ALWAYS read the rules and regulations before signing up for any track event so there will be no surprises. The below information are generally accepted practices by most organizations running track events, but rules do vary Stack
In short, no, you do not need harnesses and a cage. Drivers education events should be just that, educational. As such, they are going to be structured around driver experience level and skill set. While almost all of them are high-speed, none of them should be competitive, and as such don't require racing safety equipment.
However, many organizations realize that there are still risks involved in any high-speed activity, no matter how hard they try to minimize those risks, so there may be factors that will require some of these extra safety items:
- Convertibles ... most organizations and tracks require that convertible vehicles have roll-over protection. Some venues and clubs stop at factory protection, others require more specialized equipment like a 4-point roll bar that allows for proper clearance over the driver and passenger's head. Most clubs do not consider a removable hard top a replacement for roll-over protection
- Harnesses generally are not required in a drivers education setting unless you are driving a convertible with the top down or hard top removed. This is to help keep you in the car in the event of a roll over. Many clubs also require the use of arm restraints in this same situation. Most clubs also require that if harnesses are used, they must be properly installed, which often necessitates seats specially designed or modified for harness use and structural harness bars to mount the shoulder straps properly.