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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This refers to the $395 school, not the free learn and drive (although I did go to that too).

The whole thing was awesome! This was my first driving school, so I might have been easily impressed, but oh well.

There were about 60 attendees,split into 3 groups. There were about 10 instructors all together, all of whom had some racing experiece. Included were Stu Hayner (Trans-Am winner), Chuck Goldsborough, Ian James, and Johnny Rutheford of Team Lexus, A BarberDodge champion, a guy who raced F3000 against Montoya, and others.

They started with about 40 minutes of class instruction about weight transfer, contact patch, apexing, etc. (Good stuff, but when do we drive?)

My group started at the wetted skid pads (2 so 2 at a time could go). This used LS430s. The idea was to go fast, then jab the gas to induce oversteer, then back out of it to regain control. I wanted to drift all the way around the thing, but the instructor kept telling me to back out once the rear broke loose. The point was to teach recovery, not drifting :roll: , but it was still fun to beat on the LS.

Next was an autocross course with slalom, tight turns, and a panic braking section. This was to get you used to the capabilities of the cars. IS300s and GS430s were used for this if I remember correctly. The instructor would take 3 people at a time through to show them the course, then you went through 1 at a time a few times and you stopped to get feedback each time.

Before lunch, we had the "Lead and follow". A pro would lead 3-4 cars around the full 4 miles of Road America. The pro was in an ES and the following cars were 2 per of students, either in GS or IS. You followed the pro around at about 80-90 on the straights, and fairly quickly through the turns. The point being to lear the racing line. After 3 laps (I think), the two students switched in the car and went for another 3 laps.

Next was lunch with real plates and metal utensils. Choice of boneless chicken breast or carved to order roast beef. Roast beef was very good, didn't try the chicken. Also rolls, salad, raw vegies, green beans almondine, elcaires and cream puffs for desert. Regarding food, at each station, autocross, waiting area for the big track, skidpad, was a cooler full of water and soft drinks, and a basket with fruit, granola bars, etc. If you went hungry or thirsty, it was your own fault. The pros mingled in with the students at luch, so it was great to hear their stories and ask questions.

In the afternoon, our group started with the individual autocross. This started with the pro taking 3 students through in an IS for them to get a feel for the course. He was flat out with the students being pitched from violently from side to side. Great fun, even just as a passenger. We then got 3 laps individually, best lap counts, 2 second penalty for knocking a cone over. The pro with 3 students ran 15.5 seconds. The best on our team solo was 15.9. Sever were mid to high 16s. I sucked at 17.6. I went second, so I should have hung back and learned from others' mistakes.

Next was the team autocross. This used a different course. All 20 people go through (21 in our group to be precise), 1 at a time with an instructor. You each do 2 laps, then you have to stop within a deignated section, jump out, tag the next team-mate, they jump in, buckle up, and do their 2 laps. Repeat through the whole team. 2 second penalty for each cone, 4 seconds for each axle if you overshoot the stop area. The total time for each team, including driver changes, is what counts.

Out of time for now, will finish later.
 

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BugginOuT said:
Is this a repost? Thought i read this somewhere here before.

Nevertheless.....sounds like fun!
they had an event in January, you prolly remember reading someone talking about that one....
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Continuing on......

Next up was 3 laps in the cars, you driving, the instructor giving realtime instruction and feedback. You then came in for a bit of a rest and to think it over, then you got 2 more laps. You could pick between the IS, GS, and LS. I had a GS430 for my first 3, then an LS for my last 2. For a big car, it moves around a bit, but stays a lot more contollable than I thought it would. They wanted you to keep the speeds not much over 100 on the straights. You could go through the turns as fast as you dare. 4 wheel drifts were the norm :D .

about the last hour or so, you could go out for 1 lap at a time in any of the cars with the instructor so people could try the various cars. The last half our, they changed an you went out with the instructor driving and talking you through what he was doing. That was the humbling part.

Throughout the day, if you had some time waiting your turn at one of the events, you got 1 hot lap (as a passenger) in a race prepared GS430 (used a few seasons ago); roll cage, race harness, stripped interior, slicks, etc. The straightline speed was impressive, but the braking and cornering were the most impressive. They were going pretty much flat out. You could feel the back end wiggle under braking, drifting through turns, etc

You got a plaque thing with your picture with Chuck Goldsborough and a little certificate on it at the end of the day. They also had mini pylon trophies in a few categories like "cone killer" for obvious reasons, "most creative" usually for people who swore the most when they screwed up with a pro in the car, and for best times in the individual autocross.

Overall, an awesome day. About the only complaint people had was that all cars were automatics. They'll be spending enough money on tires and brakes without having to worry about clutches and gearboxes on top of it all.

This is not a repost, but a recap of the Road America event this past weekend. I'm sure it was similar to the other events in California and Texas, but I didn't know if they made adjustments between events.

If anyone else went, please fill in whatever I forgot.
 
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