the first true, trusted national brand of performance driving programs. Hooked on Driving currently operates more than 100 performance driving events annually in six key regions of the U.S. including: Northern California/Reno, Northeast U.S., Florida, Great Lakes, Southern States and the Pacific Northwest. The school is focused primarily on providing high performance driver education for those with capable cars, in the controlled environment of a race course – without the pressure of competition. More information on Hooked on Driving can be found at www.hookedondriving.com.

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