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Racing School Classes: Something for Everyone

Turk’s Tracks

A Few Loose Lug Nuts from Pit Row

I recently received an email from Skip Barber Racing regarding a special 40% off for their advanced driving school plus free lap days. This peaked my interest, so I decided to do some research into driving schools for racing and find out what options are out there for someone that just might want to pursue a career in racing.

If high performance sports cars are your thing, you might want to check out Ron Fellows Corvette School. Ron uses new C7 Corvettes and hold classes at the Spring Mountain Country Club track that is located 55 miles west of the Las Vegas strip. You are kinda out in the boonies, but meals and lodging are provided. The classes are broken down into classroom instructions in the morning followed by track time in the afternoon. Classes tend to be small with a lot of one-on-one time with your instructor. The instructors use the lead and follow approach to training on the track. You are always in radio contact with the instructor. This gives him the ability to let you know if you turned in too soon to the apex of the turn or too late, if you are braking at the proper point, etc. A level 1 Course is for three days and costs $3895 and includes 250 miles on the track. A level 2 Course is two days for $3495. But, if you have purchased a C7 Corvette Stingray, you will get a $1,000 discount. You can call them at 1-800-391-6891.

So now let’s say that driving a NASCAR race car has always been a dream of yours. Well, Richard Petty Racing can make that come true for you. His school conducts classes on 15 tracks all through the United States. His classes go from a simple three lap ride along for $109 to a rookie experience for laps for $299-$499 for 8 laps to the King’s Experience for $849 for 18 laps to the Experience of a Lifetime for $1299 for 30 laps. The school also provides an Advanced Racing Experience for $3499.

So now you want to drive an INDY 500 race car. Well, head down to the Texas Motor Speedway and sign up for Andretti Racing. A simple ride along is only $99. Classes are listed for $3034, but there was a special going on for only $1919. You can contact them at 1-704-886-2400.

I continued my research to see if there were some classes close by to my location. It just so happens that Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin has just what I was looking for. Actually, Road America has five courses that they offer. They are a winter driving course, a teenager driving course, a motorcycle course, high performance 1, and high performance 2 course. The high performance courses are one day with 60 minutes of class time. The classes run from 9 am to 4 pm. The cost for the performance 1 course is only $450 if you use their cars or $350 if you use your own car. The cost for the performance 2 class is $350, but you need to use your street legal, high performance car. Here too, they use the lead/follow approach to training.

During my research, I happened to come across a listing for Exotic Racing that is located in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. They have a collection of the world’s most exotic sports cars and allow you to drive the cars to your heart’s content on the race track. You are charged per lap. As an example, just suppose that you would like to be James Bond for a day and drive an Aston Martin Vantage GT. $36 a lap and your dream comes true. Maybe you can’t decide if you want to buy that Ferrari F430 that you have been looking at. Well, for $299, you can drive it for five laps. Maybe the Lamborghini Aventador is to your liking for $73 per lap. For more information, you can contact them at 1-702-802-5662

In conclusion, I am reminded of those immortal words from Parnelli Jones “If you’re driving under control, you’re just not going fast enough.”

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Gene Turk was born with racing in his blood. At age 8 he started racing Quarter Midgets as member of the Great Milwaukee Quarter Midget club. For five years he raced the #7 car that his father built. He then graduated from the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) with a degree in Industrial Engineering and Internal Combustion Engineering.

While in college he obtained his Private Pilot’s License.

Along the way he has attended numerous Indy car and stock car races at the Milwaukee Mile during the 60s, 70sand 80s along with area Midget car races. He would also frequently fly to the Brickyard to watch the Indy 500 time trials in the 60s and 70s and more recently attended the 2014 Indy 500.

He has also attended numerous sports car and NASCAR races at Elkhart Lake Road America. Finally, Gene has owned many classic cars including his present 1990 Corvette and is a self-described “Gear Head.”