You might have an idea for an event. Maybe you have a lot of money to blow and want to throw your birthday party by racing your friends around a track, or maybe you think it would make a great team-building exercise. Maybe you have a new rig and you just want to see how fast it can go.
There are a lot of different reasons why you might want to rent a race track – the question is: is it possible?
So can you rent a race track? Yes, you can rent one. However, each race track has different rules, regulations, and prices. You’ll need to know the ins and outs of your track of choice before you sign off on that rental form.
Why Rent a Race Track?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about my bucket list trip where I was going to go to South Africa and rent a racecar. I still want to make that trip, but it got me thinking about more than just renting a racecar – Can you actually rent a race track?
A race track is a big thing to be renting out. The asphalt alone is expensive, even if you rent for one day. So why would anyone be interested in track rental?
Whether you need the space to drive faster than the speed limit on most roads or because you want to host a race of your own, renting a race track might be appropriate. There are many reasons to rent a race track for events or personal use.
Whether you want to try out a new car or an older one that you fixed up, there are many reasons you might want to see what its limits are. And you may want to do that on a drag strip or off-road racing short course rather than a typical residential road.
A race track is a way that you can take your car to its limits with some measure of safety in place. Driving around that track alone is significantly safer than doing it in a pack of other drivers and allows you to push limits without worrying about potential collisions with other cars.
Because race tracks are rented by the day, it also gives you plenty of time to test your car in various controllable conditions. There are multiple reasons you might want to test the limits of your vehicle, including personal curiosity or getting it ready to race in a more sanctioned event later.
If you have the kind of money to burn to rent out a race track just for you and some friends, or if you have a race track close to you that will allow you to rent it cheaply enough to afford it, you might choose to rent it out for a race with people you know personally.
It may be a buck list item to host a race day, track days or race event for you and your friends.
Whether you’re doing this for your birthday, as a celebration for another occasion, or just because you had the money and wanted to make some memories, you should be able to rent the track of your choice with little issue. Race tracks tend to be indiscriminate with rentals, personal, corporate, or otherwise.
The biggest limiting factor is whether or not you can justify the cost for personal reasons. However, if you are asking this question, the odds are good that you can or that you know of a place you can rent out cheaply enough to justify the price tag attached to whatever it is you want to do there.
You might want to rent a race track just for you for many reasons, and you can do that–as long as you can afford to. Renting a race track will be easier for someone that lives off the beaten path to do, as some more rural tracks that don’t host professional races can rent out for less.
Whether you’re renting out the track for the company to drive on for a bonding exercise, doing it so your employees can watch a race for a day, or setting it up as a promotional event for your company, corporate events on the racetrack can be a great source of fun. Plenty of businesses find themselves interested in renting out a race track for a day.
If you are sponsoring an event that is open to the public and charging admission, it’s possible to earn back some of what you spent on renting the track. However, whether or not that is permitted will be up to the race track you are renting. This is something you should check in with when you go to rent in the first place.
There are a wide variety of events that come up which would make renting a private track appealing.
Whether the track wants to play host to bachelor parties, birthday parties, graduation parties or weddings – the facility rental company needs to make money, and this is a way to fill in the gaps when not hosting an official race or another special event.
In short – it’s better than being closed and not making any money for the day.
There are many rules for renting a race track to mitigate loss on both a personal and financial level. Before you choose to rent a race track for your event, consider what goes into doing so safely and whether or not you can manage it.
A person can get hurt during a race in many ways, and any sanctioned event should have safety measures to minimize harm. Of course, accidents can still happen, but mitigating the likelihood of them is important- and often required by the host track officials.
In any sanctioned racing event, it’s essential to have an ambulance and fire truck on standby at the track. Calling an ambulance if an emergency occurs can take longer than an injured racer has if an accident has happened. Having EMS personnel and firefighters on hand can save lives.
Additionally, races involve a lot of equipment that could catch on fire. It is rare for a car to explode if it catches on fire, but the fires themselves are not so uncommon. When racing, everything about a vehicle is pushed to the limit, which generates heat and sometimes fire.
I was once in a car that caught on fire just sitting in line at a McDonald’s drive-thru, so it is possible.
Corner Station Safety
The corner stations have to be protected. This means the barriers between the track and the station need fire extinguishers, first aid supplies on hand, and anything else safety personnel deem necessary.
The corner station workers are there to intervene in an emergency. These workers have their security protocols to follow. They should have everything they need to get their jobs done.
If you are renting for testing and it will just be one person on the track, you can probably afford to hire fewer corner station workers, as it will only be you they’re looking out for. If you’re going to have multiple people on the track at one time, it’s best to hire more if the race track does not provide them for you.
Everyone participating in the race should be aware of the rules and risks. Drivers should be provided with a waiver to sign. All vehicles must be inspected to ensure they are up to the task in front of them. In addition, there are certain pieces of safety equipment every driver should have. A great example of standard safety equipment is a helmet.
Even if there is not a race going on and you are only renting the track to test one vehicle, you should still go in with your proper safety equipment. Even with no one else on the track, accidents can happen.
Driving Lesson Sessions
Not every race track that offers rentals requires a class for the drivers, but some do. This is for safety and to ensure the drivers understand how to drive on a race track as opposed to regular traffic laws.
When driving at high speeds, you have to operate your vehicle and take turns on a circle track differently. Not everyone intuitively understands how to adjust.
Whether or not this is a requirement, as well as whether or not it costs extra, will be up to the race track in question and is another thing you should ask about when you go to set up your rental.
Some race tracks offer to set some of these things up for you as part of the rental. When you contact your local race track to see if you can rent it out, these are questions you will want to ask so you know whether or not they will be on you. Emergency services can cost anywhere between $3,000 and $10,000.
Before you choose which track you’ll be renting, you need to know how much each track costs on average.
Some race tracks allow private clubs and groups to rent the track for a day for as little as $300; however, these are rare instances. Most race tracks will cost at least $10,000 a day to rent, while go-kart tracks may be a bit cheaper.
Some more popular tracks will cost far more than that, though a few are less, and prices will vary depending on the time of year you intend to rent and whether or not you are renting for a weekend.
It’s also worth noting that this does not include the corner station workers, who can run you an extra $200 a day per person.
Prices tend to be lower in the winter and on weekdays. There aren’t as many people that want to spend a day outside in the cold to watch cars go around and around the track, as there are that will do it during the summer.
So, pull out your credit card and rent yourself an experience to remember!