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Racing School advise please

Discussion in 'Other Off Topic Forum' started by F SPIDER, Dec 22, 2003.

  1. F SPIDER

    F SPIDER F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Jan 30, 2002
    2,873
    NYC, A'dam, W'stock
    Full Name:
    rijk rietveld
    I would like to take a three day (or so) racing school. Preferably, but not neccessary in Florida. Anybody with good experiences?

    It would probably the most relevant if I would drive in a front engined, RWD sportscar. I've seen Cobra, Viper and Panoz. Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    Rijk
     
  2. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    I've been researching this quite a bit, but my emphasis is to race, professionaly, so keep that in mind; nonetheless, there are some principles/opinions that'll apply ubiquitously.

    Firstly, however, do you want to simply become a better driver, or do you aspire to club race?

    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."
     
  3. F40

    F40 F1 Rookie

    Apr 16, 2003
    3,227
  4. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    5,308
    N.Richland Hills, Tx
    Full Name:
    James Dunne
    Agree on Bondurant.

    We referred all our clients from FOD and FOH to them. If you go to them say that you were referred by FOD and you just might get a slightly better car. The instructors know which cars run and handle the best.
     
  5. Entelechy

    Entelechy Formula Junior

    May 19, 2001
    712
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Chris Cummings
    I've done Bondurant's 4 day Grand Prix course and Panoz Road Atlanta's 3 day race school. Bondurant is excellent for mastering the basics and fundamentals. If you're already pretty up to speed, it's hard to beat Road Atlanta, although I would still love to drive Laguna Seca at Skippy's course :)

    Regards,
    ~Chris
     
  6. labcars

    labcars Formula 3

    Jan 22, 2003
    1,295
    Phila. + Scottsdale
    I've done Skip Barber, Jim Russell, and Panoz. IMHO, nothing beats Panoz for seat time, instruction, and venues (ya gotta love Sebring or Road Atlanta). Their lapping days opportunity and their fly and drive program are also unbeatable.
     
  7. Schatten

    Schatten F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Apr 3, 2001
    11,234
    Austin, TX
    Full Name:
    Randy
    Oddly enough, this is the exact opposite from what I've heard of the Panoz events. They might be different events, but at Texas Motor Speedway, they perform events for the tune of $250 a day. In that day, you get a pace car run through the course and then you are let go for the rest of the day. An instructor will comment on your driving from the corner or pit area IF he can remember your car and IF he knows that car exists out on the track.

    I hope there are better Panoz events than this. But this is what I've heard from a few of their HPDE's from several sources.

    I agree with the HPDE's. One other venue that hasn't been mentioned: Derek Daly. A few friends got together in CA, rounded up about 10 people and got a significant discount on a 3 day event. Open wheeled cars and tons of seat time.

    If you are out on the West Coast, or even Sebring will have an occassional event hosted by SpeedVentures (previously mentioned). Instruction is available and the event is timed, so you know where you improved, or rather, how you improved on a lap from a particular area. Being a timed event, I wouldn't recommend it to a first timer - or else you will just concentrate on time and not form and being smooth.
     
  8. BubblesQuah

    BubblesQuah F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 1, 2003
    10,473
    Charlotte
    You are talking about the "Track Days" events - which are exactly as you explained - they are not the Panoz racing school courses, which are a totally different thing and purpose.

    The track days are a great way to get a lot of seat time at their tracks - they are not really for instruction.
     
  9. Gilles27

    Gilles27 F1 World Champ

    Mar 16, 2002
    13,337
    Ex-Urbia
    Full Name:
    Jack
    Derek Daly's school is also a very good one. Only drawback is it only has one location. On a positive note, that one location is Vegas!
     

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