Texas Drift Academy FAQs
Where are you located?
Our primary track is Alamo City Motorplex (map), 20 min north of San Antonio and 1 hour from downtown Austin. Occasionally we also host classes at MSR Houston (map). The courses and dates will show you where we’ll be when.
Are you COVID-safe?
Yes! We take many precautions per CDC guidelines. See our COVID safety page.
What’s the cancellation / refund policy?
There’s a lot that goes in committing to a track day: car prep, insurance, track reservation, coach scheduling, etc. As such we refund 50% within 30 days of track date, and no refund within 7 days of event. If you can’t make it, your booking is transferrable, so if you can sell or gift it to someone else. Also, classes take place rain (rain is good!) or shine. In case of dangerous weather, students will be rescheduled to an open track day of their choice.
Do I need a driver’s license?
Believe it or not, no! We’re on private property. But you do need to know how to drive a manual transmission vehicle.
Do you need to be able to drive manual transmission?
It is very highly recommended, though not required, you have some experience driving manual (stick shift). If you can only drive automatic, we can arrange for that if you email email@example.com (note: some drifting skills not possible in automatic, but it’s still fun!).
What is the minimum age?
We’ve had 14-year-olds through before that did great because they already knew how to drive a manual. If you can drive a stick shift and reach the pedals, I think you will have a good time!
Do I need to bring a helmet?
We provide helmets when they are required, or if you have your own motorbike or motorsport rated helmet you can bring your own. Most classes will not require wearing a helmet (on the wet skidpad), but all classes include a hot lap with a pro that does require helmets.
What should I wear?
Dress for the weather outside and for getting warmer in the car. Shorts are allowed. Shoes are the most important. Wear your most comfortable running or walking shoes. The more you can ‘feel’ the pedals the better. For example, Vans, Converse (Chuck Taylor) All Stars, and Puma sneakers are popular shoes worn by drifting professionals. Wear a shirt that covers your shoulders so that the harness doesn’t chafe you.
Can I bring a friend to watch (and film)?
Absolutely. We welcome friends and family to watch, film, and photographs from the sidelines. Chairs and shade are provided. And in the end, if there’s time, they can purchase high-speed passenger laps with our pro drivers.
Can I film my class? Can I bring a GoPro?
We allow filming / GoPros for the Drift Pro course students towards the end of the day. There are usually mounts inside and on the roof of the cars. For other classes (Experience, Skills, Advanced) we don’t allow student filming during class because we’ve found it becomes a distraction for first-time students and slows the flow of shorter classes. Our goal is to get you as much seat time as possible. However, your guests can film from the side. And all students are allowed to film the passenger lap with our pro drivers at the end of the day.
Do I need to bring anything? Is there food and water?
For all courses, bottled water is provided. For Drift Pro full-day classes, lunch (sandwich wraps) and snacks are provided. Sanitizing wipes and/or hand sanitizer will also be provided. And yes, there are bathrooms on site.
Is it safe?
In nearly three years of operation, we’re happy to report we’ve never had an accident or injury. The San Antonio raceway course is 3 acres of blacktop and we design the courses to allow plenty of room for all the mistakes we’ve seen (so far).
What is the car I’ll drive?
You will drive a modified Nissan 350z with 300 rear wheel horsepower that is a competition-ready drift car. Our instructors regularly compete and podium with them in local drift events. You can see all the modifications in the cars section of this website.
Can a friend be in the car with me?
Students are not permitted to drive guests, however, guests can purchase passenger hot laps driven by a pro at the end of class.
What are the biggest mistakes new students make?
Every new student will make mistakes and each mistake is a small milestone to learning to control a sliding car. You will bring many actions together, sometimes at once and sometimes in rapid succession, that will require breaking habits and learning new ones. We want you to have seat time to develop new muscle memory. The top 5 mistakes in the beginning include:
- Not pulling the e-brake hard enough to lock up the back tires,
- Not letting go of the steering wheel (or letting go too late) to initiate the drift
- Accelerating too hard or too long
- Holding the e-brake too long
- Not looking where you want the car to go (track vision)
You will spinout, and so do the pros. The challenge is part of the fun. Then, at some point, a skill will suddenly appear. You will get it, like riding a bike. And it feels like you struck gold!
How can I prepare for my first-course day?
There are many YouTube videos on learning to drift for the first time, including a “Learning to Drift” class by our own pro, Josh Robinson. For new students, if you can close your eyes and visualize “clutch, turn, e-brake”, that may help you prepare for the first lesson. Once we get this down we’ll move on to throttle control, letting go of the wheel, track vision, and transitions. And then, depending on your course, you’ll learn clutch kick, feet, left foot braking, and more!
Do I need to tip my instructor?
If you’ve had fun and think your instructor did a great job it’s certainly a nice gesture but definitely isn’t required. We have noticed over the years a mysterious correlation between customers who tip and those that happen to get free merch on their departure :-)