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Drive By Design

By  Lynn O'Rourke Hayes   

 The Bond-like speedster or new teen driver in your family will find a fast-paced challenge and plenty of adventure at any of the performance driving schools that dot the national map. These programs are great for gift giving or as a cornerstone for family vacation planning.


Here are five places where you can safely feed the need for speed: 

1. Team O’Neil Rally School - Dalton, NH. The crew at this elite driving school teaches rally racers the tricks of the trade and regular folk confidence building safety tips for driving on icy roads, gravel or in the back country. When not coaxing a novice on skid control they are honing the skills of those who make their living driving fast and furious. Think celebrity getaway cars, the CIA, Navy Seals and other forms of law enforcement. The pros will explain how the right turn, avoiding obstacles and making snap decisions can mean the difference between life and death. Contact:; 1-603-444-4488.

 Driving tips

 2. Bob Bondurant Performance Driving School – Phoenix, AZ. No matter which course you choose, the instructors promise you’ll leave a more confident driver and with a smile on your face. Choose from teen driving instruction, introduction to racing on simply opt for the chance to lap the oval at the Phoenix International Raceway. Contact:; 1-800-842-RACE.

3. Richard Petty Driving Experience – Ride shotgun in a two seat NASCAR-style stock car driven by a professional instructor. You can find a ride that runs at speeds up to 165 mph at more than 20 locations across the country. Ready to take the wheel? A variety of racing and safe driving programs are available throughout the year. Contact:; 1-800-BEPETTY.

4. Endurance Kart – Lakeville, CT and Jacksonville, FL - In just one day, parents and children learn the basics of racing and how karts work, plus passing techniques, controlled braking, and how to handle trouble turns at the racing school’s family camp.

The school combines classroom learning and behind-the-wheel instruction for a hands-on racing experience. Contact: 1-866-722-3669;



5. Bridgestone Winter Driving School – Steamboat, CO. Take to the ice and learn the fundamentals of handling the winter roadways. Whether you are a novice 15 year permit holder or a racing wannabe, there are a multitude of high altitude classes available. Contact:; 1-970-879-6104.


Ask school representatives about special holiday discounts and gift certificates.


Travel Insurance. Simple & Flexible.

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