Road Course Frequently Asked Questions – updated Aug ’20
Please click on each question below to see the answer:
Q: How old is your road course?
A: Our road course opened in 2016.
Q: How big & fast is your road course?
A: Our road course is 2.0 miles long with 12 turns and a 2700+ foot front straightaway. The pavement is at least 36 feet wide with curbs in key locations. It is a natural terrain circuit with over 70 feet of elevation change and many camber changes. As for how quick it is, anything under 1min 30sec is considered “a fast lap” and a well driven stock Corvette can do 140+ mph on our front straight. Click here for in-car video and click here for a track map.
Q: When is your road course open?
A: Our road course is available year-round for a variety of public and private events. It is not open daily or to the public in general unless there is a suitable event arranged due to the fact that insurance and staffing (control, grid, corner flaggers, fire & rescue, ambulance, towing, security, etc) is always required to use it. A variety of driving activities take place here and the average entry fee to get on track is typically $100-$400 per day. Most of these events are considered ‘private/non-spectator’ i.e. for registered drivers and their guests only for insurance and liability reasons, but please inquire with the organizers directly. Click here to see the frequently updated schedule, follow the links and sign up anytime for upcoming fun!
Q: Do I need a racecar to drive on your road course?
A: No you definitely do not need a racecar to drive on our road course, in fact the majority of participants are in stock(ish) street cars or track prepared cars that are often still street legal. You can even bring any street legal car, truck, or SUV (but no lifted trucks or big 4x4s, please) for our Track Attacks. People often ask what they need to drive fast here and the answer is almost always “a person age 18+ with a drivers license, an entry fee, and a street car that passes tech inspection.” Please click here to see the frequently updated schedule of driving events and get yourself registered for the next one!
Q: What kind of street car do I need to drive on your road course?
A: The specific car you bring isn’t that important because it’s just a tool for the job of driving fast – much like how you don’t need a fancy set of clubs to play golf well, or an expensive camera to take great pictures. That said, we see every type of enthusiast car you can possibly imagine here. Most common are Corvettes, Mustangs, Camaros, BMWs, Porsches, Miatas, etc. We have Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens, Aston Martins, and other exotics on track here regularly. We also see daily driver Kias, airport rentals, you name it – we even see stock trucks and SUVs for our Track Attacks. For high speed events as long as the car passes tech inspection it can probably be enjoyed at speed here!
Q: What are the tech inspection rules for street cars?
A: Tech inspection is a check to make sure each car is prepared for road course driving, and specific tech rules depend on group/event. We strongly encourage participants to “pre-tech” their cars before each event or have a shop or trusted professional do it. Most any street legal car, truck, or SUV (but no lifted trucks or big 4x4s) is fine for Track Attacks. For all in-house high speed events (Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, Drivers Club Days, etc) or any rental event we provide the insurance for, cars are required and the tech inspection rules can be found at this link. Print that form, pre-tech the car if you know exactly what to look for or have that done by a qualified shop or person, fill out the form, and bring it – we will then re-check the car and collect the form that morning but sorry there are no refunds or credits for cars that fail tech. For all other events please check with the organizers before registering.
Q: Can I drive my convertible on your road course?
A: Convertible rules also depend on car and group/event. Stock convertibles are fine for Track Attacks. For all in-house high speed events (Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, Drivers Club Days, etc) or any rental event we provide the insurance for, the convertible rollbar rules can be found at this link, note the rule about the broomstick test. For all other events please check with the organizers before registering. NOTE: Cars with t-tops or targa tops that are removable from an otherwise fixed/structural roof are NOT considered convertibles.
Q: Do you have trackable cars available for rent on-site?
A: Sorry, for insurance and liability reasons we are not able to provide any vehicles for on-track driving at this time. However, our friends from Xtreme Xperience regularly bring truckloads of exotic/performance cars for the public to drive at speed on our road course with an instructor riding shotgun, click here to get signed up!
Q: What are your helmet requirements?
