Dirtfish’s media manager Trevor Wert stands against a wall of suits worn by professional Dirtfish racers. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

Dirtfish’s media manager Trevor Wert stands against a wall of suits worn by professional Dirtfish racers. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

SPOTLIGHT 2019: Dirtfish teaches you how to drive the rally way

Drivers range from age 15 to 80-something.

The Dirtfish Rally School is not your typical driving school. The instructors don’t teach students how to parallel park or make a three-point-turn; instead, trained instructors show them how to drift around corners and get in-sync with their car under the worst driving conditions.

Dirtfish was founded in June 2010, when Snoqualmie Mill Ventures purchased the Weyerhaeuser Saw Mill site and the surrounding property, and began transforming the location into a site for rally car racing. In total, the property is about 315 acres. Today, Dirtfish equips its students with practical car knowledge and car control, allowing them to take the lessons they learn on the track with them into the real world.

“We teach advanced techniques to make people safer drivers,” said Trevor Wert, media manager at Dirtfish. Wert has worked at Dirtfish for more than four years, joining up with the company in the middle of 2014.

The business model appears to be working. Wert said that their business has been increasing each year, with most days in early 2019 already booked in advance.

Dirtfish employs 15 professionally trained instructors to give students practical training under the tutelage of an expert. Dirtfish also has its own shop repair staff who maintain their fleet of Subaru rally vehicles on a daily basis.

Dirtfish primarily focuses on teaching the basics of good car control, but they also have a flair for competition. To start competing in rally races, Dirtfish Motorsports was formed as an extension of the Dirtfish brand. Dirtfish Motorsports sends drivers to races across Washington state, and even competed in the 2017 Red Bull Global Rallycross in Seattle.

The company does more than teach students and participate in races. Dirtfish regularly puts on community events free of charge, like Summerfest or the Thrill Ride event during the fall season. During Summerfest, attendees can enjoy racing, a car show and refreshments for no charge, and the Thrill Ride later in the year provides a Halloween-themed

“We have this property, and we want to use it, we want to invite people here,” Wert said. “We just want to show people a good time.”

Beyond events, Dirtfish gives back to the community through donations to charity. They have four designated charities they give to, including Seattle Humane, Encompass, Pushing Boundaries and Conservation Northwest. Wert said that each of the local charities mean a lot to the company.

“We do a lot of fundraising,” Wert said.

Dirtfish isn’t only for kids looking to test out a cool rally car either. Their attention to giving students a healthy dose of practical experience behind the wheel with different driving programs for any kind of student.

“Everyone should experience it, and everyone can do it,” Wert said. “We let people come in at 15 with a permit, and our oldest customer is in her 80s. We can cater to anybody.”

Dirtfish is located at 7001 396th Drive SE in Snoqualmie, and can be contacted at (866) 285-1332.

Dirtfish teaches each of its students behind the wheel of a Subaru that’s been modified by Dirtfish’s own shop crew. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

Dirtfish teaches each of its students behind the wheel of a Subaru that’s been modified by Dirtfish’s own shop crew. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

Dirtfish teaches each of its students behind the wheel of a Subaru that’s been modified by Dirtfish’s own shop crew. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

Dirtfish teaches each of its students behind the wheel of a Subaru that’s been modified by Dirtfish’s own shop crew. Drew Stuart/ Staff Photo

More in Life

Photo by Nityia Photography
Three simple rules for the holiday

A monthly column about mindfulness.

Santa waves to the crowd as Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson leads the crowd in an acapella version of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” during the annual Winter Lights on Dec. 7. Corey Morris/staff photo
Santa Claus came to town

Photos from the 2019 Winter Lights celebration in Snoqualmie.

Erin Wakefield
Recognizing the value of veterans

A monthly column from Waste Management.

The Island’s third Pumpkin Walk is set for Oct. 27 at Luther Burbank Park. Photo courtesy of Amanda Colburn
Eastside Halloween roundup

Family-friendly seasonal events throughout the Eastside.

Raffle proceeds to benefit family of veteran who died in crane collapse

This year’s Mother Brundage raffle will benefit Andrew Yoder’s family.

Chamber proposes website to boost tourism in Valley

Three-phase project is called Gateway to the Cascades.

The Nightmare at Beaver Lake runs through Oct. 31. Take a scary stroll through Beaver Lake Park, 2600 244th Ave. SE, Sammamish. Courtesy image
Nightmare at Beaver Lake continues through Oct. 31

The Nightmare at Beaver Lake is back. Experience one of the Northwest’s… Continue reading

What happiness, etiquette, mindfulness have in common

A monthly column about mindfulness and mental wellbeing.

Photos by Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo
                                Greg Giuliani outside of his home, ready to press apples for the season.
Cider making is in season

Fall City native discusses his passion for apples.

The Refuge Outdoor Festival returns for a second year to Tolt-MacDonald Park, Sept. 27-29. Photo courtesy of Sally Phnouk
Refuge Outdoor Festival returns for a second year

The festival will take place at Tolt-MacDonald Park in Carnation, Sept. 27-29.

Libraries are welcoming spaces for everyone | Book Nook

A monthly column from the King County Library System.