Attention thrill seekers, car nuts and racing fans -- Rev It Up®, the World's Largest Performance Driving School and National Racing Competition, returns in 2006 with more professional instruction, more adrenaline crazed excitement, and added horsepower thanks to Chevrolet's lineup of performance vehicles.
Rev It Up (RIU), presented by Chevrolet, combines fast cars, challenging courses and expert trainers for a high-energy experience. Competitors only need to sign up, show up, listen up to professional racers, and polish up skills in practice laps driving Chevy vehicles before striding up to the RIU Competition Course for a shot at the National Championship and a brand new Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe.
Chevrolet General Manager Ed Peper said, "Chevrolet's line of products make high-performance cars accessible to everyone and Rev It Up gets race fans off the couch and onto the race course. It's a perfect fit. From the Cobalt SS to Corvette, participants will find out why Chevrolet is America's best selling brand."
After receiving training from professional racers, participants will experience firsthand Chevrolet performance vehicles such as the 400hp Corvette, 171hp Cobalt SS, 205hp Cobalt SS Supercharged and 303hp Impala SS.
The six stops currently scheduled on the 2006 tour are:
- Southern California: July 22-23 - El Toro Marine Base
- Dallas: July 29-30 - Lone Star Park
- Miami: August 5-6 - Hialeah Park Racetrack
- Chicago: August 12-13 - Balmoral Park Racetrack
- New York: August 19-20 - Belmont Park Racetrack
- Washington, DC: August 26-27 - FedEx Field
There are a limited number of competition slots available during each RIU weekend, so pre-registration is very highly suggested. The cost is $50.00, or $45.00 if you sign up online at least two weeks in advance at www.RevItUpRacing.com. The first 100 people that register online for each event will be able to enroll for only $40.00, so act fast. Competitors must be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license. The event moves forward rain or shine. General admission is free (and open to all ages) for those who just want to check out the action, root on friends and family, or test drive the line of Chevrolet SS cars on site.
The most exhilarating aspect of RIU is the competition where drivers show their stuff in a Cobalt SS for two separate laps on the RIU Competition Course. Upon registration, drivers fill out a questionnaire regarding their previous driving experience. Their answers dictate which of four competition divisions they are assigned, and a fifth group is set up just for female competitors. When racers hit the track, their lap times are indexed to a benchmark "best", laid down by a RIU pro driver. The competitor's time is then converted to a score. At each of the 2006 RIU stops, racers with the best score in each of the five groups will receive a new pair of Piloti driving shoes. The person with the highest score will be named City Champion and receive a reward (TBA).
Competitors will be able to check back at www.RevItUpRacing.com to see how their score matches up with others throughout the United States. When the tour ends in August, the driver with the highest score overall with be crowned RIU National Champion and walk away with a new Chevy Cobalt SS Supercharged Coupe -- a car that, in a slightly modified form, has been whipping all others in the Grand-Am Cup's Street Tuner division.
A RIU visit begins with a brief overview of rules and regulations. Drivers then have five Skills Clinics which they can attend to learn more about performance driving. Two of the Skills Clinics are classroom sessions taught by professionals who have worked at some of the most prestigious racing schools in the world. Students learn about car control, tire dynamics, braking techniques and racing line analysis -- talents that will make them better drivers on either the track or daily commute.
RIU attendees also practice performance driving techniques on three twisty Skills Clinic Courses outlined with orange cones. Pro instructors are on hand at all tracks to provide feedback and tips, and laps are timed so participants can chart their progress or put pressure on compatriots. Each track is uniquely designed to emphasize specific driving techniques and utilizes a Corvette, Impala SS or Cobalt SS Supercharged. Students have up to seven laps they can run on the Skills Clinic Courses, but are allowed only one lap at the Racing Line/Practice Course Skills Clinic. However, additional laps for this specific track can be purchased on site.
RIU competition participants can partake of the Skills Clinics in any order they wish. They can also take advantage of the classroom sessions and track time before, between or after their two Competition Course laps.
A special addition this year to the RIU experience is the inclusion of white-knuckle Hot Laps. For a small additional fee, RIU competitors or general admission visitors can ride "shotgun" in a 505hp Corvette Z06 with a professional racer at the wheel. Passengers get to see and feel how a pro uses masterful car control, pinpoint braking, perfect apex analysis and maximum throttle to careen a lighting fast car around the track. Not only is this experience an adrenaline rush, but it is also a tremendous learning tool as it clearly demonstrates how to execute a fast, safe and accurate lap.
RIU has spiced up the competition even more this year with a Beat the Pro Challenge. Any driver who manages to beat the RIU pro's time on the Competition Course will be rewarded with a racing helmet signed by several of Chevy's professional racing drivers. Only one such prize is up for grabs in each city. However, be forewarned -- the RIU pros are very good and don't like to be beat -- but it has happened before.
For those not participating in the competition, there are plenty of other activities at RIU during a weekend. The very popular racing kart track will be back to provide wheel-to-wheel excitement for a minimal fee, and there is a special Chevy SS Drive Course where people can test drive the entire SS line for free without being hassled by salespeople. The event also includes food and merchandise vendors, as well as exhibits featuring GM Accessories, OnStar, XM Satellite Radio and Goodyear Tires.
Grassroots Motorsports Magazine listed RIU as one of the "20 Things That Rocked Our World in 2003." David Stokols, president of Automotive Marketing Consultants which operates the RIU program, believes that Chevrolet's backing of this unique motorsports event ensures that RIU will again "rock some worlds."
"Chevrolet's performance vehicles have had tremendous success in all aspects of automotive competition, and AMCI is very excited to have the automaker aboard for our Rev It Up program," Stokols said. "AMCI designed the RIU program with the intent of having everyone walk away from the experience with hearts racing, but more importantly, with improved driving skills to be applied daily. With the 2006 RIU program, I think we've fully accomplished that goal."