A: Helmet rules depend on group/event as well. Helmets are not required for Track Attacks. For all in-house high speed events (Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, Drivers Club Days, etc) or any rental event we provide the insurance for, helmets must be in good condition and have a 2010 or newer Snell SA or M rating with the correct Snell approval sticker under the liner. We only recommend full-face helmets with the latest Snell SA2015 or soon to be SA2020 rating. Sorry we are no longer able to provide rental or loaner helmets for these events, but helmets for rent or purchase are available from our friends at OG Racing near Dulles. DOT-only helmets (with no Snell sticker under the liner) are no longer allowed. For all other events please check with the organizers about their own helmet requirements and availability.
Q: When can my child drive on your road course?
A: Your child may drive on our road course when they’re legally an adult. Drivers and passengers must be age 18+ with a current US-state-issued drivers license to drive/participate or be a passenger for all in-house events including Track Attacks, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, or any rental event we provide the insurance for. With all other events please check with the organizers directly.
Q: What are your rules about passengers?
A: Passenger rules depend on group/event also. For Track Attacks, one adult (18+) passenger is fine. For Track Attack ELITEs and TrackCrosses, passengers are not allowed (unless they are approved instructors.) For HPDRE, Open Practice Days, or any rental event we provide the insurance for: passengers are only allowed in Black (advanced) & Red (expert/instructor) non-racer groups and must be 18+ with same safety equipment & attire as the driver. For all other events please check with the organizers directly.
Q: I’m new to all this, what should I sign up for?
A: We strongly recommend climbing our ‘ladder of speed’ in this order:
Q: How do I sign myself up for events on your track?
A: Road course driving events are like concerts or sports games – online pre-registration/pre-payment is typically required and many events sell out well in advance. For all in-house road course events including Track Attack, Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, High Performance DR Education, Open Practice Days, and Member Driving Days: we use an outside system called Motorsportreg, please click here to see all our events you can register for on MSR. For all other events please check with the organizers.
Q: How much does it cost to come spectate?
A: Most road course events are not really considered “spectator events” for insurance, liability, and security reasons. You also can’t get too near the the action unless you’re a driver/participant and don’t have much way to know what’s going on unless you’re directly a part of the activity, so please register to drive starting with our Track Attack program instead of just coming to watch! That said, crew and guests of registered drivers are usually fine as long as they sign the waiver on the way in, and this may not cost anything extra, but please inquire with the organizers to be sure.
Q: What do you mean by “ladder of speed?”
A: Dominion Raceway’s road course ‘ladder of speed‘ simply refers to the progression of in-house events we offer in terms of miles-per-hour achieved, amount of track time offered, cost, preparation, experience required, possible strain on vehicle, and amount of knowledge gained/skill improved/high performance driving experience procured. We start with Track Attack and Track Attack ELITE,then TrackCross, then High Performance DR Education, then Open Practice Days. Click here for the schedule of coming events and sign up for whichever step on the ladder is most appropriate!
Q: What is a Track Attack?
A: Track Attack is our introductory program held twice a month year-round for just about any street licensed driver (age 18+) in just about any street legal car, truck or SUV. It includes classroom instruction with a professional driving coach and multiple 20-30 minute on track sessions in your car. Sessions feature paced laps for those who just want to experience what it’s like on a real road course with no helmets and no passing. Between driving sessions the instructor will critique your performance and offer driving tips. You will notice with each session that your confidence, speed and fun will increase. No risk, just fun! As a beginner track driver this is what everyone should start with, click here for Track Attack details & registration.
Q: What is Track Attack ELITE?
A: Track Attack ELITE is the next step for experienced Track Attack participants, designed to continue familiarizing you with our road course and basic high performance driving concepts. It includes classroom instruction with a professional driving coach and several 20-30 minute on track sessions in your car. Sessions may include higher speed paced laps, “ring taxi” rides with instructors, and/or open sessions with direct instruction. click here for Track Attack ELITE details & registration.
Q: What is a TrackCross?
