The 2014 Corvette Stingray Z51 Coupes, track-ready sports cars, are impressing the high-performance driving education (HPDE) program participants of Hooked on Driving, who have become among the first in the country to experience the seventh generation Corvette in a road course.
“Putting the Stingray Z51 on the track shows the confidence the company has in its new Corvette,” said Hooked on Driving founder David Ray. “Having demo drives alongside our customers’ varied and impressive sports cars is the driving equivalent of full disclosure. Some of our participants are already re-writing their new car shopping lists based on their drives. The new Stingray is consistently changing perceptions and impressing everyone who experiences the car.”
“Drivers are finding this is a car that can go to the track right off the showroom floor,” added Ray. He noted that the owners’ manual for the Z51 includes a section on track preparation, something not found in most car owner’s manuals. “We also have confidence in the safety of the Corvette,” said Ray, “with its amazingly strong frame, electronic limited-slip differential, larger Brembo brakes, specific shocks, springs and stabilizer bars and an Aero Package that reduces lift.”
HOD has introduced the Corvette test drive program in all of its six regions, which feature programs at 24 road courses across the country, including the Northeast (New York-New Jersey), Southern States (South Carolina-Georgia), Florida, Great Lakes (Chicago), Pacific Northwest (Washington-Oregon), and California. These regions include tracks like Watkins Glen, Autobahn Country Club, Atlanta Motorsports Park, Palm Beach International, Ridge Motorsports Park, and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Beginners in the program have a coach in the passenger seat who teaches the driver high-performance techniques in their own car. As is HOD’s philosophy, a diversity of marques adds to the fun atmosphere at HOD events. “While we are highlighting the Corvette as a great road and track car, HOD will always encourage owners of all capable marques to drive with us. The paddocks at our events are virtual car shows, with brands from all four corners of the world,” said Ray.
HOD drivers can progress from the basic Beginner group, where classroom theory and protocols are taught, through Intermediate to Advanced-level driving skills. A driver is welcome to stay in the Beginner or Intermediate group as long as they want, as long as they’re safe and having a good time. Coaches are vetted, trained volunteers that help keep the cost of programs down. HOD also produces corporate events, which can be for client entertainment or a reward to employees.
The Corvette test drive program will continue at every HOD event this year.