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Driving School

Discussion in 'California (Southern)' started by jdb, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. jdb

    jdb Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    273
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Jeremy
    Where can I go to have someone teach me to drive / control my car at high speeds? I've been to a couple track events, but never really got instruction. Any suggestions? Is something like Skip Barber my best bet, or are there Ferrari-specific driving schools?
     
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  3. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    Jordan Witherspoon
    Ive heard a lot of good things about Skip Barber. Im saving up my pennies so I can go next year during spring break or something :)

    Also, FX performance (an Fchat sponsor) runs driving courses and depending on which class you take, you get some instruction and track time in a 360 challenge! For the level of instruction and experience you get, their prices are very reasonable!
     
  4. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ
    BANNED

    Aug 3, 2002
    40,647
    California
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    i've also heard good things about Skip Barber... FX Performance sounds like a cool deal, Jordan... Are you going to use them, too...?
     
  5. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
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    Jordan Witherspoon
    I dont know if I will...Im not sure if FX has an age requirement. That might be a problem. After what happened at the last track day I was at Im a bit nervous...the poor student spun in a turn and crashed the 360. Not sure if I could handle a 360 challenge just yet, and I know I couldnt afford to fix one! Skip Barber just seems like a better school to start from the beginning with. Then I can move on to doing some real driving with FX :)
     
  6. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
    The 4 day Grand Prix course at Bondurant is awesome...not as flashy as Skip & Laguna Seca, but you REALLY learn and practice the fundamentals. The first couple days are frustrating, and the last two will be the best of your life.

    Jordan - check out Jim Hall cart racing school in Ventura...it's where I started...cheap, a blast, and you learn the basics!
     
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  8. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
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    Jordan Witherspoon
    Awesome Chris, got any more information for me? A website or a phone number? I need soemthing cheap and basic :)
     
  9. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    Let me know Jordan - Maybe we can go together! :)
     
  10. jordan747_400

    jordan747_400 F1 Veteran
    Lifetime Rossa

    Dec 9, 2002
    6,926
    Houston, TX
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    Jordan Witherspoon
    Sounds like fun to me!
     
  11. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    In terms of institutional orgs. the skip barber school is the most well known,and the most diverse (geographically). Also, skip can cater to those that have more "racing" in mind than just high performance driving. A lot of people have used the bob bondurant as well as the bragg-smith schools, and have all given back a lot of feedback. The cost will vary between schools, so do your shopping.
    Another more "informal" way of getting started is to attend an hpde (high performance driver education) event with your local NASA chapter -- it's a fraction of the cost of a "pro school" and there's classroom time, braking drills, slaloms, etc all allowing you to begin to get more comfortable driving your car at speed, and how to drive it correctly ; i.e., heel/toe, seat position, hand positions, looking through turns, etc etc etc
    The you also have the option of signing up with one of the open track organizations (i.e., tracquest.com, speedventures.net, the racerfactory.com, etc) and sign on to have an instructor for the day. That person will coach you throughout the day, and help you progress in a more casual environment. These instructors are usually people who have been tracking/racing for years, have formal training etc.
    As you can see there's a spectrum of choices; I suggest you attend a couple events, as a spectator, and see what you think. Talk to the people in the paddock, see what their experiences have been , ect. Everyone is very personable (usually) and more than happy to talk your ear off, er, "advise" you with their "racing history."
    For reference, I'll be at laguna seca on the 2nd of january and will be there helping out with some instruction with the speedventures group. If you're in the area, contact me offline and i'll forward you my cell #.
     
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  13. Chiaro_Slag

    Chiaro_Slag F1 Veteran

    Oct 31, 2003
    7,731
    CA
    Full Name:
    Jerry
    What do you think Jordan - Laguna sounds like fun - Could be a good reason for me to take a day off from work! :)
     
  14. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
  15. jdb

    jdb Formula Junior

    Nov 16, 2003
    273
    Northern California
    Full Name:
    Jeremy
    Thanks -- this is all very helpful!

    Is the FX instruction meant for people with a fair amount of experience, or can they cater their instruction to a beginner like me? Also, roughly how much does FX charge?

    I am planning to take a week off in '04 to attend a driving school or schools. The other thing I've considered is the BMW M School in South Carolina -- is that good, or not worth the time and trip given the alternatives?
     
  16. EHKim

    EHKim Karting

    Dec 17, 2003
    72
    Socal
    I have taken the Skip Barber Advanced Driving course as well as the 3 day Racing school. I highly recommend Skip Barber for any driver/racing school. They are very well organized , courteous, and very professional. The instructors are all former or current racer car drivers.

    The Advanced Driving course, I took about 10 years ago. At that time they used 3 series BMW's. It is a good beginner course to learn about vehicle dynamics and how to control the car in different situations. The participants were from various backgrounds who wanted to learn how to drive better.

    The Racing School is what I would recommend especially if you have track driving experience. It is taught in open wheel single seater. The racecar had a Dodge Neon 4 cylinder engine but it is plenty quick and has racecar dynamics. You learn about racecar driving with a lot of seat time which I think is the most important. The speed is self governed by the students, even thought the sintructors do tell you the maximum RPM allowed and the top gear that can be used for each exercise.

    I would also highly recommend the Skip Barber's book-
    Going Faster: Mastering the Art of Race Driving: The Skip Barber Racing School
     

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