For most of us, cars serve a specific purpose. They get us to work, our vacation destinations, carry groceries and kids, and are basically just vehicles for transport. Few of us have ever really tested the limits of our sports sedan or the clearance on our SUV, let alone seen what a real, high-performance vehicle is capable of. "Driving is really the only sport where people don't tend to use coaches," says Johnny O'Connell, the winningest driver in the history of Sebring International Raceway. "The best money any driver will ever spend is that which is spent at one of the country's top racing schools." With that in mind, we chose these 13 schools, events, and experiences that aim to help reconnect us the road, the dirt, and the horsepower in our engines.
Wide Open Baja Racing
Learning how to drive a Baja rig is one thing, but driving the Baja 1000 – regarded as one of the most grueling off-road races in the world – is something else entirely. Wide Open Baja can help you experience just that with their arrive-and-drive Baja 1000 program. Not only will they give you use of their purpose-built, Subaru-powered Class 10 truck that's capable of running up to 95 mph on dirt, but they provide an experienced support crew to follow you around throughout the race. Be warned, this is an extremely dangerous race. That said, you only live once. Please note: Wide Open also provides Baja car training, as well as group desert tours.
How to Enter
Where: Baja California, Mexico
When: November 12-17, 2014.
Experience Needed: A Baja racing class is highly recommended.
Equipment: An entire support truck full of gear. Check with Wide Open Baja for details.
Beware: Too much Tecate once the sun goes down, helicopters following you around.