Just about anyone can drive a car, and most anyone can manage to drive a car fairly quickly on the street. But what if you are one of those crazy few who want to drive flat-out, usually sideways, down a dirt track, gravel road or snow-covered lake? What if you want to be a rally driver?

There are literally dozens of places that will teach you the finer arts of high performance track driving, but when the black-top ends, you are given far fewer choices to pursue a proper driver’s education. Thankfully we have Dirt Fish.

Dirt Fish Rally school is operated in part with Subaru and it can teach you the fine art of loose-surface car control with the aid of hands-on experience and well-qualified instructors. The school has classes for both AWD and RWD cars, and it is one of the best programs in the world when it comes to getting started in loose-surface racing. If you want to get your bearings before tackling a real track, the school has a simulator room with multiple racing chairs and wheel setups so you can practice playing Forza Horizon or Dirt 3 first.

If this sounds like the ride of your lifetime, we have collected all the information we can about the facility, cars, and classes offered by Dirt Fish, and we have them all here for you after the break.

Click past the jump to read more about the Dirt Fish Rally School.


The school itself is located in Snoqualmie, Washington; a tiny little town nestled at base of the mountains. It is a very accessible and central location, being only 35 miles, or so, from the Seattle airport, making it quick and easy for anyone who wants to fly in for classes. If you want to make a trip out of the entire event, there is a lot to see and do in the Snoqualmie area. Snoqualmie Falls, the Snoqualmie Pass summit, Woodinville Wine Country and more is all within a short drive of the school providing plenty of leisure activities after a day of flogging your rally car around the track.

Dirt Fish Rally School
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Dirt Fish Rally School
7001 396th Dr SE
Snoqualmie, Washington 98065

The cars

Subaru Impreza STI Sedan & Hatchback

Dirt Fish Rally School Exterior
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Having Subaru as a title sponsor for your school comes with a few pretty big perks. Chief of which is car selection. Dirt Fish uses a collection of Subaru Impreza STIs to provide its AWD instruction. The cars currently being used are the last-generation models, which means you get your choice of sedan or hatch. Since they are all STIs that also means that the only transmission offered is a six-speed manual. You need to know how to row-your-own if you hope to tackle this class.

Along with the six-speed tranny, and turbocharged, 300-horsepower, boxer engine, each car has been race prepped with full roll cages, racing brakes, rally suspension hardware, full belly pans, racing seats with five-point harnesses and a rally intercom system. Dirt Fish also fitted each STI with an engine tune and new exhaust for better power delivery, and the hand brake is a hydraulic unit for easy and epic slides.

That engine sitting under the hood may also be a traditional Subaru Boxer unit, but they are anything but stock. Considering these cars are prepped for full race duty, each and every unit is fitted with a race-built engine from Crawford Performance.

Subaru BRZ

2014 - 2015 Subaru BRZ High Resolution Exterior
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If you prefer to get wild and loose, Dirt Fish now offers RWD rally classes. Once again, thanks to the help of Subaru, Dirt Fish is using a fleet of prepped Subaru BRZs. Yes, you can flog the much loved Toyobaru coupe around a dirt course.

The Subaru BRZ for this course has been modified for safety with a full roll cage, racing seats and harnesses. There are skid plates and fire-suppression systems as well to keep things from getting to out of hand. The cars are using stock drivelines, so no turbo powered BRZ here, but new wheels and tires should make the most of the power available to you. Currently the cars are using stock suspension setups as well. We have reached out to DirtFish to inquire about all the changes and will update this article as that information comes in.

AWD Courses

This is the program that DirtFish built its name with. There are several courses that offer skills, training and driving experience with high-powered rally-prepped machines on loose surfaces. This is the heart and soul of modern rally racing.

Two Hour Taste of Rally - $430

This is the cheapest and most basic class offered by DirtFish. It is a two-part course that is split a 30-minute classroom section followed by 90 minutes on track. Students are split three to one car for this experience. You will learn things like weight transfer, throttle control and proper rally racing lines, but don’t expect to walk out of the classroom as an expert. This is more to give people a taste of what kind of experience you can have on gravel in a car. If you are unsure if you can handle the rigors of rally driving, this can be a cheap way to get started. With its sub-$500 price it can also make a great gift for any occasion.

