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What driving schools have you done / recommend?

I like driving schools...I've found it really useful to drive different cars / different tracks / get instruction from as many knowledgeable folks as possible.

I'm looking into what to do next year any looking for input from others. What schools have you been to that you think highly of?

One of the schools that intrigues me is the DirtFish Rally School in WA (http://www.dirtfish.com/courses/info/3-day-advanced-rally-techniques/ )...anyone done that?

I'm thinking of getting up there for their 3-day class this coming summer...and I have one close-to-free day at Skippy (Skip Barber) to take advantage of...open lapping day in their formula cars at LS is always a kick (noting like the pinnacle of 1970's race car technology, as they call it, to tune your skills...no ABS for starters, and it feels like your ass is about 2 inches off the ground!)...or their advanced car control classes are good tune-ups.

I'd love to get out to Spring Mountain and drive their radicals...or Spears Point / Jim Russell to drive their formula cars...have a neighbor / long-time racer who did a one-day in the Russell formula cars last year and he had great things to say about that day...though it was a very controlled / conga-line kind of approach even for very experienced drivers like him...they're very potent cars and SP leaves little room for error. Anyone done a spring mountain / radical class?

for reference I've been to Bondurant (way back when they were at Sears Point...and in Phoenix...those were incentive trips I won when I was working at Ford and Bondurant / Ford were still working together - mostly car control / hi-po driving classes), 3 day racing school & 2 day advanced racing school (all five days in the formula cars) & car control clinics at Skippy, and T/A with a second day in the FR500s. I've also had passenger coaches at various open track days.
 
That looks like fun but I'd rather do the Raptor school or a desert racing school first. I wanna jump a 5,000 lb trophy truck! :D

BTW I fixed the link for you.
 
raptor school looks fun...do a day in the raptor / day in the fr500s again. that way you'd get to eat at the Red Iguana twice too ;-) I'm jones'ing for that pumpkin mile.
 
1,255
2
GA
The Performance Driving School put on by the Carolina Regional Mustang Club at Carolina Motorsports Park in Kershaw, SC the first weekend of June each year. You get a good amount of track time and the instructors are usually great (a lot are from the PCA and NASA).

http://ponytales.org/events/performance-driving-school.html
 
The only two I have any experience at are Miller (track attack + FR500) and Bondurant when I was 16 (11 years ago). I liked Bondurant better but I also didn't know anything then and was not under the constraints of a ford sponsored program. IMHO, buy a shifter kart for the money and go race that. I learned more from shifter karts than anything else.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
I've been to Bondurant, some SCCA sponsored schools at Willow Springs and track attack.

Been meaning to get some instruction from more experienced drivers at HDPEs...but honestly I think I prefer instruction in school cars over my own.

I want to do Barber/LS in the next year or two.


bolecailey said:
The only two I have any experience at are Miller (track attack + FR500) and Bondurant when I was 16 (11 years ago). I liked Bondurant better but I also didn't know anything then and was not under the constraints of a ford sponsored program. IMHO, buy a shifter kart for the money and go race that. I learned more from shifter karts than anything else.

Dang! Where have you been, Cole? I was wondering if you still had the Boss...
 
I'd recommend Spring Mountain. It's a very well run school and you get a lot of track time. I was there about 4 years ago and they've since expanded the track again. It's a very nice setting.....like a country club.....pool, fitness center, great clubhouse and food. The track is in impeccable condition and there is more elevation change than any other track I've driven. I'm planning to go back this winter sometime. The only downside is you have to drive a Corvette ;)
 
Grant 302 said:
Forgot to mention...there's a school at Chuckwalla and they're using '13 GTs:

http://goracecvr.com/the-academy/
Wow thanks for posting that Grant! We almost booked tickets to Palm Springs last week but decided a whole week of golf was too much. Instead the wife bought two 50 yard line tickets at Lambeau for the game against the Lions in a couple weeks. Now Palm Springs is back on the map. Looks like the CVR rental and a coach for the day might be the way to go.
 
cloud9 said:
I'd recommend Spring Mountain. It's a very well run school and you get a lot of track time. I was there about 4 years ago and they've since expanded the track again. It's a very nice setting.....like a country club.....pool, fitness center, great clubhouse and food. The track is in impeccable condition and there is more elevation change than any other track I've driven. I'm planning to go back this winter sometime. The only downside is you have to drive a Corvette ;)

I'd love to drive Spring Mountain...but I want to do it in the radicals...

http://www.springmountainmotorsports.com/driving-schools/radical-racing-schools

it's costly...and given that it's set up for all skill levels, I suspect amount if track time would be less-than-desired.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
cloud9 said:
Grant 302 said:
Forgot to mention...there's a school at Chuckwalla and they're using '13 GTs:

http://goracecvr.com/the-academy/
Wow thanks for posting that Grant! We almost booked tickets to Palm Springs last week but decided a whole week of golf was too much. Instead the wife bought two 50 yard line tickets at Lambeau for the game against the Lions in a couple weeks. Now Palm Springs is back on the map. Looks like the CVR rental and a coach for the day might be the way to go.

