Mark Houlahan
Tech Editor, Mustang Monthly
May 25, 2017
Photos By: Paul Rocha

Over the years the Woodward Dream Cruise has spread out to many other activities leading up to the main Saturday cruise on Woodward. There are open houses at various shops, road rallies, and other events that all latch on to that huge Saturday event. For the past several years the Mohawk Track Experience has been one of the week’s events where you can get some speed thrills, driving instruction, or ride-alongs at one of Michigan’s premier track locales, Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Michigan. Paul Rocha handles the event logistics (the name of the event comes from his Mohawk haircut he proudly wears) producing the event through the non-profit Hoondog Performance Group, which Paul co-owns. Event proceeds benefit Make-a-Wish Michigan and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Gingerman’s 11-turn road course is challenging, but also perfect for the novice or first time track driver. The track features plenty of runoff area and limited barriers so that if an off-track excursion should happen there is little chance of damage.

Designed to accommodate everyone from first time track drivers to seasoned racers, the Mohawk Track Experience welcomes all vehicle owners for two days of road course action! The 2017 event is being held August 15 and 16, 2017. The cost is an amazingly low $160 a day, which includes a T-shirt and catered BBQ lunch! The cost is kept at such a point thanks to the event’s sponsors, which include Mustang Club of America, Ford Performance, Roush Performance, Gateway Classic Mustang, BFGoodrich, Classic Design Concepts, Boogie Barbeque & Catering, and the Shelby GT350 Club. Expect to see Roush Performance on-site offering up rides in Roush Mustangs and don’t be surprised if there are some Ford Performance staff tearing up Gingerman’s 2.14-mile 11-turn course. Of course with Gateway Classic Mustang on site you’ll surely witness Jason and Lonny Childress hitting the track in the GCM yellow track car or one of their Coyote-powered custom builds.

So if you’ve been considering a trip to Michigan for the Woodward Dream Cruise (and the MOCSEM Mustang Memories show on Sunday, August 20, 2017) why not make a week of the festivities and hit the Mohawk Track Experience too. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been on a road course before or what you’re driving, Paul Rocha and his crew will make you feel at home in a comfortable and safe driving environment.

The Mohawk Track Experience includes run group driver’s meetings/classroom instruction and basic track etiquette for the novices in the crowd. Here, Paul Rocha addresses the morning group.
While running the event keeps his hands full, Paul does find time to put a few laps on his 2016 Ford Shelby GT350R.