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Mario Andretti / Jeff Gordon Racing School eliminates pace cars
Driving 101, parent company of Mario Andretti and Jeff Gordon Racing School announced sweeping changes to its racing school programs today. Beginning March 6th 2009, racing school participants will no longer be required to follow a pace car and will not have an instructor with them in the race car.  Each driver will have a Personal Racing Instructor guide them through their timed racing session via an in-car radio system. Based on a 1.5 mile oval, drivers in the Qualifier and Checkered Flag programs can reach top speeds of 150mph. In the Winners Circle, Victory Lane and World Champion programs, speeds can reach up to an amazing 170mph.

4-Time NASCAR Champion Jeff Gordon said “since the beginning, our goal was to provide the most authentic and realistic racing experience for the fans. Over the past four years, race fans could drive real NASCAR race cars on the same superspeedways that I race on - but these new programs take it to a whole other level.”

World Champion Mario Andretti added “This new format will provide an unparalleled experience for any automobile enthusiast. You simply cannot get closer to the thrill of real open-wheel racing that this.”

“Over my 20+ years in the racing school business, I have never been more excited than I am right now”, said Robert J. Lutz, President/CEO of Driving 101. “We have listened to our customers and are finally able to deliver the ultimate racing experience that they have always wanted in a safe and exhilarating environment.” To accommodate the demand for these once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the school will offer additional class sessions at all 2009 locations.

Students will be guided through the required training and instruction by their personal Crew Chief before heading out on the track. Drivers will pilot the car alone, but will be in constant contact with their Personal Racing Instructor through an exclusive in-car radio communication system developed by Racing Electronics for Driving 101. Bruce Silver, President/CEO of Racing Electronics said “this system has been in development for well over a year. We have worked hard to design a system that would service the needs of both the drivers and the school. Now, the fans will be able to experience in-car communications just like their favorite driver on race day.”

Each driver’s Personal Racing Instructor will be able to see critical in-car data, such as speed, RPMs and lap times via a remote display that is networked with the school’s proprietary timing system. Developed by Dave Rogers and his team at Information Control Systems, the system allows each Personal Racing Instructor to receive all data in real-time and closely monitor each driver throughout their on-track racing session.

Anyone over the age of 18 with a valid driver’s license will be able to drive real NASCAR race cars and full-size Indy-style race cars at over 12 racetracks across the United States. New for 2009 is Jeff Gordon Racing School at Chicagoland Speedway. Other tracks include Atlanta Motor Speedway, California Speedway, Homestead-Miami Speedway, Kansas Speedway, Kentucky Speedway, Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Lowe’s Motor Speedway, Nashville Superspeedway, Richmond International Raceway, Talladega Superspeedway and Texas Motor Speedway. Darlington Raceway and Rockingham Speedway are available for corporate events.  To purchase a gift card or make a reservation, call 1-877-RACE-LAP (722-3527) or by visit www.AndrettiGordon.com Driving programs start at $429.

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