Simraceway Performance Driving Center: The North American Racing School with a European Soul

Founded in 1970 by English racing driver Jim Russell, the facility now known as the Simraceway Performance Driving Center was the first of the multiple British Formula 3 champion’s pioneering racing schools to launch in the US.

Founded in 1970 by English racing driver Jim Russell, the facility now known as the Simraceway Performance Driving Center was the first of the multiple British Formula 3 champion’s pioneering racing schools to launch in the US.

The subsequent half-a-century may have seen both a location and name change for the Californian facility, but its knowledgeable staff have always remained faithful to their founder’s pioneering philosophies and international influences.

Now based at Sonoma Raceway, the Simraceway Performance Driving Center offers driving tuition and experiences to career-minded racers and motorsport fans alike, and a five-star event planning service to corporate clients all over the world.

Driven by Innovation

The school’s proprietary curriculum is constantly evolving, harnessing every tool available to ensure its students and guests, whether ambitious career racers or motoring enthusiasts, leave with everything they need.

  • Believing in the critical importance of time behind the wheel, the facility offers guests a total of 347 days on track and paddock at its various locations each year.
  • The school’s training curriculum features groundbreaking technologies, including use of its proprietary simulation software.
  • The Simraceway Performance Driving Center’s pioneering, multi-track racing series offers drivers an affordable entry into competitive Formula 3 action.
  • The operation is run from a state-of-the-art, 14,000 sq. ft. motorsports facility located feet away from Sonoma Raceway’s Turn One.

An International Outlook

Despite the divergent paths travelled by motorsport on either side of the Atlantic, the Simraceway Performance Driving Center has always maintained a global perspective, taking inspiration from its visionary founder.

  • Despite the prominence of ovals in U.S. racing culture, the facility offers its guests the challenge of two of the country’s most prominent road courses: Sonoma Raceway and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
  • Its team of world-class instructors contains top-level current and former professional racers with both North American and European racing backgrounds.
  • The school boasts a diverse fleet of over 100 racing and performance machines, from karts, to sports cars, to Lola-engineered F3 racers.
  • Its sister facility, the Audi sportscar experience, is the only place in North America to discover the legendary German marque’s range of performance vehicles.

The Perfect Formula for Corporate Hospitality

As well as running a school, an array of competitive racing series and memorable experiences for individual motorsport enthusiasts, the Simraceway Performance Driving Center is also a popular destination for professionally-hosted, adrenaline-fuelled private events, ranging from two-hour autocross competitions to multi-day product launches.

Its fleet of Formula 3-derived race cars, 125cc racing karts, and performance Audis offer memorable experiences for groups of 4 to 400, accommodating all budgets and skill levels, with program choices including:

  • Formula 3 racing experiences
  • Audi TT autocross
  • Head-to-head simulator racing
  • Off-road experiences
  • Karting relay races
  • Ride-along laps
  • Pit stop challenges
  • Fleet driver training
  • OEM vehicle launches

What’s more, thanks to the centre’s idyllic location within California’s Napa and Sonoma Wine Country, with its mild, year-round climate, countless wineries and clutch of Michelin-starred restaurants, there are also plenty of opportunities to slow life to a crawl when guests do decide to step out of the fast lane.

With years of experience executing successful corporate and private functions, the Simraceway Performance Driving Center’s team of event managers specialize in tailoring their automotive offerings in order to fulfil the goals of every meeting, incentive program, client entertainment and team-building event, with the following support services also available:

  • Conference and meeting space
  • Transportation
  • Lodging
  • Audio and visual management
  • Full-service gourmet catering
  • Vehicle and apparel branding
  • Trophy and award ceremonies
  • In-car video
  • Photography
  • Guest speakers
  • Cocktail Receptions

To find out more about corporate hospitality at the Simraceway Performance Driving Center, phone 1 800 466 57 92, email [email protected] or visit


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