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Is Racing School Worth It?

Welcome back folks to another review/story. I had the opportunity last winter to go to Las Vegas to Spring Mountain and attend the Level 1 Performance Driving School. This was a combined early birthday and graduation gift and I was ecstatic but also nervous. My competitive mindset wants me to be at the front always and the last thing I need is a track runoff or potential accident. After our flight from Newark to Las Vegas, we had 1 full day to ourselves before we drove the hour-long journey to Pahrump. When you arrive you confirm your registration and get put into a group. My father and I were in group blue. You join in a conference room to debrief on everything and get to meet everyone. The instructors at Spring Mountain are all professional racers and have trained current professionals. Their staff is very elite and are able to bring the very best out of you. Day 1 mainly consisted of getting your bearings in the classroom learning what you will be doing and how to implement the practices you will be doing. We also focused on driver awareness which is the most crucial aspect of racing/driving. We did hop in the corvettes to do road safety courses such as skidpad, ABS and lateral G to know the limits of the car. We also learned how to properly heal toe if you did not see the need to use active rev match. Day 2 consisted of classroom and track time where the instructors taught you how to approach a turn for maximum momentum and allow for a faster pace. We did a slalom course and the instructors took us out on hot laps. We went back to the classroom to watch the telemetry and video of the instructor’s hot lap of 1:50 around the track and to show how to get within reach of the time. We went out for a few sessions to gain our bearings and wow., first time on a track and having a sour taste of C7 Vettes prior after driving the automatic and not liking the transmission. The manual revives this car and I was in love. I found myself during our pace sessions leaving most behind. It was just me and the instructor working on gauging better lap times. Day 3 was all track sessions, I would bring the instructor out with me every other session to help shave time off the clock and get closer to the 1:50. I was losing all my time in the tighter turns but killing the faster-paced sectors, it turns out I was entering turn 1 faster than most instructors at around 95-105 carrying the max amount of momentum possible. I was learning/competing with people who track regularly and came for a refresh and a few newcomers like myself. I managed to get a 1:52 on the track which was impressive for most instructors as I was the youngest (21) and never seen a track in an actual car, just go-karting. Overall the experience is one that I will never forget and I have all the telemetry videos of my laps to rewatch and bring back the memories. I highly recommend this to anyone who can go out because it truly makes you a better and safer driver. I plan on going back in the near future and improving on my times, possibly even becoming a member of spring mountain so I can track my own car. To the staff at spring mountain, I truly say thank you for making the experience unforgettable and that racing school is absolutely worth it, I use the practices I learned every day in the real world.

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