A: TrackCross is a fast autocross on a twisty section of the track (turns 1-2 thru 8-9) with no cones and no work assignments – rain or shine. It is perfect for those who enjoyed our Track Attack and want to try the next step: wide open track as fast as they can safely drive it against the clock in short bursts. Registration is limited so everyone gets plenty of runs. This is the cheapest & easiest way to run for times! Click here for TrackCross details & registration and click here for the TrackCross-specific FAQ page.
Q: What is HPDRE?
A: HPDRE stands for High Performance Dominion Raceway Education and is our in-house traditional track day program. It is all about the high speed driving of street, track, or race prepared cars. We run four groups determined by driver experience and each group gets four 30min track sessions per day. Classroom and in-car instruction is provided for all beginner/novice drivers. Not only will you learn to master the complexities of our track, you will gain valuable driving technique and build skills that can only make you a safer driver on the street! Click here for HPDRE details & registration.
Q: What do the HPDRE run group colors mean?
A: For our in-house HPDREs and most similar events here, the run groups are broken down as follows:
Green- beginner to novice drivers; instructor & classroom provided; restricted passing with a point-by. Minimum experience 0 to 5 HPDE days.
Blue- novice to intermediate drivers; check ride or solo; restricted passing with a point-by. Minimum experience est 5 to 10 HPDE days.
Black- intermediate to advanced drivers; check ride or solo; passing anywhere with a point-by. Minimum experience est 10 to 20+ HPDE days.
Red- advanced/expert drivers, licensed racers, and instructors; check ride or solo; full open passing. Minimum experience est 25+ HPDE days.
Our “minimum experience” counts will only include formal HPDE here at Dominion and similar track days at similar permanent high speed road course facilities with instructors and sessions broken down by experience level with dozens of cars on track at a time. We also only count the number of HPDE days experienced by each driver in the last few years. Related but not directly equivalent driving activities (karting, rally, autocross, TrackCross, Track Attack, crapcan racing, etc) typically do not count toward these required minimums. This is to make sure everyone is in the run group that is safest, most comfortable, and the most fun for them and others!
Q: What are RCOPs?
A: RCOP stands for Road Course Open Practice Day and is our most informal high speed track time offering. Expect two groups alternating 30min sessions on track all day: one for licensed racers in racecars and the other for advanced/instructor level drivers in street/track/racecars. There is no classroom and no instructors or instruction, just open track time – and lots of it! Click here for RCOP details & registration.
Q: What is the Drivers Club?
A: The Drivers Club at DR is a membership club for motoring enthusiasts who like to utilize their sports cars and race cars for what they were made to do — go fast! Members have exclusive access to 40 or more member-only track days a year. Please click here for much more info about the Drivers Club at DR and click here to see all the Member Driving Days on the schedule.
Q: How do I become an instructor?
A: To become a road course instructor at DR you would need to complete one of our instructor clinics, get a check ride, and provisionally instruct at several HPDREs. The minimum driving experience to enter a clinic is typically 30+ days of formal HPDE including 8-10 days at the advanced/solo/passing-anywhere level. Driving days with equivalent HPDE programs do count toward the minimum. Other driving activities (autocross, oval racing, crapcan racing, etc) are good for seat time but do not count as much – to teach HPDE at DR you first need to be intimately familiar with HPDE and DR! Certified/experienced instructors from similar programs are encouraged to apply and may be able to skip our training. Either way please send your driving resume in as much detail as possible to Jon Felton. Once fully approved, our instructors receive free track time and may qualify for paid gigs.
Q: Do you sell gas at the track?
A: Yes, we have pumps available in the north paddock 24/7 with a card. In season we have Sunoco 93 non-ethanol, 98 unleaded, and/or 100 octane leaded. We may also have 110 octane. Please call the front desk 703-361-RACE to see what’s in stock for a particular event and what the current prices are. There is also a Shell station literally across the street from our entrance.
Q: Do you have paddock power for RVs and trailers?
A: Yes, we have a limited number of power boxes in the north paddock against the wall overlooking turn 6. Please call the front desk 703-361-RACE to reserve power for a particular event.
Q: Is camping allowed?
