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Old 03-05-2001, 04:27 PM   #1
deepbeep
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Question Racing school experiences

Who has attended racing school to get an SCCA (or other) license? Where did you go, and how was it? How much benefit did you get out of it? etc. etc. etc...

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Old 03-06-2001, 03:42 PM   #2
deepbeep
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Riiiiight... So you're trying to tell me that y'all are natural born racers?

c'mon, who went? How was it? Where did you go?!
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Old 03-06-2001, 06:18 PM   #3
slidewaysmike
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I havent ever attended one, I don't plan on doing any roadracing though, so that is why.
I will stick with rally and auto-x.


Mike
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Old 03-06-2001, 06:53 PM   #4
rsquire
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It might be worth asking the in a CA forum.. I've done the track school here in Seattle, but probably not really relevant to you.

Richard
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Old 03-06-2001, 07:14 PM   #5
JayP
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I'm planning on a real racing school in the next few years but I suggest if you're just starting to go to a driving event.

You'll spend a few hundred dollars vs a lot more. With a DE, you'll try out what its all about before you invest a few thousand for a week's training.

Go to drivingevents.com to see what's going on in your area.

They're a freaking blast!
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Old 03-06-2001, 07:25 PM   #6
kelley nelson
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SCCA regions organize accredited schools that you can attend to work towards your road race license. It will be less expensive than, say, Panoz.

I have a friend who is planning on endurance racing the new Mini's next year, and he is working on getting his road race license.
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Old 03-07-2001, 06:55 AM   #7
vintageracer
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I was required to complete a drivers school in order to race my 65 Porsche with my vintage racing club. Without that school taking a green flag with 35 other cars would have been a lot scarier. I have since completed the Advanced racing school at Sears Point using the Formula Mazda cars. Although these cars are much faster than my Porsche I was able to take to 2 seconds off of my best lap time once I got back into my car. The track schools are expensive but they are probably the best investment with respect to going faster on the track. You could easily spend $5K plus on a new engine and not see a 2 sec/lap reduction in times. The skills learned in driving schools are directly applicable to street driving and auto-x. The nice thing about investing in yourself is that those skills (driver modifications) go with you in any car you get behind the wheel of. I can highly recommend the Jim Russel school at Sears Point, lots of seat time and I guarantee that once you get back in your own car (street or track) you will be faster (and safer)!
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Old 03-07-2001, 07:45 AM   #8
rjones
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I took the Skip Barber 3 day competition course down at road atlanta. Expensive, but certinaly worth every penny. They did a good job of tailoring the instruction to a bunch of different ability levels- no matter what yours was, you'd get something out of it. I went on to do certain races in their NE series-- formula dodge. I also then got my SCCA license and campaigned a Spec Racer Ford for a bit. It made a big impact on my track driving and safety level on the street. If you have the means, do it. It will make you more of a real enthusiast / race car dirver than a turbo kit ever will
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Old 03-07-2001, 08:00 AM   #9
gtguy
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Skip Barber racing at Elkhart Lake, here, which explains the mods I've been making to my car, and how come so few of them have been power-related.

The course was $2500 for three days, that started with some fun heel-toe stuff in ACR Neons, then auto-x in Viper GTS coupes. The single-seat Dodge racers we did most of our work in were tons of fun as well.

I learned that I wasn't anywhere near as hot a driver as I thought I was, though I already knew that from having taken the Skip Barber Driving course previously.

I think that different people learn different things. I didn't take it to get my SCCA license, as much as to take my skills to that next level after the driving school. You learn about limits, how high they are, how to feel when you're getting there, and how you shouldn't ever be at anything more than 7/10ths on the street.

The shifting drills were aces, and thankfully, the guys were kidding about buying a six-pack for each cone that we ran over. I still have never had more fun in a car than that weekend. I came out of the course with an immense respect for racing drivers. We had one instructor who was a really hot BMW racer, and it showed!

I also think that vehicle dynamics is one of the most critical things to be learned from a school like this, especially given the weight/torque transfer abilities of our Scoobies. Interestingly, I had a Probe GT during that time, and left the course amazed that I hadn't wrapped the thing around something.

