IMPA’s PREMIER LIVE EVENT
IMPA Test Days, an annual two-day fall program for members to drive the latest offerings of the auto/truck/motorcycle manufacturers on both street and track, is our most popular and coveted live event. It brings together automotive journalists with manufacturer and aftermarket executives to discuss and evaluate an array of cutting-edge products and technologies.
In most years, there has been a surprise for members. It may be a chance to drive a hot, new Corvette or Challenger that is on the verge of being revealed to the public. It could be a hot lap around the track with a professional race driver in a one-off Jaguar or an adrenalin-pumping spin through the course in a new Ford GT with an engineer who developed it.
As with other live programs, the pandemic has curtailed Test Days, but IMPA’s Board remains vigilant in returning to in-person events as soon as it becomes safe to do so. (In the meantime, individual journalists continue to test new models through the direct contact with manufacturers’ representatives and fleet managers, that is one of the many key benefits of IMPA membership.)
Regional Tracks and Road Courses
In the recent past, the program has been held in the fall at the Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, NY, and IMPA remains committed to engaging with the best regional tracks for future live events. Driving is limited to IMPA members, although there are tickets available for non-driving guests.
The fee – with tickets sold months in advance – has included two full days of driving, a breakfast, two lunches and a dinner with cocktails. A key benefit to membership is the individual cost for Test Days participation is a fraction of what one would spend for a single-track day elsewhere with a limited selection of vehicles. The low cost for members is thanks to the generosity of sponsors.
Driving, Good Conversation, Cocktails and Prize Drawings
On Day One, members put a wide variety of the latest cars and trucks through their paces by driving challenging back-road courses developed by skilled planners. There are usually off-road and motorcycle programs, as well as other product demonstrations and displays.
The first day concludes with cocktails and a banquet at an area resort. There is often an array of the most prized new models on display to be inspected while enjoying good cocktails and conversation.
Corporate sponsors generously provide branded merchandise for the members’ evening prize drawing and many give away items the next day at the track.
An Exhilarating Day Two at the Track
After the included breakfast, Day Two begins at the track, where members look for new models with a “T” on the windshield to indicated that they are ready for more than just a leisurely drive. Generally, balaclavas and loaner helmets are provided for members who do not bring their own. Professionals set up a challenging course to test each ride within safe boundaries. Expert drivers are available for new members who need track orientations.
Those who prefer a temporary break from the roar of the track have the option to once again drive the backroad or off-road courses or hop on a motorcycle.
And those who are hoping to get back to a fantastic pre-pandemic event like Test Days should know that the IMPA Board is on the case and monitoring the current situation.
A TYPICAL TEST DAYS AGENDA
First Day Minus One:
Manufacturer transporters may arrive at the venue.
Day One, Road and Off-Road Courses:
7:00 a.m. – Venue opens to accept cars
8:30 a.m. – Company representatives certify off-road vehicles for appropriate motor routes
9:00 a.m. — Registration opens at venue; selection of vintage cars begins to arrive for IMPA’s own special Concours
10:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. – Event /testing all day on series of planned road courses
11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Buffet lunch in venue clubhouse
4:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – Setup and vehicle preparation for Day Two at track venue
7:00 p.m. – Cocktail reception at area resort
8:00 p.m. – Dinner at area resort, IMPA spokespersons speak and Concours awards presented.
9:30 p.m. – Platinum Sponsor after-dinner party with cocktails outside venue main ballroom
Overnight – Track open for car preparation and setup.
Day Two, Track, Road and Off-Road Courses:
6:45 – 9:00 a.m. – Breakfast at resort for all IMPA attendees
7:00 a.m. – Venue paddock parking area setup for track day, place cars in designated areas
8:00 a.m. – Gate opens for members/registration
9:00 a.m. – Driver’s meeting in venue clubhouse
9:30 a.m. – Track opens for driving, on- and off-road testing continues
11:30-12:30 p.m. – Track closed during lunch (lunch continues through 2 p.m.), on- and off-road testing also closed; corner workers move to the head of the lunch line; members who bring their own vintage cars take a Concours parade lap before the track re-opens at 12:30
2:00 p.m. – Donated items distributed
4:00 p.m. – Driving ends