Summer driving season is almost here, and it’s time to get the muscle cars ready to roll! For some, that means Saturday drives, and for others it means wheeling the car at autocross tracks. I’m in the autocross camp! For the first time ever I’m planning to see if my Chevelle and I have what it takes…..so the first thing I’m going to do is go to school. Which school? Bondurant! If you play your cards right, you can go too…..at a discount!
I wrote back in January that one of my goals for 2010 was to attend Bob Bondurant driving school. What I didn’t realize at the time was that it’s (basically) the perfect primer course to run a lot of the new muscle car pro-touring style events that are starting to pop up all over the place (like the Optima Invitational, the Midwest MuscleCar Challenge, etc.). These are events that have multiple facets to them: autocrossing, road course driving, braking competitions, and the like. Also, autocross tracks at most big car shows (think Good Guys shows) are common place now.
Most muscle car drivers are not sports car drivers – we’re straight line wheelers. Stand on the gas and watch the tires smoke, right? It made sense back when you couldn’t get a muscle car to handle, but now if you want to, you can do it with the plethora of new suspension/wheels/brakes options out there. When it comes to autocrossing and road course driving though, straight line driving will get you….uh, off course. Literally. What we need to learn to do is to drive like SCCA sports car drivers. We need to learn the finesse of car control to be able to hang on the road course and autocross tracks. We need to learn heel-and-toe downshifting. Or, maybe we need someone to fix our bad habits and help us get to the next level.
Since most muscle cars are heavy rides, having some experience of how it “should work” before you actually try it is about the best way there is to get a fast start in autocrossing and road course racing your muscle car. Spending a few days at Bondurant in a new Corvette will do that for you. It’s a lot like getting a coach vs. trying to figure it out on your own. Remember the first time you threw a football? Unless you’re Brett Favre it went completely sideways, right? (Brett probably threw it so hard it went straight through the neighbors bathroom…but don’t get me started on Brett’s coolness). It took a while to get it right, and someone likely showed you how to do it. I’m not suggesting that going to a driving school is superior to getting actual seat time in racing, but it’s a great way to get a leap start onto the track.
The courses to take at Bondurant are plentiful, but when it’s all said and done it boils down to about 2 classes for us:
- Grand Prix Road Racing 3 Day (3 Days in a new Corvette)
- Grand Prix Road Racing 4 Day (3 Days in a new Corvette plus 1 Day in a Formula Mazda)
So where do you come in? Well, glad you asked. I’ve coordinated with the good people at Bondurant, and if we can get at least 5 people to sign up and go as a group we can get good discount. Better yet, it gets cheaper as the group gets bigger (especially if we get up to 10 people)! If you’ve ever dreamed of learning to wheel like a professional, this is your chance! Whether you are a weekend driver, an aspiring racer, or just want to cross something off of your bucket list, this is the chance you’ve been waiting for.
Next week I’ll outline the courses themselves and show you how you can get in on the fun at a discount! If you absolutely can’t wait until then, just e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll give you the inside scoop. Until next week…..