The clinic is open to all ages - teens, adults, seniors - with either a signed Learner's Permit or state driver's license. You can use your own street legal, registered and insured vehicle (trucks and SUVs are allowed). Using the car that the student drives or will be driving in the future is highly recommended.
Each participant must have their own car. Each student drives in all sessions during the day, so there is no way to share a car.
This course is valuable because car control can’t be practiced on the street and it’s always good to sharpen your skills. Having parents participate also sends a message as to the importance of these skills.
Anyone who wants to become a better driver or who wants to improve their driving ability in emergency situations can benefit from this course. Vehicles behave differently in emergency situations. An SUV will act differently than a sedan or a truck. Knowing how your individual vehicle will behave in an emergency maneuver is valuable information and improves your chances of controlling that vehicle in an emergency.
We see the clinic as an important community service, so the cost is kept to a minimum. The fee for the entire day is only $150 per driver and car.
To sign up for our clinics please click on the signup link to MotorsportReg at the top of this page to register online. If the student is a minor, please download and fill out the minor form at the top of the page and send to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions regarding our Car Control Clinics please call 530-934-5588 x103.
The Thunderhill Raceway Car Control Clinic gives students real-world, hands-on experience behind the wheel of their own cars. Thunderhill Raceway’s Teen Car Control Clinic is in cooperation with the California Highway Patrol.
Teenagers: Teen drivers in this age group have a fatal case rate almost three times as high as drivers 20 and older per mile driven.
Parents: Anyone can be involved in an accident no matter what age /experience level and anyone can improve their ability to avoid an accident. We have a lot of parents participating in the program. Participation not only demonstrates the parents support for the program but also provides the parent with a valuable opportunity to provide feedback to the children about different aspects of the class.
Senior Drivers: Senior drivers can find age related changes impact their driving abilities, like medications side effects, reduced reaction time and impaired vision. Over 23,000 seniors were injured in accidents in 2020, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration(NHTSAA).
Individuals with Physical Disabilities: Disabled drivers are encouraged to participate in the car control clinic. Participants must already have their own vehicle that is adaptable and equipped for their needs.
Thunderhill Raceway offers these Car Control Clinics because it’s our belief that we can make the streets safer for everyone, and at the same time, help save the lives of all drivers. It is our mission to help prevent as many avoidable accidents as possible!
Drivers schools do a great job of teaching the rules of the road, but they don’t have access to the type of facility required to safely teach car control. Thunderhill Raceway Park’s expansive facility allows us to teach the skills required in an emergency. We see this as an important community service activity, as more teens are killed in accidents every year than by any other means.
You should bring water and sun protection.
Parents and others can stay in the air-conditioned clubhouse or on the covered patio.
Emergency braking means coming to a stop…fast. We have all been in situations where bringing the vehicle to an immediate stop is necessary to avoid a collision. Any hesitation could mean the difference between a near miss and a nasty crash. New drivers are typically not prepared for this type of braking. I cannot think of anything more important than teaching your teen how to brake out of dangerous situations. Your teen also needs to know how their car will behave while emergency braking. There are also situations in which you must brake and steer around an obstacle at the same time. The student will accelerate, emergency brake and while the car is under full braking, they will steer around the obstacle. It’s critical that the student understand that they can brake and steer at the same time with modern ABS equipped cars.
Imagine that your teen is happily cruising down the interstate at 65 mph with the music blasting. They don’t notice that they have crept up a little too close to the car in front of them. That car stops suddenly, by the time they see it, there isn’t enough space to stop in time. However, an alternative lane to the left or right is free. You need to execute an emergency lane change. This helpful technique teaches you to change lanes quickly and safely in the event of brake failure, a tire blowout, a sudden obstacle in the road, or other similar emergency.
Losing control of your car is a scary experience. Hitting the brakes or turning the wheel and not having the car respond as it should makes you feel helpless. But, simply hoping that your car will never skid is not the answer to feeling more in control. Understanding what makes your car skid and learning how to prevent it are the first steps. You must also learn how to steer out of skid. Finally, you must practice. You cannot hope that your teenager will be prepared to handle a skidding situation just by talking about it.
We will only have 30 minutes for lunch. Student lunches are provided by the Friends of Thunderhill Foundation. Parents and spectators can purchase food at the Thunderhill Grill.
Distracted driving is the primary cause of accidents on todays roads. The California Highway Patrol will go over techniques to prevent distracted driving as well as traffic stop etiquette just in case the student wasn’t paying complete attention to the message.
The students are once more divided into their respective groups. While one group goes on track, the other groups will be staging for their turn or take a break.
We move to the Thunderhill racetrack for these exercises. Each student is assigned an instructor that they will follow around the racetrack. Each student will receive two racetrack sessions. The track portion will allow the students to put two wheels off the paved surface of the track at 35mph and learn how to safely recover. The track sessions will also allow the students to experience vehicle dynamics, weight transfer, braking and accelerating on the twisty Thunderhill racetrack. The top speed limited to 55mph, but the student’s comfort level determines the actual speed at any point during the exercise.
For questions regarding our Car Control Clinics please call 530-934-5588 ext.103.