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Old 04-01-2007, 08:26 PM   #1
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High Performance Driving School

I am seriously considering signing up for this :

http://www.skipbarber.com/driving_school/one_day_hp_school.aspx

Any of you fellow Chicagoans interested ?

Anyone else ever tried this ? Thoughts ? Is it worth the money ?

Thanks,

Nick
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Old 04-01-2007, 08:38 PM   #2
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Hi,

Skip Barber is a great school - I did it back in '00 at Leguna Seca (now Mazda Raceway). Excellent school, well worth the $$.

But, if you wanna step up to racing, I'd recommend Jim Russell Racing School in Sonoma, CA. After racing SCCA for 18 yrs., Mrs. MNBoxster gave it to me as an Xmas present and I wasn't expecting much. But I really did learn a lot on how to polish what I already knew, and identify a bad habit or two...

Happy Motoring!... Jim'99
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Old 04-02-2007, 04:21 PM   #3
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unless money is not an issue for you, why don't you attend a DE event from your local PCA chapter?
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Old 04-02-2007, 06:19 PM   #4
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$1300-1500 seems a bit high to me, but I am spoiled by great local PCA events that only cost me $100-200/ea.

I did do a Skip Barber "intro to racing" school at Lime Rock park about 5 years ago. It only cost about $700, was a 1/2 day thing but got to drive a Formula Dodge single seater - and given my physical size, nearly got to take it home with me as I struggled to get out
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Old 04-02-2007, 08:00 PM   #5
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Nick, give DE a try first. Best fun and learning bang/$ deal, hands down. I just had my second 2-day event this weekend at Limerock, and I feel like I learned so much already. I actually got to drive my two last runs solo (no instructor), which is a sign that I'll probably be moving up to the Yellow run-group very soon -- that and the fact that I outlapped a few cars twice during a single 20min run. My instructor this weekend was a guy who races his Cup car in Porsche club races and he was just phenomenal.

This is just anecdotal but last year the Skip Barber students (people called them "skippies") had their lessons at Limerock after we finished our DE runs in the afternoon, and I got to watch them for a while. Maybe those were beginner's classes but I wasn't impressed. They were really taking it easy on the track, even compared to the Green run-group during DE.

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Old 04-03-2007, 07:52 AM   #6
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I've said this a bunch of times and I'll keep saying it.. The most cost-effective way to learn high performance driving is to take a karting course. I've done the two-day Jim Hall 100cc course, and the Intro to shifter karts at Bondurant. The Jim Hall courses are excellent, the Bondurant course was good, but I'd have ideally gone in for a longer course - the intro course is more like a test drive.

If you really want to learn what it's like to drive at the limit, and the basics of how to navigate a track, this is the most cost-effective way to do it. And it's a hell of a lot of fun. As for speeds, for an autocross style circuit you're not going to get around faster than a shifter kart.
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Old 04-03-2007, 08:01 AM   #7
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I did the High Performance course at Laguna Seca just a few months ago. Great school. Got to throw around BMWs on the skid pad to learn recovery, auto-crossing in M3s, 911s, and Boxsters and the last day was mostly dedicated to driving on the track. Tons of fun, really good learning experience.

The Boxster held up REALLY well. By far the car I preferred most on the track. So freaking stable and predictable. The 911 was also fun, but I absolutely hated the M3. Didn't help that the gearbox was a little mushy, but what a let down. Very jittery, not confidence inspiring at all. Yuck.

Anyway, the course has my strong recommendation. Good mix of theory and practice.

(P.S.: For anyone following along in the saga of my car swapping, I traded the Lambo coupe for a spider this weekend. Convertibles really are the only way to go).
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:32 AM   #8
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Chris, I am probably going to do the DE here in June, but I am worried about damage to my car

I figure by the time I get done with the brakes, track fees, tech inspection, and possibly new tires, I almost break even. And I get to drive someone elseís car ! I figure if I like the Skip Barber course, Iíll do the DE in June and have a better idea of what to expect...

Webster, thanks for the review. Saw the pictures of your Ferrari on ferrarichat.com - beautiful car !

Nick
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Old 04-03-2007, 09:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webster132
I did the High Performance course at Laguna Seca just a few months ago. Great school. Got to throw around BMWs on the skid pad to learn recovery, auto-crossing in M3s, 911s, and Boxsters and the last day was mostly dedicated to driving on the track. Tons of fun, really good learning experience.

The Boxster held up REALLY well. By far the car I preferred most on the track. So freaking stable and predictable. The 911 was also fun, but I absolutely hated the M3. Didn't help that the gearbox was a little mushy, but what a let down. Very jittery, not confidence inspiring at all. Yuck.

Anyway, the course has my strong recommendation. Good mix of theory and practice.

(P.S.: For anyone following along in the saga of my car swapping, I traded the Lambo coupe for a spider this weekend. Convertibles really are the only way to go).
What was it like going into the cork screw (fast) for the first time?
theres a Rennlister who lives down the road from Laguna Seca. He has his own table at the cafe. Little does he know how lucky a humanoid he is.

Congrats on the drop top Lambo. Gallardo or Murcielago? Saw a powder blue Gallardo(with matching wheels) at my local body shop. I gotta get a v10 some day.

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Old 04-03-2007, 10:13 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webster132
(P.S.: For anyone following along in the saga of my car swapping, I traded the Lambo coupe for a spider this weekend. Convertibles really are the only way to go).
webster, so now you have a Ferrari and a Lambo spider? Congrats. Though, what's the rationale, and how do you pick between them on a sunny day?
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Old 04-03-2007, 11:11 AM   #11
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Hey Nick, I'd be up for this, but after I do a DE class locally (I signed up for PCA on Friday. )

I'd want to do the school at Barber. I took my track bike down there a few years ago and that track is incredible. The most fun I've had on 2 wheels.... and I'm sure it'll be the most fun I'll have on 4.
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Old 04-03-2007, 02:01 PM   #12
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I definitely agree that it's a good thing to practice beginner racing on someone else's car. Especially if you're not already an expert heel-and-toe shifter. That's part of the curriculum. It's also fun to do the skidpads. Not something you'd probably want to subject your own car to for an hour.

(Got a yellow Gallardo spider. Looks very similar to the coupe, but of course convertible. They're very different cars. Don't have a favorite yet, so I switch back and forth according to turn -- attached a single shot, don't want to hijack this thread).
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Old 04-03-2007, 03:00 PM   #13
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I too, studied at Laguna Seca. I did the 3-day Skip Barber Racing School in the Formula Dodges back during May 2002. I'm really bad with dates, but remember the year and month because I was originally scheduled to go during the week of September 11, 2001. It took eight months before I could reschedule.

It was a blast! I had a ton of fun, learned a lot, and met a lot of nice driving/car enthusiasts.

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Old 04-03-2007, 03:04 PM   #14
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Have any of the folks who have gone to the Barber school, also done any DE events? If so, can you do a comparison?

Thx.
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Old 04-04-2007, 09:09 PM   #15
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Went thru the Skip Barber course last month...

It was the best time I've ever had...besides sex.

Learned tons and tons of new skills, vastly improved existing ones, got to drive in sunny conditions, partial rain, and full rain storm (at Laguna Seca). We were in indy-type cars, and they were great.

I personally think this type of course is a MUST before getting a high performance car. I plan on taking the advanced course!!!!

If you have any specific questions, please e-mail me!

Michael
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