Glad to help 'the pioneer'...at least once since I've been here! :)
 
Grant 302 said:
cloud9 said:
Grant 302 said:
Forgot to mention...there's a school at Chuckwalla and they're using '13 GTs:

http://goracecvr.com/the-academy/
Wow thanks for posting that Grant! We almost booked tickets to Palm Springs last week but decided a whole week of golf was too much. Instead the wife bought two 50 yard line tickets at Lambeau for the game against the Lions in a couple weeks. Now Palm Springs is back on the map. Looks like the CVR rental and a coach for the day might be the way to go.

Glad to help 'the pioneer'...at least once since I've been here! :)
Well Rick and I are signed up for two days at Chuckwalla. We're going to have a private coach on Day 1 to teach some advanced skills, and then just rent their GTs and have open track time on Day 2. They have 5 rental cars (these aren't your run of the mill Avis beaters ;)) so if anyone wants to meet us there it should be a blast! We're going February 18th and 19th if you can make it. It would be great to get five of us there. The best part is you get to thrash on someone else's Stang for a couple days :D
 
cloud9 said:
Grant 302 said:
cloud9 said:
Grant 302 said:
Forgot to mention...there's a school at Chuckwalla and they're using '13 GTs:

http://goracecvr.com/the-academy/
Wow thanks for posting that Grant! We almost booked tickets to Palm Springs last week but decided a whole week of golf was too much. Instead the wife bought two 50 yard line tickets at Lambeau for the game against the Lions in a couple weeks. Now Palm Springs is back on the map. Looks like the CVR rental and a coach for the day might be the way to go.

Glad to help 'the pioneer'...at least once since I've been here! :)
Well Rick and I are signed up for two days at Chuckwalla. We're going to have a private coach on Day 1 to teach some advanced skills, and then just rent their GTs and have open track time on Day 2. They have 5 rental cars (these aren't your run of the mill Avis beaters ;)) so if anyone wants to meet us there it should be a blast! We're going February 18th and 19th if you can make it. It would be great to get five of us there. The best part is you get to thrash on someone else's Stang for a couple days :D
If I get back in time, I would be in.
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,763
4,303
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
Have done the schools at VIR ( Bertil Roos), Buttonwillow ( Bragg-Smith , who started Spring Mountain , but sold out ), Las Vegas ( Derek Daly ), Sebring and Road Atlanta ( Panoz ), Chandler ,AZ. ( Bondurant ), Mid America Motorplex ( Rotary Rockets ) and Miller Motorsports Park.

Of all these tracks I attended schools at, and the ones I helped instruct at in other places, I would recommend Miller over them all. The fact that they were taking the cars down to Chuckwalla during the cold months would rank up there high for me , even though I have not been there. Sounds like the new school there will likely be a riot too. Have chatted with some of the instructors and it is a fun, safe , technical track too, and the Mustangs, in both locations, are kept in absolutely top notch condition.

Be interesting to hear what Cloud 9 says as the school at Chuckwalla is new and I believe morphed from the concept of the Miller cars coming there , but there are tracks and schools I would not recommend at all -- though out of courtesy I won't list them here.

Go to Miller or Chuckwalla -- great instruction, great cars, tons of track time.

Have actually gone to over 10 actual schools, so happy to share any thoughts with anyone wanting to go , if they wish.

Bill Pemberton
[email protected]
1-800-889-1893
 

Bill Pemberton

0ld Ford Automotive Racing Terror
5,763
4,303
Exp. Type
W2W Racing
Exp. Level
20+ Years
Blair, Nebraska
I would really recommend going to a school where they allow alot of track time, and have super safe race courses. Good examples of those are Miller Motorsports Park, Spring Mountain, Chuckwalla. There are good schools at Sebring , Road America, Road Atlanta, etc. , but many are Formula Car based or possibly Miata. Don't get me wrong , they are good learning tools , but I really like the tracks/schools that are sedan or big V8 based as it lends itself towards teaching the basics that are more adaptable to your car.

If you take your car look into HPDE events with NASA or SCCA at Heartland Park Topeka, Mid America Motorplex, Autobahn, and Putnam Park.

You can get good instruction at some of those events, but if you want the Full Monty, save up your dough and go to Miller or a school with cars similar to the Boss that can easily translate the methodology.

There are certain tracks I did not list as I really don't find either their track or their instruction to be at the top of the heap. To be circumspect and tactful, feel free to call me if you want to know the ones I would not recommend.

Bill Pemberton
[email protected]
1-800-889-1893
 
Hey, late notice but in case someone's interested....

I just got a call from DirtFish rally racing school up in Squamish WA and they had two last-minute cancellations on their 3-day class next week. They're running a 25% off promotion this month which brings the price down to a slightly more reasonable $2,400...and they do $100/day insurance with no deductible / no limit (which is a great deal). I took one of the spots but they're still looking to fill the other spot. It looks like a great school / facility and a nice way to round out driving skills for people like me who've only really ever done road course stuff.
 

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