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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone here taken any of the Skip Barber courses???

If so were they any good? I am reluctant to spend over 3K for the day racing school right off the bat. I wonder if the half day intro to racing or the full day combo class would be useful, or should I just go for the 3 day course????

Any info would be appreciated.....

http://skipbarber.com/racingschool/default.asp?sel=
 

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Haven't done Barber, but I thought Derek Daly was excellent. Data telemetry was very nice, and let you make direct comparisons with instructors turn-by-turn
 

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Another option

Join the BMWCCA for $35/year. You get a good BMW focused monthly magazine subscription (whoo hoo!) but more importantly you can partake of the 3 or more driving schools annually in your region through them. You can go to even more if you opt for a dual membership with another nearby BMWCCA region.

You do not have to drive a BMW car either, many come with their Corvettes, Porsches and everything else you can think of because the venues are great and the price is reasonable.

The price depends on the venue but I have taken a two day driving school at Mid-Ohio Raceway for $350 and another two day school at Nelson's Ledges for $200. This includes 3 half hour speed track sessions with an instructor each day, and classroom sessions on theory. Be aware that you will need to buy a helmet.

The good news is you get to drive your own car and discover what it can really do. The bad news is you get to drive your own car and potentially find out what happens when you exceed its limits.

EXTREMELY FUN and CHEAP. Best $550 I've ever spent and I got 4 full days of hands on high speed instruction. I hope to see some of you on the tracks next year!

Jim

http://www.bmwcca.org/
 

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went to the skippie racing school in Jan. 2002, as a bday gift to myself, if you call and get on the standby list for a given event you can pay as little as 2400 for the 3 day school, super value considering the amount of seat time, instruction is excellant, cars are very good but heal and toe driving is very difficult, blipping the throttle before down shifting is an art, as is threshold braking, etc. learn more in a 3 day school then you can learn in
years of autocross or general track days.

reccommend it highly if you can afford, they ask you to move into their advance schools next, sequential shifting cars, high tech, wings and down force. good stuff.
 

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I took the Skip Barber school way back in July of 1990 at Lime Rock Park. It is a great school, but there's better one I went to in France back in the summer of 1995 called Elf Winfield at circuit Paul Ricard. The head instructor Simon Delatour was the guy who found Alan Prost and helped start his career. Simon also coached Damon Hill and Jean Alesi long before they went to F1. Simon was hands down the best driving instructor/coach I ever had in my life. I will never forget him. I am not sure if Elf Winfield is still around today. But, that was one of the best schools I have ever attended. Just my 2 cents worth.

Mitch
 

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I have taken the Skip Barber two day school as well as the car control clinic. Both are good schools and yes very expensive.

If you are looking for good training at a reasonable price....IN YOUR OWN CAR....Take an Evolution School. They teach people how to autocross....Its safe. Its fun... You can learn the limits of your ELISE without turing it into fiberglass pieces.....

Check out www.autocross.com/evolution for a school near you. We travel....
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks everyone for the info....

The evolution school looks good - I see they have an upcoming session in Westchester which is where I live -unfortunately I don't think I can take it in my SUV, so I will have to wait till my elise arrives:) Lime Rock is also not that far away from me which is why I looked into Skip Barber...
 

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I second the Evolution school recommendation - you will learn the limits of the car and yourself, and at real world usable speeds. I recently did a 1 day Roos school (FF2000), which was a blast, but I don't think it was as useful as a training tool as the autocross schools. I will admit that I rarely do track events, and if that is all I did, I may have a different view. But I do think the track day schools are for learning how to drive quickly around the track, and less translates to street driving than from autox schools.

