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NorCal first track day. Reccmmend a track?

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So my wife wants to get me a track day for my birthday. I'm in San Jose California. The nearest tracks are:

Laguna Seca 73 miles

Infineion Raceway (Sear Point) 82 Miles

Thunder Hill 175 miles

Buttonwillow 219 miles

Which is going to provide the best experiece for a first time driver? Safest track, etc.



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Laguna Seca is also my vote for the most fun. After time spent there on 2 and 4 wheels, I still look forward to going there above all others. Thunderhill probably gets my vote as 2nd best and safest (read reasonable run off all around the circuit).

Edited by mxdave74
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I think the organization running the event has more to do with how much you'll get out of it (and how much risk you're at safety-wise) than what track you go to. Sears, Laguna and Thunderhill are all very fun tracks. The Golden Gate Chapter of the BMW CCA has a 2 day driving school this weekend at Sears Point and I'm pretty sure there are still student slots available.


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Peter makes a good point as depending on your preference and comfort level in new experiences, the organizer can make a big difference. I'm pretty comfortable starting new things so, I tend toward events w/ more focus on track time and less focus on formal education that some organizers include. BMW CCA events are very popular and well run events, however if you tend to be a quick learner and will adapt quickly to the track climate, then you may find their events too structured and a little light on driving time.

In general, attendance is quite large at BMW CCA and PCA events compared to Trackmsters, CFRA etc... For me the crowds are too large with the big clubs.

http://www.motorsportreg.com/ allows you to run a search and look at the majority of events by all clubs at givens race tracks... depends on how you cusomize your search.

Edited by mxdave74
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I recommend Thunderhill, and Hooked on Driving (www.hookedondriving.com). Thunderhill is a wonderful track for beginners, very few walls and tons of run-off area. I love Laguna and Sears, but they can be intimidating for a first-timer.

HoD has a great program and is very welcoming to novices. They also work hard to ensure a safe event.

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