Half Day Intro to Rally - $725

If you know you will want more than just a two-hour jaunt thorough the woods in a Subaru, but you don’t want to commit to a full class, the Half Day Intro class may be just the ticket. With just 30 minutes of class time and 3.5 hours of time on the track, you will get a plenty of wheel time. With only 2 students per car, this class offers a lot of seat time for not a lot of money. You still get to learn and practice some of the essential skills needed to succeed like left foot braking, proper lines, traction maximization and more. Considering the amount of time is more than doubled over the two-hour intro course, the $725 asking price for this seems like a good deal.

One Day Rally Fundamentals - $1,275

This is where things really start to get serious. With a cost of more than $1,000 and taking up a full-day, this is the class for anyone who really wants to learn about the art of rallying. The course is longer than the previous ones with more than an hour of classroom time throughout the day, as well as several hours on track. Once again you are split two drivers to one car. You get all the needed basic skills for rally driving, and plenty of time to practice them. You get to practice on small rally courses set up at the school to really hone in on your abilities.

Two Day Rally Essentials - $2,700

The One Day Fundamentals course is great place to get started, but the Two Day Essentials course drops a whole lot more information on top of students. Aside from just more seat time offered by two full days of class and driving, advanced techniques like hand-brake turns, pendulum turns, and trail braking are introduced. Multiple surfaces are also introduced in this class to really push the abilities of the students. It’s not cheap at $2,700 but you will be hard pressed to get this much knowledge and experience any other way.

Three Day Ultimate Rally Experience - $3,625

The three-day course is not called the Ultimate Rally Experience for effect. This course is fully accredited and takes students beyond the basics and essentials into true rally-driving territory. Beyond all the basic skills and advanced techniques that are gained over the one- and two-day courses, the three-day experience adds in real danger as you speed through tree-lined courses simulating real rally races. The addition of navigation via Pace Notes is also introduced in this class. This is the ultimate test, and experience, for all the newcomers to rally racing. It doesn’t get much more thorough than this.

Two Day Advanced AWD Rally Experience - $3,000

If you have already graduated from the Three Day Ultimate Experience and you really want to push your skills to the maximum, there is a Two Day Advanced class offered. You must have completed the three-day class to be eligible, but you get the experience of full-speed, full-course driving. The first day is a short refresher course followed up by a day of advanced techniques. You move into hand-braking while downshifting, linking corners, overlapping pedal inputs and processing pace notes. The second day is full of more practice and training, but you also get to experience the full training grounds of DirtFish on the Advanced Mill Run course. This is the ultimate preparation before going on to do full-fledged racing.

RWD Courses

As a new addition to the school, DirtFish is still working to adjust the perfect curriculum for the RWD class. Currently the course offerings are nearly identical to the AWD classes in time, type and price. Obviously there will be differing skills that will help you take advantage of the RWD platform when compared to the AWD teachings. The biggest differences in the two schools come at either extreme of the classroom schedule. The Two Hour Introductory course and the Two Day Advanced courses are only available for the AWD cars at this point in time.

Otherwise, here is the list of all RWD classes and their associated costs.

Half Day Intro to Rally RWD - $725

One Day Rally Fundamentals RWD $1,275

Two Day Rally Essentials RWD - $2,700

Three Day Ultimate Rally Experience RWD - $3,625

Simulator Room

Dirt Fish Rally School Interior
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Dirt Fish Rally School Interior
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Dirt Fish Rally School Interior
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If you want to experience some rally driving while staying clean, or if you want to kill some time between driving stints, there is a full simulation room at DirtFish. There is a collection of 8 professional gaming race seats from PlaySeats, and each is fitted with its own wheel and pedal setup, television, and gaming console. Half of the systems are loaded up with Forza Horizon for drivers looking to have fun, while the other half is set up with Dirt 3 for a more realistic rally practice session.

Video Gallery

To get a better idea of what kinds of experiences you can have at the DirtFIsh Rally School, we have collected a series of videos that covers the gaming simulation room, the new RWD classes, and even a day at the school with Subaru’s championship winning driver David Higgins.

DirtFish in Forza Horizon

RWD Promo Video

DirtFish Montage

1 Day class at DirtFish with David Higgins

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