Anyone Attend a Racing School? - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone Attend a Racing School?

Hi All,

My friends and I have been thinking about attending a class like Skip Barber or Bondurant and I am wondering if anyone has taken one of these and if so, what your impression was. None of us have any visions of being race car drivers, we just want to know how to take our cars and ourselves safely to the limits on track days. Most of what I know Iíve learned by experience or by listening to the ďold guysĒ back when I was a young buck. But now I think itís time for something more formal. These classes are pretty pricey, but if they are worth it Iím happy to spend it. May be overkill for our purposes. Unfortunately I canít find any more appropriate alternatives in the VA/MD area. I appreciate your thoughts.

1966 GT 2+2 - 347, Edelbrock carb, Tremec TKO 600 5 speed, 9Ē rear and a bunch of other cool stuff.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:17 PM
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Yes. I've been to a couple. I was racing and it helped shorten the learning curve. If you're going to do track days it will help. And it's hella fun. Skippy isn't what it was back in the day. They went bankrupt at one point and was bought out. These days I'd go to Bondurant. You'll be whooped after a few days. If you do a four day they put you in a formula car (Mazda IIRC) on the last day. It's in a good part of the valley at Wild Horse motorsport park in Chandler. We used to stay down that way when we went to Techshop. You'll probably too beat to to do much at night but I'll bet you'll have the time of your life.
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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-12-2019, 11:52 PM
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One guy in my club was in to it, and now he has several more hooked. They mainly go to a type of track day with instructors. They use their car, and can arrange for a professional instructor to ride with them. The instructor takes them to a certain level and then lets them practice by themselves in the car. Other cars are on the track, but very strict rules on passing and such. Cars are on the track grouped by experience. I think most of the time (in Calif) it is done by different sports car organizations.
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 05:01 AM
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I took the three day Skip Barber course some decades ago. It was the best
experience ever! in a car. The class consisted of everyone from an Indian who
lived on a Reservation and was an avid Road & Track reader who just wanted to
experience the thrill of a racing car to a few who wanted to go IMSA racing later
in life.

If you think about it, these are skills that would, and should, transfer to everyday
driving, not just racing. When the class began, I didn't know what I didn't know.
After three days, which is really just the beginning, I knew what I didn't know and
wanted to keep the vertical learning curve going :-)

Greg Z.
'66 GT
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 09:15 AM
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I took a driving class at Bertil Roos Racing. This was a few years ago, so they've been around a while, and actually took their 3 day course a couple of times over the years since it was so great.

From looking at their website it looks like they have added more cars and locations. They also have drive-your -own car sessions.

Well worth the money for someone wanting to get into racing or just have the experience of race driving. At the time I went, they didnt have any rev limits or pace cars which some places do. So, it was just go as fast as you feel comfortable!

https://racenow.com/about-the-school/
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:04 AM
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Haven't gone yet, but I know Bondurant personally...... that should count for something.
Seriously, you'll get a lot out of this type of experience. It humbles the guy who thinks he
knows from experience and elevates the literally "unskilled."
My grandson and I are going to do Bondurant later this year. He needs 6 months on his brand
new license before being able to take their advance teen driving. I'm looking at the executive protection
course myself.

ex-Global West GM
1991-1995
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 11:39 AM
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I also did Bertil Roos at Pocono many moons ago. I definitely picked up some techniques I may have never figured out on my own.
GT, that's cool you're taking your grandson. If you can swing it, it's best to get training while you're young, before developing bad habits that have to be unlearned !

'65 A-code coupe, T-10 4-speed, 8" 3.25 limited slip
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 03:10 PM
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I did one of the 10 lap NASCAR courses years ago at TX Motor Speedway. They give you a couple hour classroom instruction and then you go out in a NASCAR with an instructor in a makeshift passenger seat and do the laps with other cars out there on the track. The NASCAR was so different from a regular car, to me, the skills didn't really seem transferable.
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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 07:47 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice. Weíve been leaning towards the Skip Barber class in Connecticut. Mostly because itís at Limerock and well, who wouldnít want to drive there. Laguna Seca would be my first choice, but itís too far. One more question, for those that did these classes, did you all take the insurance coverage? Skipís is $300 a day, which seems pretty steep. Bondurant is $100 I think. Was also looking at the Ford Performance school. I know it will be a ton of fun, but just wanted to make sure it wasnít overkill for my purposes.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 08:42 PM
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Lime Rock is great. You'll have a blast. Laguna is good too particularly on the first day when they take you down the corkscrew in a 15 passenger van at 50-60 mph on entry. On every race ride I've rented I got insurance when it was available. I've only totaled one vehicle. It was a shifter kart and cost me about $4k for the chassis and that was at cost. You probably won't wad up a school car, they keep a pretty tight reign on you. You'll have to consider what your chances are of putting the car into the fence.

IIRC if you buy a GT or Raptor Ford will comp you the performance school no charge. Such a deal...
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:37 PM
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If you have Hagerty insurance for anything I think there is a discount for the Bondurant school
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegasloki View Post
Lime Rock is great. You'll have a blast. Laguna is good too particularly on the first day when they take you down the corkscrew in a 15 passenger van at 50-60 mph on entry. On every race ride I've rented I got insurance when it was available. I've only totaled one vehicle. It was a shifter kart and cost me about $4k for the chassis and that was at cost. You probably won't wad up a school car, they keep a pretty tight reign on you. You'll have to consider what your chances are of putting the car into the fence.

IIRC if you buy a GT or Raptor Ford will comp you the performance school no charge. Such a deal...
Ouch! That was an expensive outing. I figure I will at least get the coverage for the second and third days, I can’t imagine crashing on the first day.

I was recently tempted to trade the ‘66 for an ‘18 GT350 but my wife was having none of it. She loves the ‘66 and I realized while the GT350 is an amazing car, it’s just not the experience I and my family want with our “toy”.

Since you’re in Vegas, have you ever looked into Ron Fellows?

1966 GT 2+2 - 347, Edelbrock carb, Tremec TKO 600 5 speed, 9Ē rear and a bunch of other cool stuff.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-13-2019, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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If you have Hagerty insurance for anything I think there is a discount for the Bondurant school
Thatís good to know, thank you. While I do not have Hagerty, my buddy does.

1966 GT 2+2 - 347, Edelbrock carb, Tremec TKO 600 5 speed, 9Ē rear and a bunch of other cool stuff.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 07:11 PM
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I've done several schools, mostly with Hooked On Driving. You use your own car so the skills ARE transferable. Highly recommend going...but be forewarned: you'll be hooked into a rather expensive hobby. :-)


Also, if you purchase a new ST or RS, Ford pays for one driver at their racing school in Utah. If you bought a Focus or Fiesta ST, you drive both of those on the track (Miller Motorsports). They also have the same program for the GT350/GT500 IIRC.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 05-14-2019, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Quicksilver66 View Post
Since youíre in Vegas, have you ever looked into Ron Fellows?
I've been out to Spring Mountain several times. When I was racing shifters they let us race and practice on what was then the west course. There was one good wreck with a bit of injuries and they quit allowing kart racing. I haven't been on track in Ron's Corvette program but I've seen it out there a few times. It looks well attended. The facility is top notch. When it first opened it was bare bones but now they've built it into quite the place. There are also a couple of places in town (Spring Mountain is about 45 mins- 1 hr west) that allow you to drive an exotic with a "coach" but it's really not a school. Ron's school is the real deal.
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