These days, I drive fast, but always, always, always in control. Those guys really stress when in doubt, lift. You can always re-accelerate, but if you stuff it...

Kevin
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Old 03-07-2001, 08:20 AM   #10
STiShawn
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I haven't done any SCCA schools but have done 2 BMW club schools at Watkins Glen. What you learn is priceless, about you, your limits and your cars. Everything you learn at these events is directly applicable to everyday driving, in terms of car control, thresh hold braking, where to be looking, driving position etc......Any school is better than no school at all. You appreciate your car so much more when you are done too. It really lets you see what needs to be modified, and what doesn't. Its a bit humbling, which is always good for drivers, and you make some great friends to boot.
Have fun, run a school and keep the shiney side up.
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Old 03-07-2001, 08:52 AM   #11
orbit03
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In 1999, I went to the RallyRight school held at Ski Sawmill in PA. It was awesome. I learned a ton and took a third in class in the ClubRally.
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Old 03-11-2001, 08:42 PM   #12
TCRA2
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Any driving school will make you a better driver on the track or on the street. Check out www.touringcarclub.com, it offers an excellent 2 day school for $250. TCRA2
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Old 03-11-2001, 09:25 PM   #13
Jon Bogert
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One of the "classrooms" at Ski Sawmill RallyRight:

<IMG SRC="http://www.rallystuff.com/images/sawmill1b.jpg" border=0>
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Old 03-11-2001, 09:32 PM   #14
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www.searspoint.com
its about 30 minutes from you
my old home track
[email protected]
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Old 03-12-2001, 05:48 PM   #15
Andre Vandenberg
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But, The end result is <FONT size="6">Fun, Fun, FUN!!</FONT s>
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:12 AM   #16
skuttledude
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I've done some kart racing/school when I was a teenager but I must say the best class I've taken is at the Scandinavian Driving Academy. This is an ex- Formula 1 track in Anderstorp, Sweden that is not plagued by chicanes and no-pass turns. We drove Peugeot 405 and 305 and 605's. Lots of the training was on car physics (weight transfer and braking) and also correct lines on this great course. WE did lots of tests in wet conditions using ABS and traction control. Very interesting! Later, I worked at this track as course marshal and in safety car. We hosted the BPR series (now FIA GT) rally and numerous club events and endurance races. Lots of fun!
Take the best course you can afford. Like the Subie owner above said, you can take your skills with you in no matter what kind of car you sit in, better than spending $5K in a turbo or suspension.
Later that summer I worked with the instructors as we taught others how to get the most of your skills and how and what to improve on. The main thing that 95% of almost all drivers do not know how to do properly is hard braking in emergencies and weight transfer for smooth driving. Remember that when your future instructor asks what most people make mistakes in.
Enjoy and I enjoy hearing of opinions on the experiences either as instructor or student in the drivinf/racing class that you attend.
Davis
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:18 AM   #17
steve_d
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I'll be at rallyright this year. with Eric in Rick Davis' old BMW.

Should be a hoot. I'm in the victim seat.

sjd
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:41 AM   #18
Andre Vandenberg
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The most recent school I did was the TCRA school at Buttonwillow. That was the MOST fun I've had in a while with my clothes on!!

YEARS ago (I am dating myself now) I did quite a few schools at the OLD Kyalami and actually taught the Motorcycle school in Texas. I have the unique claim to say that Collin Edwards and two of the Hayden bros went through the school.... Course, it was JUST a formality for them
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Old 03-13-2001, 12:46 AM   #19
deepbeep
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Thanks for all the input... it's totally helpful! It looks like there are several different approaches...

- a high-performance driving school. You can either drive your own car, or a school car. Cost vary from $250 to a little under 1K.
- a racing school. Usually a 2 or 3-day program. You drive in a variety of cars, usually spending the larger part of seat time in a formula-type car. Cost are between 2 and 3K if you use their cars. The other option is to rent or buy your own car and go to an SCCA school.

My local tracks are Sears Point and Laguna Seca, so now I face the luxury problem of figuring out what to do, and where to do it... Looks like both Skip Barber and Jim Russell do schools locally, and then there are the SCCA, TCRA, and club based schools. Choices choices choices...

[This message has been edited by deepbeep (edited March 12, 2001).]
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