To participate in an APEX track event, driver and/or passenger MUST use a helmet that meets SNELL standards. Currently, the following certifications are accepted:
SA2015, SA2010, M2015, M2010, FIA 8858-2010, FIA 8859-2010, FIA 8860-2010
Open face and full-face are both acceptable; if a driver is using an open-cockpit car, full-face is recommended.
APEX has rental helmets available at most events. The rental fee is $20. Our rental helmets are in full compliance; however, they are open-face, best suited for use in closed cockpit cars.
Helmets with SNELL certification older than 2010 are NOT ACCEPTED.
SNELL '2000' is old enough to bury in a time capsule.
Helmets that have only a 'DOT' certification DO NOT MEET MINIMUM standards for motorsports.
Your car will be subjected to much greater stress than it normally receives in everyday street driving. Therefore, it is VERY important that all problems are repaired, that all worn and partially worn parts are replaced, and that all fluids are clean and fresh.
We recommend that you start by having your car inspected by a qualified auto repair shop or one of our partners and have all questionable items corrected. A typical pre-track inspection will take about 1 hour and is cheap, considering the potential consequences to yourself and others.
Our tech inspection form should be completed by an experienced mechanic. If you are a mechanic and service your own car, self-tech is accepted.
In our non-competition format, driving suits are not required. Most drivers will be wearing comfortable, casual street clothes. Natural fibers and modern wicking synthetics are suggested. Closed-toe shoes are always required, no sandals, dude. At some hot-weather tracks, shorts and t-shirts are permitted. However, long pants and long sleeves are *recommended*, this can protect from possible debris (grit, bugs, pebbles, Marty...) entering open windows. And of course, a Snell 2010 or newer helmet is required.
Drivers in fully competition prepared cars will want to use the full fire-resistant driving suit that they are accustomed to.
Use Z or better-rated tires. Z rated tires are made to withstand the stress of high speeds and fast cornering. Z rated tires also tend to be made with stickier rubber compounds.
It's also important that your tires are in good condition! This may seem obvious, but bad tires are the most common cause of failure during extended high-speed runs, and when a tire goes, control is lost. The rubber in older tires may not be as flexible or resistant to the heat as newer tires. Also, repaired tires (nail punctures) may have suffered invisible structural damage and be more likely to separate at high speeds. Please... no plugged tires.
It's generally recommended that you bring partially worn tires to the track (unless it's raining). Partially worn tires have a number of performance advantages. Previous use will have helped your tires to become more resistant to abrasion. This is known as heat cycling. Heat cycling changes the chemical bonding in the tires and makes them more resistant to abrasive wear. Second, a partially worn tire (or shaved tire) will have a more solid feel due to minimal flexing of the mostly worn tread blocks. Tires with full depth tread are squirmier because the tread blocks will have the tendency to roll-over under fast cornering. The trick is to bring tires that won't wear out before the end of the track event. If you are going to be getting new tires, we recommended that you put 300-400 miles on your new tires before driving them on the track.
Cooler with Water / Gatorade
Bag for personal contents removed from your car
Pens and Pad
Rain Suits / Poncho
Change of Clothes
Air Pressure Gauge
Flags are the only way corner workers can communicate with you while you are on the track. Pay attention to the location of the corner workers during your warm-up laps... in an emergency, they are your best allies. Failure to heed the flags will result in expulsion from the event.
Green - the track is open and cars are running at speed. Passing is allowed in the passing zones.
Stationary Yellow - Proceed with caution, no passing, be prepared to alter your line if necessary.
Waving Yellow - Warns of an immediate hazard on the course, you may need to stop or slow down significantly. This flag is often used when a spin occurs and there is a stalled car partially on the track or just off the track. Do not slam on the brakes without checking your mirrors - the car immediately behind you will end up in your trunk!
Red/Yellow Striped - This flag indicates there is some foreign object, or fluid, on the track surface ahead. The track surface conditions have changed, and you may need to alter your line to avoid the object or slow down to avoid slipping on spilled fluids. You might encounter a piece off of another car ahead, dirt or gravel spread on the track surface, or wetness from a spill or rain.
