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      12-31-2007, 04:47 PM   #1
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Skip Barber Driving School

This Christmas I was lucky enough to receive a Gift Certificate for a 1-day High Performance Driving lesson with Skip Barber racing! I'll most likely be at Laguna Seca, which I hear is fantastic.

Anyone taken this course before and have any words of wisdom? I'm considering upgrading to the 2-day program for an extra $900, but no clue if it's worth it...
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      12-31-2007, 05:02 PM   #2
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I took the course back in 92 actually here at Lime Rock. They used the brand new e36 BMW at the time. It was so exciting. My dad went with me.

I had already been auto-xing for the prior 2 yrs before I went and it gave me a lot of comfort in terms of what they were telling me to do. They really have you put the cars out of shape and learn to get them back in line.

I dont know what they teach in the 1 day as I did the 2 day, but hopefully they will teach you how to hold a full slide around a skidpad.

Definitely remember it forever. Have a blast man!
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      12-31-2007, 06:15 PM   #3
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I did the three day at Laguna Seca, outstanding experience!

Love that race track, even have my in-car video of the action.
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      12-31-2007, 07:10 PM   #4
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I did a two day at Bertilli Roos Racing School, Pocono Race track, I still talk about it.
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      12-31-2007, 09:19 PM   #5
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Can anyone comment on Skip Barber versus BMW M driving school? Both of these sound like good programs.
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      12-31-2007, 11:04 PM   #6
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No comment on the Skip Barber vs. the M School. I have been to 4 driving classes from 3 different schools. The 2 Day High Performance from Skip Barber was great. They cover the basics of car control, skid pad work, auto-cross and track driving. You will get to drive 4 different sports cars. It is very well done. If the $900 is not going to put a big dent in your wallet I would go for it.
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      12-31-2007, 11:48 PM   #7
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At least with the Skip Barber school, there are different cars to choose from. I know they had the E46 M3 available at Skip Barber Laguna Seca when I was there.

$900 for the extra day is not bad. Do it right and do it at Laguna Seca. It is a great course.
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      12-31-2007, 11:51 PM   #8
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I went to the 1 day at Lime Rock in summer of 06... Anyway I loved it and its becasue of that day, I decided I wanted a BMW.
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      01-01-2008, 02:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by TheLegacy View Post
I went to the 1 day at Lime Rock in summer of 06... Anyway I loved it and its becasue of that day, I decided I wanted a BMW.
thats a great inspirational story bro
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      01-01-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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Save up and do the three day at laguna seca. You drive the barber dodge race cars all three days and learn a bunch about road racing. Can't tell you how much of a good time you will have there.

This is what I did: http://www.skipbarber.com/racing_sch...ay_racing.aspx

Coolest thing was a couple of the instructors I see them on Speed TV quite often (Kelly Collins in particular). Very cool experience!

fz
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      01-02-2008, 11:56 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback! Sounds like a great program probably worth the 2 day upgrade. As for the 3 day, I really want to take the High Performance driving course and master my own car before moving on to Race cars. One of these days maybe...

I'll post pics when I get take the course, though I'm thinking about waiting till late spring/early summer for some perfect weather.
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      01-02-2008, 01:14 PM   #12
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I have been to Laguna about 20 days in the past 9 years...highly recommended place. If you can do the multi-day program...I would go for that...one day is just not enough of that track. I am teaching there on Feb 25th with the Northern California Racing Club... :-)
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      01-02-2008, 06:31 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checuervo View Post
Thanks for all the feedback! Sounds like a great program probably worth the 2 day upgrade. As for the 3 day, I really want to take the High Performance driving course and master my own car before moving on to Race cars. One of these days maybe...

I'll post pics when I get take the course, though I'm thinking about waiting till late spring/early summer for some perfect weather.
Over the past 8 years I have taken just about every course they offer. Two day driving (twice), 3 Day racing (3 times), 2 day advanced (twice) and Advanced Car Contol Clinic (at least 12 times - lost count). I have also done lapping days and race weekends.

I usually go to Lime Rock (I live in NYC) but have done some programs at Sebring (Florida) and Moroso (West Palm Beach Florida).

