Thank you for your interest in signing up to coach at our events, we really appreciate it! What follows is some additional information on our coaching process.

Applying for a Coaching Position

We are a beginner-friendly group, and want to ensure the highest possible level of instruction for our student drivers, especially first-timers in Group A. Therefore, we are looking for experienced HPDE instructors with coaching experience for established HPDE groups such as Hooked on Driving, TEAM Racing, NASA, NCRC, PDC, BMWCCA, PCA, etc.

The first step is to sign up for one or more events. Be sure to provide the name of a current Droids & Friends instructor who can vouch for you, and specify "Instructor" as your experience level. In the space provided, include a quick summary of your prior coaching experience. You can then go ahead and sign up as an instructor for any date(s) with coaching spots remaining.

In some cases, we may ask that you sign up as a Group C (Advanced) driver for your first event, so we can get to know you before we invite you to coach. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and thank you for your understanding.

Coaches who are confirmed for an event will receive an email from the organizers prior to the event, confirming their registration status as a coach. If you haven't received an email and are interested in coaching, please email me and I'll let you know your status. Thank you!


Registration & Wristbands

Once you're confirmed as a coach, the only thing to do is show up on track day! The Thunderhill main gate opens at 7 AM. All you need to do is sign the gate guard's clipboard, then proceed to the paddock and park in any available spot. If the gate guard mistakenly tells you to head to the office to fill out a release form and get a wristband, tell them we handle release forms and wristbands ourselves in the clubhouse. We'll have a registration desk set up in the clubhouse. All drivers and coaches must complete, sign, and hand in 3 forms:

  • the tech sheet,
  • the "I won't sue the organizers" form, and
  • the "I won't sue Thunderhill" form

You can find all these forms in the registration packet, which you can download and print out from the Paperwork page. Turn in your completed forms anytime before the 8AM drivers' meeting, we'll give you a blue wristband, a run group sticker, and a car number (if you need one).

Mandatory Drivers' Meeting

At 8 AM I'll welcome drivers and guests, do introductions, and turn it over to a Thunderhill staff member for the safety briefing and flags presentation. We'll also go over the session rules:
  • 30-minute sessions
  • Double chequered flag at T11 and start/finish
  • No bridging
  • Group A (Beginner, green wristband) drivers may only drive in Group A sessions, and must have a coach riding with them until cleared to drive solo
  • Group B (Intermediate, yellow wristband) drivers may only drive in Group B sessions, and may request a coach if they wish
  • Group C (Advanced, red wristband) drivers may only drive in Group C sessions
  • Group X (Coaches, blue wristband) may coach in any session and may drive in Group C sessions
  • Group A sessions have mandatory point-by passing in four designated passing zones (main straight, T6-8, T9-10, back straight) only
  • Group B & C sessions have open passing anywhere where it's safe, with mandatory point-bys in B and optional point-bys in C
  • Group A drivers (green wristbands) may not take passengers except coaches
  • Group B, C, and X drivers (yellow, red, and blue wristbands) may take passengers for demo rides
  • Three-spin rule: 1st black flag means you come in for a talk; 2nd black flag means you come in for a talk, sit out the rest of that session, and are on notice; 3rd black flag means you go home and you start your next Droids & Friends event with 1 strike.

Coaches' Meeting 

After the drivers' meeting, all coaches should meet outside the clubhouse in the picnic area by the grill for a brief coaches' meeting, starting around 8:20 AM.

Coaching Process

We guarantee in-car coaching for all Group A (Beginner) drivers who haven't been signed off for solo driving, and offer coaching for Group B (Intermediate) drivers on a first-come, first-serve basis. We expect enough coaches to cover all Group A drivers who aren't signed off for solo, but not Group B drivers, so not everyone can receive coaching in Group B. This is fine.

The general session order is C -> B -> A. The basic coaching process is:
  1. Group B is on track.
  2. Group A drivers start lining up on the pre-grid a few minutes before the end of the Group B session.
  3. Coaches meet Group A drivers on the pre-grid, and find their assigned student; all Group A drivers should have a coach unless they had already been signed off for solo driving, and they may request additional coaching even then.
  4. Coaches ride with Group A drivers for the entire session, and provide in-car instruction.
  5. After the Group A session is done, ask your student to drop you off near your car so you can drive in the Group C session, and remind the student to head to the clubhouse for the Group A download meeting.
  6. Enjoy the Group C session! :)
  7. Group B drivers start lining up on the pre-grid a few minutes before the end of the Group C session.
  8. At the end of the Group C session, drive by the pre-grid area to look for Group B drivers requesting instruction; coaches should make a reasonable effort to accommodate Group B drivers at the pre-grid area who are requesting coaching, but coaches aren't expected to coach in all or even most Group B sessions, and not all Group B drivers are expected to want coaching.
  9. Be sure to be ready for the next Group A session.

What to Teach

We are a conservative and beginner-friendly group, with safety being our topmost concern. We teach the conservative "school line" that e.g. Hooked on Driving teaches, and in fact ask the track staff to set up cones in the standard Hooked on Driving positions prior to the first session of the day.

Here's a video shot and edited by one of our Group C drivers, showing the line we teach. We mandate in-car coaching for all Group A (Beginner) drivers until a coach signs them off for solo driving. After a beginner has been signed off for solo driving, they may continue to ask for in-car coaching if they wish (though many won't).

We count on coaches to keep themselves, their students, and other drivers safe. If you think your student presents a danger to themselves or others, feel free to tell them to pit early, explain the problem, and cut their session short if necessary. Similarly, if you see another car doing something wrong or dangerous, feel free to find the driver after the session to talk to them, and let one of the other organizers know about the problem as well.

If you think your student is ready to drive solo (and, equally importantly, if the student is also comfortable with the idea), do a lead/follow session with them, and if you're convinced they are ready to go, just let them and the Group A leader know.

If a Group A driver is comfortable driving solo and is ready to be promoted to Group B, talk to the Group B leader, and arrange a check ride for the student in a B session. The Group B leader decides whether to promote the driver to Intermediate. 

Demo Rides

As a coach, we know we can trust you to take guests and other drivers out on the track for safe demo rides. Demo rides should take place in Group C sessions whenever possible. Demo rides are completely optional and are at your discretion. You are in no way obligated to offer demo rides to anyone, so feel free to decline if someone approaches you.

Note that Thunderhill only allows people over 18 on the track surface for insurance reasons. This rule is strictly enforced.


Coaches attend for free. Also, though we recognize that many instructors are happy to coach for free, as the satisfaction of helping a less experienced driver is payment enough, we'd like to show our appreciation for helping us out by offering a $50 prepaid gas gift card or cash equivalent in addition to the food, drinks, and free track time.


Know anyone who is an experienced HPDE coach you'd like to recommend? By all means, please refer them! And once again, THANK YOU for helping us put on these events--we couldn't do them without you! :)