Blue with Yellow Diagonal Stripe - The passing flag. A faster car is behind you... check your mirrors and prepare to signal cars behind you to pass at the next opportunity.... remember to stay on-line and lift off the throttle slightly to allow the pass to be complete... failure to heed this warning will result in a black flag.
White - Indicates an emergency vehicle or slow-moving car is on the track.
Red - This flags indicate an emergency situation. Check your mirrors and bring your car to a controlled and complete stop on the right side of the track. We may need to get emergency vehicles on the track quickly, and they will use the left side of the track. Stay on the track... your hot muffler may start a grass fire. Once stopped, release the brakes and do not engage the parking brake to avoid warping your rotors.
Black with Red Circle - The meatball flag indicates there is a mechanical problem with your car... something hanging, a leak, etc. Drive your car to the pits as soon as possible or pull off the track near the next corner worker station (if there is a fire).
Black Flag - You have been identified as breaking the rules or endangering others. Drive your car to the pits and be prepared to talk with an event official.
Checkered Flag - the session is over... you should begin your cool-down lap and be prepared to exit from the track at the next pit entrance.
Owning a high-performance vehicle can be an exhilarating experience, especially when driven in the relative safety of a closed track. The purpose of our driving events is to promote safe driving and to provide a place to enjoy the true potential of your streetcar.
Safety is the NUMBER ONE concern at this event. Anyone driving in an unsafe manner will be expelled from the event immediately. You must drive within your abilities and exercise good judgment.
NO RACING IS ALLOWED. This event has no trophies or awards for the quickest lap times.
Passing is allowed only in the designated zones discussed in the driver's meeting. In the Green group, no passing is allowed in the turns.
Passing of a slower car cannot occur until the driver of the slower car gives the "passing signal". The passing signal shall be given by extending the left arm out the driver’s window and pointing toward the passing side.
The slower car should stay on-line and "lift" if necessary so that the pass can be completed safely.
DRAG RACING DOWN THE STRAIGHT TO SEE WHO CAN REACH THE NEXT CORNER FIRST WILL RESULT IN EXPULSION.
Watch your mirrors. If a car appears in your mirror the driver IS faster than you. Signal the driver to pass as you enter the next passing zone.
You should enter the hot pit area when you are ready to drive. Your helmet should be secure and your seat belts fastened. Both the driver and passenger windows must be down. Display your wristband to the starter and wait for the starter to signal you onto the track. Once the signal is given, accelerate briskly onto the track. Check your mirrors before moving on line.
Run the first lap of each session at a reduced speed to warm up your tires and your vehicle and most importantly, your brain. Pay attention to the location of the corner workers.
Know the definitions of the flags as described in the driver's meeting (and above).
When exiting the track, the driver should extend his/her left arm out the window straight up when entering the corner before the pit entrance. The speed limit in the pit area is 20mph.
When you are notified that the session is over, complete the remainder of the lap at a slower pace to allow your brakes to cool before entering the pit area.
Passengers will only be permitted to ride with instructors and qualified experienced drivers as determined by the event organizers. Any spin or loss of control when a passenger is in the car will result in termination of passenger privileges and possible expulsion from the event.
The General Rule: Apex Driving Academy events are Non-Refundable and Non-Transferable, with VERY limited exceptions ONLY as follows:
1) Cancellation 28 days or more prior to an event - Minimum $25 cancellation fee, with up to 80% refund to you and it is your obligation to sign up via our designated registration system for another event if you want to reschedule.
2) Cancellation 27 - 14 days prior to an event - Minimum $25 cancellation fee, with up to 50% refund to you and it is your obligation to sign up via our designated registration system for another event if you want to reschedule.
3) Cancellation 13 - 0 days prior to an event - no credit will be issued.
4) We no longer will find someone to take your place, even if we have a waitlist. Apex reserves the right but not the obligation to keep a waitlist for its exclusive benefit and not to bail you out if you can't or don't want to attend an event.
Apex Driving Academy events run in almost any weather conditions! Don't be put off by a forecast for rain - driving in the rain is an excellent learning experience, and will help improve your driving skills in all conditions.