It is definitely worth doing. The instructors are a great bunch and the programs are a good balance of classroom instruction and seat time.

If I could sum up what I have learned it would be:
1. I am a much better driver than I was
2. I am nowhere near as good a drive as I thought I was before I started.

I would recommend that you upgrade to the two day.
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      01-02-2008, 10:50 PM   #14
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But would you take that money and attend a BMWCCA (or similar) HPDE 10 times?

Just an honest question to the experienced track guys on the more expensive program like Skip Barber, BMW M school etc vs the cheaper track alternatives.

-hkj
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      01-02-2008, 11:20 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by hkj View Post
But would you take that money and attend a BMWCCA (or similar) HPDE 10 times?

Just an honest question to the experienced track guys on the more expensive program like Skip Barber, BMW M school etc vs the cheaper track alternatives.

-hkj
The BMWCCA track days are a lot of fun and you can learn a lot but IMHO it does not compare to a Skip Barber course.
First of all at Skip Barber (and BMW School) they provide the cars (and the tires)
In a Skip Barber 3 day there will be 16 students and at least 4 instructors. There are only 8 cars on the track at one time and the cars are spaced apart. As you go around the track there are instuctors watching you and evaluating your performance at various locations on the track.
In the car contol clinics you really get to learn how the cars behave at the limit. It is a very controlled environment.

I sometimes work as a pit marshall at BMWCCA track days at Lime Rock, The drivers that have had professional training IMO have an advantage at these events.

Take a Lap of Laguna Seca in a "Skippy" Car
http://www.skipbarber.com/locations/mazda_raceway.aspx

And then Lime Rock:
http://www.skipbarber.com/locations/lime_rock_park.aspx
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      01-02-2008, 11:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkj View Post
But would you take that money and attend a BMWCCA (or similar) HPDE 10 times?

Just an honest question to the experienced track guys on the more expensive program like Skip Barber, BMW M school etc vs the cheaper track alternatives.

-hkj
To be honest..you get different things from the different kind of events...the Skip Barber or equivalent school is really to take you to another level...advanced techniques so to speak. I would start with a BMW club event...maybe do 2-3 two day events...and THEN go to a Skip Barber School. They can nip bad habits and get you on the right track. With the HPDEs..sometimes it is hit and miss with instructors...it all depends on where you are going...and what instructors show up that day. I have had some excellent instructors before..

BTW, I have never attended a Bonderant/Skip Barber/Russell Racing school..but I always wanted to....I have only done the SCCA Racing School..to get my race license....and they taught you how to start racing..and how to pass properly...just so you were decently safe out there.
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      01-03-2008, 03:01 AM   #17
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My opinion is try a little bit of everything if you can for a day or so... BMW, Road Racing, Rally racing, etc... and then spend the big check on the one you like the most.

I've taken a stunt driving course (and plan to do more) and I've had some experience with racing school instructors with very little track time. I'm a little biased in favor of the stunt driving, but I'd love to be as well rounded as possible.
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      01-03-2008, 06:21 AM   #18
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My opinion is try a little bit of everything if you can for a day or so... BMW, Road Racing, Rally racing, etc... and then spend the big check on the one you like the most.

I've taken a stunt driving course (and plan to do more) and I've had some experience with racing school instructors with very little track time. I'm a little biased in favor of the stunt driving, but I'd love to be as well rounded as possible.
My experience with the Skip Barber Instructors (at least the ones at Lime Rock) is that they are experienced, skilled drivers with a great deal of track experience. One 2 time National Formula Ford champion. 2 podium finishers in the Daytona 24 hour etc. They are mostly professional racing drivers, some still active, some retired and they know every nuance of the track.

CA
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      01-03-2008, 08:07 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by checuervo View Post
Thanks for all the feedback! Sounds like a great program probably worth the 2 day upgrade. As for the 3 day, I really want to take the High Performance driving course and master my own car before moving on to Race cars. One of these days maybe...

I'll post pics when I get take the course, though I'm thinking about waiting till late spring/early summer for some perfect weather.

Either one you will have a lot of fun.
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