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best one or two day performance dring class.

Guys- I am looking for a good one or two day high performance driving class, With a fair amount of track time. I would also like to use their cars. Please tell me your experiences.

Thanks
 

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You're probably looking at a Skip Barber class. The autoX classes I've seen require you to provide your own car, which I think is great. I wat to learn to drive MY car... :)
 

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I've done a one-day Russell Racing (now ESPN Racing?) in my own car -- their "high performance driving school," and it was a huge waste of money. Extremely costly, very little seat time, too much chalk talk, and the basic over-riding feeling was, "let's put these novices on a race track, make them feel special, and make sure no one gets hurt." To give you and idea of how bad it was, it was my first experience on a race track ever, and I was driving solo! Playing lead and follow behind a student who had an instructor with him. And now, looking back, I know the instruction wasn't geared to making me a faster/better driver, it was geared toward giving me a false sense of accomplishment.

I've heard from others that the Skip Barber school is similarly of little value.

Just one caveat about the above, however: Both organizations' racing schools are supposed to be the polar opposite, experience-wise -- that if you already have significant experience, Russel and Skip Barber can be a lot of help.

Without a doubt, the way to get started is to join a strong club school: a BMW CCA school, and SCCA school... have also heard good things about Driving Concepts and NASA schools.
 

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I thought Derek Daly was nice. I did a three day a few years back, but they may have a two day. Telemetry was a nice feature -- helps you review specifics in comparison to instructors' laps
 

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Lotus Drivers Training at Hethel in an Elise, what can compare :bow:

Flights are not too expensive and the experience is priceless :clap:
 

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I did the Spring Mountain Advanced Driving School (parhump, VV - about 50 minutes from Las Vegas) a few weeks ago and felt it was excellent. I particularly appreciated the consistent and repeated work on *technique*, not just "here's our track -- go drive around."

For example, we worked on brake lockup conditions and recovery, inducing oversteer vs. understeer and how to recover from each, heel-and-toe downshifting and so on. Over a period of two days, there was a *ton* of useful, applied car control theory and practice, and the third day was used to put it all together on the track. Further, the instructors were not hesitant to let you exceed the car's limits in a controlled environment so that you could actually experience and learn from these situations. Best of all - they provided the cars - Z06 corvettes.
 

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If they handed-out degrees for driving schools, I'd have a PhD by now...

One of the perks of working in automotive publishing is the rare opportunity to try out a new school. I went through the entire Skip Barber Racing School, the Bondurant 4-day GP course, the Bobby Ore School of Theatrical Stunt Driving and the Jim Hall Karting School (in that order).

If I were to do it all over again, I'd choose Bondurant for the first school, then Skip Barber. The Bondurant program has a much more friendly learning curve than Skippy School and also gets you more into performance driving than racing. The only thing I thought was lacking was their attention to heel-toe shifting.

Skip Barber is much more intense but just as much fun! They toss you into the racecars immediately but you learn a ton - sometimes a bit overwhelming. Many of the instructors work at both schools, so the level of professionalism is about the same.

If you really want to learn car control, go to Bobby Ore! There's nothing like learning how to slide a car sideways into a tiny parking space! Plus it's about a third of the price as the other schools. Bobby is a bit of a drill-instructor so be prepared to take some yelling and abuse. Do everything he says and you'll be fine.

I'd avoid the club events with instructors. While they have the best intentions, they cannot give you the attention you need - plus, they're itching to hit the track just like everyone else.

Definitely avoid the NASCAR schools. They're little more than glorified thrill rides with little or no useful information for the brilliant Elise.
 

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Driving Shools

I've been track driving for three years. Of all the places and programs (Derek Daley, NASA, GGLC, Trackmasters, etc)I have ever been in, Driving Concepts is by far the best. I just returned from Willow Springs where my instuctor had driven for Ferrari, run two Le Mans for Jaguar, and run most USA pro racing circuits. And he is typical. These folk give the most info in the shortest time that I have seen, classroom and track.
 

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A vote for Panoz and Road Atlanta

The best driving/racing school I have been to has been the Panoz school at Road Atlanta. Great track, great instruction, lots of seat time.

I have done a fair amount with Skip Barber (Lime Rock) and the instruction leans towards the detailed and theoretical. Not only how to drive better but the whys. Skip's approach always seems a bit conservative and there is less seat time. The way their junior formula Dodges drive/handle reminds me of the Elise and I like that. The quality of the instruction is consistent and high. What I don't like about Skip, and this is a biggie, is they are overpriced. Even figuring in airfare and accommodations most of the other schools offer far better value.

