View Full Version : Racing school recommendations?
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 02:21:39 AM
I am interested in taking a 3-5 day racing school course this August. Can anyone with first hand knowledge give me some ideas of where to go and what is the best value.
Preferably west of the Rockies please unless something special is available elsewhere.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 02:52:08 AM
I am attending this one. There is also Skip Barber but a friend of mine went here and loved it.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 05:06:52 AM
since you live in LA, I would highly recommend DerekDaly at Las Vegas. I did their 3 days formula school a few years ago (and Skip Barber's 2 days advance formula school a couple years ago too), I would say you'll learn the most from DerekDaly mainly due to the onboard STACK data system. plus it will be a nice vacation place to go too besides just driving.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 05:13:52 AM
I've taken the 4 day Grand prix racing course at Bondurant and it is great. August will be a killer in Arizona though, I took it near christmas and I was sweating in the helmet and driving suit but I think you get a discount for your discomfort.:D
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 05:16:49 AM
nah.... not as bad as most people thought.... I did mine in Aug. too! 120F at the track, 97F at midnight!! but you don't really feel that bad tho....... :tongue:
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 05:29:19 AM
I hate hot weather. That's why I signed up in the winter. Rather concentrate on the task than the heat plus the tires and brakes go off faster. I managed to blister a few tires in 60 degree weather. :D
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 06:20:43 AM
I can't really comment on any other schools except Skip Barber's.
Eleven years ago, I took their Advanced Driving School and most recently 2 years ago, I took their 3 day Racing School at Laguna Seca. From the two experiences, I can tell you that Skip Barber organization is first rate in every way.
Since you are interested in a racing school, I will comment only on the 3 day Racing School at Skip Barber.
The three day Racing School is available for anyone who is interested in learning to drive a race car, provided that one has a valid driver's license. The race car used is a Dodge Neon 4 cylinder powered open wheel "formula" car. 2/3 of the time is spent in the car driving around the track. 1/3 of the time is spent in the classroom where theory and instruction as well as feedback on your performance is provided.
The classroom instruction is quite comprehensive and can be overwhelming if one has never had any education on racing. I would suggest reading the book "Going Faster!" by Skip Barber prior to attending the school(The book is available at Amazon.com). If you have track driving experience and know some the racing and race car driving theory, this may not be so overwhelming.
The classroom teaching is done by the "chief" instructor. By the way, all the instructors are either former or current "pro" race car drivers. The "chief" instructor" that taught my school was quite knowledgeable, well-spoken and funny(important to keep you from falling asleep during class).
The in-car sessions are all done in the open wheel car I mentioned previously. The car is very responsive despite the small engine since it probably weighs about 1000 lbs. All the students are provided "racing suit", gloves and a helmet.
The students are put through a series of exercises. If I recall correctly, we did an autocross first, followed by threshold braking, braking and turning, following the instructor through the "racing line", passing, race start, etc.
After the first few exercises, we started to lap the Laguna Seca course. The instructors told us to limit the revs to a certain level but gradually increase the revs as the school progressed. At the end of the school, there is a race of sorts where each student is sent out on the course separated by 15 seconds or so doing about 5 laps around the course.
I highly recommend Skip Barber over other schools for several reasons.
1)Since you are in CA, Laguna Seca is an ideal location.
2)Skip Barber school is available at several locations around the country. so if you interested in a particular race track, you will be able to have an opportunity to drive using the Skip Barber school lapping days and car control clinics.
3)Skip Barber offers a number of advanced racing schools and race series if you are really interested in furthering your racing aspirations.
4)One of students went into a corner too hot during one of the sessions of the school. He oversteered and then spun into the armco - he was not injured but the cars front suspension was toast. He was not asked to pay for the damages.
Once you finish the school, you are eligible to obtain an SCCA racing license.
If you are interested and want to save money, Skip Barber allows a discount sign up at the Monterey Historic race at laguna Seca. I also saw them at Indianapolist during F1 race offering the discounted price.
I am not in any way affiliated with Skip Barber. I am just a happy customer. I highly recommend them.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 01:01:43 PM
Many thanks for all the kind replies.
August wouldnt have been my first choice but it's just how it worked out.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 02:06:57 PM
I think all three (Skip Barber, Bondurant, and Daly) are perhaps the best of the racing schools. I took the Skip Barber and had a blast. Also, if you do their advanced clinics you can enter the Barber series races....
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 06:33:08 PM
What kind of prices are we looking at with these Racing Schools?
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 06:35:20 PM
You can check their websites but for 3-4 days you are looking at $3000-$3800.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 06:40:04 PM
One thing to be aware of is that some schools limit your revs or speed and some you can to what you like but you pay for the car if you crash it. There is insurance but at Bondurant it's $150/ day with $6000 deductible. Also look at the type of cars they give you to drive. We used Preped C-5 vettes and formula fords.
Wed, Jun-30-2004, 07:20:15 PM
I am also a big fan of Skip Barber. I did the 3-day intro at Laguna Seca and the 2-day advanced at Mont Tremblant. I've also lapped with them at Daytona, Road America, and Watkins Glen. You just get a ton of feedback, and instructors will hop in cars and have you follow them, which really helped me with braking and tracking. And I think their policy is that if you wreck a car at the 3-day, it's on them. (After that, I think it's the cost of repairs or $4200, whichever is less.)