Ford to launch driver training program

Off-roading can be a beloved pastime, but before you become dedicated to the cause, you have to put in the effort to learn the ropes. While much of this knowledge will come from experience, as well as tinkering with truck mods, there are a few ways to speed up the process.

Ford recently got on board with this idea, and it will be taking it one step further in 2014. 

Learning the basics of off-road driving
Automobile magazine reported that Ford is planning to land an off-road driving course at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah. This lesson will give drivers an immersive experience, enabling them to learn the basics of off-roading from professional drivers. They will also be exposed to different types of terrain and truck mods, so as to see what best fits their style.

All of the driving will be done in the Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. While this automobile may lack some of the modifications you've made to your own off-road vehicle, it's still more than capable of handling the demanding course at Miller Motorsports Park. Ford has designated this as their prime off-road truck, so participants may even find some inspiration for future alterations with the state-of-the-art vehicle. Some of the changes made to make the Raptor more adept at the course include off-road wheels and tires, a locking rear differential, HID headlights, four-wheel drive and more. 

Drivers who want to take advantage of this opportunity can choose from several training packages. The smallest is simply hot laps with Ford drivers, while the next level is a three-hour experience that adds rock-crawling and another form of off-roading to the agenda. The most comprehensive class is a day-long experience that focuses on hot laps as well as time on all three of the park's off-road areas, according to the news source.

Take in the action at Miller Motorsports Park
If you have to condense the beginning stages of off-roading into one crash course, there are few locations better than Miller Motorsports Park. There are many different surfaces on which to learn, including eight acres dedicated to rock crawling, 22 acres for high-speed off-road driving and more than 900 acres set aside for desert racing.

The facility is frequently used for recreational purposes as well as for formal motorsports racing. The Lucas Oil Off-Road Racing Series returns to the park June 21, using the high-speed off-road short course as the home for the action. That event opens up the flood of happenings for the rest of the summer and fall, including motocross and motorcycle road races and even NASCAR events.

It will also continue to host the Boss Track Attack program. Much like the off-road training course, this experience lets drivers learn the ropes of handling the Ford Mustang Boss 302 sports car in a professional setting, Automobile magazine reported. 

"We are very excited about our 2014 schedule," said John Larson, general manager of Miller Performance. "We offer something for just about everyone with an interest in racing, from off-road trucks to motocross, road racing cars and motorcycles, and karting. We're coming off a great season in 2013, and we're looking forward to more of the same next year."

One of the promotions that will likely catch the eyes of off-road drivers is the Wide Open Wednesday program. Between the months of April and October, certain Wednesdays will be designated as public days. This is a unique opportunity for drivers to test out their truck modifications on a professional-level road racing course at a low price.