Dominion Raceway & Entertainment is a new motorsports and entertainment complex recently built and opened in Thornburg, VA. Dominion Raceway features a two mile road course, 1/8 mile drag strip, NASCAR sanctioned 4/10 mile banked oval track, Kart track with 9hp European style racing karts, concert and entertainment venue, and bar and grill.
We visited the Dominion Raceway road course last weekend for a TestDRIVE event hosted by TrackDaze. TestDRIVE is designed to provide a low cost and low risk opportunity for amateur racers and car enthusiasts to get out on the track. If you’re 18 or over, have a valid driver’s license, and your car can pass a basic safety inspection, you can drive. TestDRIVE events offer a few options.
Touring laps are essentially parade laps run behind a pace car. It’s a good opportunity to drive the track and learn the layout before going out for faster laps, or just to satisfy racetrack curiosity if you’re a race fan without a need for speed. You’ll get up to about 70mph on the straight. Touring sessions are just $25 for thirty minutes on the track.
TestDRIVE sessions allow you to drive as fast as your car and your ability allow. There is a field of cars on track at the same time, but to minimize the risk of cars making contact passing is allowed only on the long straight, only on the left, and only when the driver of the car being overtaken acknowledges the faster vehicle and points it by. Instructors are available to ride along with you to offer advice and instruction, though for our session there were unfortunately more drivers than instructors. TestDRIVE sessions are $99 for thirty minutes of track time. Snell approved helmets are required for TestDRIVE sessions. Loaner helmets are available.
HPDE and Open Track sessions are also available for licensed racers and experienced HPDE drivers.
So, how’s the track? It’s an exciting course with varied challenges; 12 turns, 70 feet of elevation change, and a 2700 foot straight. I particularly enjoyed running WOT through the S curves. However, I did feel like the concrete barriers were a little close for comfort in a few places, and the runoff areas could be a bit deeper. Towards the end of my session I was getting comfortable with the track, where I could carry speed, and where I needed to be cautious, but I still would appreciate being allowed a larger margin of error.
When all was said and done, this was a really fun, reasonably priced day at the racetrack. TestDRIVE removes most of the barriers to entry for most car enthusiasts who want to drive a road course at speed, but are not sure how to get started. Plus, you don’t need a race car, or even a sports car for that matter to have fun at one of these events. A lot of folks were out there in their daily drivers. In fact, I drove my 2004 Jaguar XJ8. The Jag is pretty heavy and did push the front end a bit through some of the tighter parts of the track, but was surprisingly fast through the Ss and the front straight!
I’ll most certainly be back to drive these events in the future. I hope to see you there.
The fender mounted GoPro on my Jaguar malfunctioned and did not record, but the 2014 Mustang GT Track Pack behind me caught some good footage of the XJ8, and the Dominion Raceway road course.