Steve
 

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I did the five day Bertil Roos competition driving school. I thought that it was an excellent value ($4k for five days vs. the ussual $1k/day) and the instruction was top notch. Their damage liability policies are certainly nice, and the last two days are open passing.
The last day is actually racing. There's practice and qualifying in the morning, then two real races. And they were VERY REAL. I've never seen two people dice as hard for position as I did in those races.
They have some shorter courses, and I would recommend Roos to anyone looking for instruction. I had a buddy go through Daly and give good reports. I've actually heard bad things about Skippy schools, but people here seem to have had good experiences and I don't have any direct experience myself.
I will go back to Roos school again when I can afford it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just got back from Lime Rock. I decided to try out the "intro to racing" course before spending $3500 on the 3 day racing course. Although I wasn't expecting to learn much in the intro course, it was lots of fun, and I will probably go ahead and take the 3 day course (If you are willing to put down a deposit for the 3 day course right after the intro course you get a 25% discount which more than makes up for the cost of the intro course)Alternatively, they also offer a 2 day "ultra high performance driving school" which sounded like it might be good... I figure the 3 day racing school and maybe some time at the Evolution (autocross) school and I will be better able to appreciate what the elise can do.....
 

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ivan1 said:
I just got back from Lime Rock. I decided to try out the "intro to racing" course before spending $3500 on the 3 day racing course. Although I wasn't expecting to learn much in the intro course, it was lots of fun, and I will probably go ahead and take the 3 day course (If you are willing to put down a deposit for the 3 day course right after the intro course you get a 25% discount which more than makes up for the cost of the intro course)Alternatively, they also offer a 2 day "ultra high performance driving school" which sounded like it might be good... I figure the 3 day racing school and maybe some time at the Evolution (autocross) school and I will be better able to appreciate what the elise can do.....
Ivan,

Go for it!!! I took the 3 day racing course back in 1990. It was a blast and I learned a lot. $3,500 wow it sure did go up. I remember paying $1,800 back in 1990:eek:

Best Wishes,
Mitch
 

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I've found that while BMW CCA Driver's schools and the like (there are many clubs out there, depending on your location), nothing compares to having a pro driver in the passenger seat.

A number of my friends are instructors and I run in the instructors' run group from time to time depending on which event I attend, but a seasoned pro in the car provides another level of experience. I had brief exposure to pro instruction at BMW's Performance Center in Spartanburg. Doing skidpad work with a pro in the car was great!
 

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Skip Barber School

Hey IVAN1,
I strongly reccommend taking the course. I have taken the 3 day race and 2 day advanced race courses. They have the BEST instructors available PERIOD!!!! All the instructors have race experience and truly know what they are talking about. Does the name Juan Pablo Montoya mean anything to you. He is a Skippy graduate as well as IRL driver AJ Almindinger ( not sure about spelling so excuse me AJ ). Several drivers who are currently driving in the Barber Pro Dodge Formula series have purchased Elises from me and if you want to be competitive at track days, take the course. I have driven the car at Barber Motor Sport Park in Birmingham and have seen waht the car is capable of. If you want to drive it to it's potential, TAKE THE COURSE!!!! It's worth every penny. The CFO of Skip Barber, Dan Boland bought his Elise from me. He also drives in the series. If you take the course at Lime Rock, make sure you in a class with John Murphy or Phil Lombardi. You will have the best time of your life and laugh and learn how to really drive. If you have any questions, please call me directly and I will be glad to answer them!!! Regards,
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for the advice - I really enjoyed the intro course this past Monday and most certainly will take the 3 day - just have to figure out when I can get time off work to do it:(
 

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I did the 3-day Racing School about 3 years ago. It was an awesome experience. I'm doing the 2-day Advanced Racing School this coming December... Can't wait!! :cool:

It's expensive, but worth it, IMO.

Mike
 

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Did Skippy's 2-day Advanced Racing School this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Had a blast. Lots of track time. Exercises included braking, passing, and rolling starts. Used the R/T 2000 cars that are used in the Barber Series. They are a significantly more capable car than the one used in the "beginner's" 3-day Racing School. Using a sequential shifter was pretty cool, too. :cool:

Took some pics. Here are a couple I liked (and photoshopped a bit):


Mike
 

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