A: Camping is technically not allowed because we are not a campground. Sleeping in your RV or trailer in the paddock(s) may be allowed for multi-day happenings, it depends on the group/event. Staying on premises is typically NOT allowed on the nights before or after our in-house events (Track Attacks, Track Attack ELITEs, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, Drivers Club Days, etc) or any other single-day events, gates typically open by 7am for those. For multi-day/club events please check with the organizers directly. For any overnight guests please assume the main building/restrooms/showers will be closed from 11pm-7am or similar.
Q: Are car/trailer drops allowed the night before an event?
A: Because the paddocks are often in use with other events, trailer or car dropoffs are typically NOT allowed the night before our in-house events (Track Attacks, Track Attack ELITEs, TrackCross, HPDRE, Open Practice Days, Drivers Club Days, etc) or any other single-day events, gates typically open by 7am for those. For multi-day/club events please check with the organizers directly.
Q: Do you have restrooms?
A: Yes – there are restrooms at both ends of the main building on all three floors and restrooms on the south side of the building in the infield of the oval track. For overnight guests – restrooms are typically not available between 11pm and 7am or similar because the buildings are locked overnight, but we usually have porta-johns in the north paddock.
Q: Do you have showers?
A: Yes – new in 2017 we have showers available in the main lobby restrooms near the front desk (first floor, south end of the building.) For overnight guests – showers are typically not available between 11pm and 7am or similar because the building is locked overnight.
Q: How do I get media credentials for an event?
A: Media credentials are ONLY issued to accredited media that can provide letters of assignment, examples of previously published work and at least two industry references (we prefer references to be from other major circuits and/or sanctioning organizations.) Please click here to apply. Note: no media is ever allowed on or near the hot track or on the hot side of the wall.
Q: Can I rent the road course?
A: Yes – we offer public and private rentals by the day or weekend to nearly any specification, please click here for more info. We usually don’t rent to the public for safety reasons unless all drivers have recognized competition licenses and/or extensive road course driving experience & training. As a normal beginner, novice, intermediate, or advanced track driver in a street car you should sign up for any number of existing events instead, starting with our Track Attack program – click here for the schedule. We do offer private high-speed instructed track days for groups, please contact Jon Felton for more info.
Q: What is your bad weather policy?
A: For all in-house road course events including Track Attack, Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, High Performance DR Education, and Open Practice Days as well as most if not all rental events here: all events will take place as scheduled “rain or shine, hot or cold.” We would only postpone an event for frozen weather or a significant system like a hurricane, and your entry would automatically apply to the rescheduled date while still being subject to the normal cancellation policy. Note: during any event day we do pause for thunderstorms (to get corner workers out of possible lightning strike areas) and resume once they have passed. Policies may differ for other events or when we rent the track to an organization. Regardless, we can’t control the weather so please be prepared for wet or dry and hot or cold conditions when you participate here!
Q: What happens when an event gets postponed or cancelled?
A: For all in-house road course events including Track Attack, Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, High Performance DR Education, and Open Practice Days as well as most if not all rental events here: in the rare case of a driving event postponement for some significant issue, typically everything is simply moved forward. So if you registered for the postponed event you are automatically registered for the rescheduled event as well, and all else is the same. In the very rare case of an outright cancellation for some major problem, typically full entry credits are issued or replacement signups are handled privately. As this can change per event/per group, please inquire directly with the organizers either way.
Q: What is your registration cancellation policy?
A: For all in-house road course events including Track Attack, Track Attack ELITE, TrackCross, High Performance DR Education, and Open Practice Days: the policy you agree to when you register is “All sales final – no cancellation, refund, or credit. Entry is transferrable to another person for this event only. RAIN OR SHINE.” We are sorry but there are no exceptions to this policy so please don’t ask. Think of your registration like concert tickets or sporting event passes – they get you a seat at a specific place and time for a potentially sold-out event, and that’s all. If you are having car problems, your best option is to bring a different car. If you find you cannot attend for any other reason, your best option is to sell or give the spot to someone else qualified to participate, then let us know whose name to put on it by 72 hours prior. This policy is financially necessary and part of how we keep our entry fees as low as possible and keep things fair for everyone, thanks for understanding.