My experience with the BMW club school has been varied. They run safe, controled, fun events but the quality of the instructors varies widely - as you'd expect.

I'd recommend a two day class. One day is lots of fun but I think most of the learning and improvement happens after the first day.

Excellent question by the way. I am interested to read what Lotus driver's experience has been.
 

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I'd suggest calling Fox Valley Motor Car at 630-231-3400 and talking to Bill Nuccio, Jr. They have put on one very successful event using their own Lotus cars and will be doing another in the fall. They flew the professional drivers/instructors in from europe and they train you to drive a Lotus. I assume that's what you are looking for. The cost was reasonable. It's the only such event I know of right now although Lotus had announced something a while back (i.e. add 2 years+ to whatever they say and another $5,000.)

FVMC is in Chicago and the track they use is also near Chicago.
 

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I too was looking to get some experience behind the elise before or after I picked mine up. But Fox Sports is $6000. I mean DAMN.. that's a lot of cash.. It IS 5 days though... so I guess that's why.

I think I would be ok with just a 2 or 3 day event NOT in the elise for $2000 or so in a different car being I will NOT be tracking my elise THAT often.

Thanks for all the comments though and it's all good to know.
 

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Beaver Run (beaverun.com) in Pittsburgh has several. It's a bit of a drive out here but the track is awesome and they have several different classes and schools available.
 

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I haven't gone to any schools in the US but have heard great things about Skip Barber. My wife and I just got back from Hethel. We both did the course. A great experience! Almost all track time. You drive an Elise (its right hand drive) and learn more about how you will perform in your car without the risk. The instructors are experienced and very patient. You drive in "teams" of about four and learn from one another as well as the instructor. All instructors have excellent experience from F1 driving to people that actually designed the Elise.

The first part of the day was skills training and the second hot laps on the full course with an instructor in the car at all times. They let you drive to your limits offering real time advice on how to be better. The last part of the day an instructor takes you around for hot laps to show you what the car can really do. Almost the best part of the day!!! We did the one day but there is a two day advanced training with more track time in August I think. I won't get back for that one but I intend to go back for additional training. If you can swing it I highly recommend it. Everyone: instructors, track managers, and strudents were great.

Also, LOA is having a track day I think on the 9th at Road Atlanta. I don't know how much instruction will be given but there is another opportunity to get track time.
 

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"I've heard from others that the Skip Barber school is similarly of little value. "

I'd disagree 100% with that. I've done Skippy's 3-day Racing and 2-day Advanced Racing Schools. I have not done their performance Driving School, however. The racing schools were excellent. I got so much seat time in the 3-day school, I actually got tired! It was a small class, so that may have been a factor. I thought the mix of classroom and seat time was about perfect. The instructors were outstanding. I had a blast and learned TONS. As was said above, I agree that the Formula Dodge is probably the closest 4-wheeled vehicle to the Elise in terms of handling.

Mike
 

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>>>Guys- I am looking for a good one or two day high performance driving class, With a fair amount of track time. I would also like to use their cars. Please tell me your experiences.Thanks<<<

What are your goals, intensions and desires here?
 

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Crudson-sign up for the Evolution class in August at Nassau Coliseum. I'm taking it too, driving up on AO48s or new AD07s and will take the class with them on. Also, Pat Salerno, an extremely skilled driver who has some experience with our Elise is teaching. Learn to drive in your high performance Elise! Here's the link: http://www.autox4u.com/evo/evo.htm
 

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Surferjer said:
Crudson-sign up for the Evolution class in August at Nassau Coliseum. I'm taking it too, driving up on AO48s or new AD07s and will take the class with them on. Also, Pat Salerno, an extremely skilled driver who has some experience with our Elise is teaching. Learn to drive in your high performance Elise! Here's the link: http://www.autox4u.com/evo/evo.htm
This sounds very interesting :up: I couldn't find a page on that site that explains exactly what the course entails though. I am being blind I am sure but could you direct me please?
 

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Here you go, Crudson:

http://autocross.com/evolution/

Click on Phase 1, which is on Sunday the 21st at this venue. I just noticed there's a class at Englishtown, too, but I'm committed to the Nassau one, besides I think Pat is the one to really help us in the Elise.
 

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Hey, Crudson-come down to Ripken Sunday and race or catch a ride with some of us. Be there by 11:30 to race, or 1 PM to ride or watch.
 
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