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      10-31-2011, 12:24 AM   #1
FunnyK
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Skip Barber

I have been looking into performance driving schools for a while now, and just wanted to know if anyone had taken classes at Skip Barber (like the 3-day performance car or such). If so, was it worth it?

My friend, originally from Russia was telling me how it is just a big rip-off and is way overpriced. He told me back home they have similar schools of precision driving, but they were nowhere near the same price (i believe skip barber is around 3.5K for 3 days), and you actually have to attend it for about couple of months.

So do you think it worth the money? And can you actually learn any skills in just 3 days?

Also if you know any alternatives around LA i would greatly appreciate the feedback!
Thanks
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      10-31-2011, 12:33 AM   #2
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PM CaptainAudio. He can help you.
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      10-31-2011, 05:08 AM   #3
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I've run with Skip Barber Racing for 11 seasons and have always been very satisfied with the organization of the events and with the exceptional, quality coaching.

Last edited by Doc V.; 10-31-2011 at 08:35 AM.
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      10-31-2011, 07:28 AM   #4
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I just did the Porsche Sport Driving school down in Alabama, 1 day course. VERY fun, good amount of time doing laps but it is pretty expensive. $1800. It's more of a play in our Porsches so you will buy one kind of deal, but I enjoyed it. Few people there did Skip Barber and liked it.
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      10-31-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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I have taken a number of Skip Barber courses including the 2 day driving school, the 3 day racing school. the 2 day advanced racing school, car control clinics and lapping days. I took all of them multiple times but you will be amazed at how much you can learn in 3 days. When people asked me what I got ou of it my answer is: I am a much better driver than I was and I am no where near as good a driver as I thought I was.

The instructors are professional instructors and in many cases professional racers as well. One of the coaches I had is a two time Daytona 24 Hour winner and others were SCCA Champions, National Champion Autocross and Rally drivers, etc. You will get a lot of classroom, one on one instruction and seat time and the classes are relatively small so you will not encounter a lot of traffic on the track.

I would highly recommend the Skip Barber School and I think that you will find that the prices are in line with other similar schools, such as Bondurant, BMW M School, etc.

One big advantage is that they supply the cars and they supply the tires.



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      10-31-2011, 10:40 AM   #6
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Given that they supply the cars and tires, it's worth the price. I did their 3-day racing and the advanced racing schools and enjoyed them both. Before and since I've done alot of DEs in my own cars which are way cheaper but the depth of instruction isn't nearly as good.
The less track experience you have, the more you'll get out of their classes, although they teach to your abilities, so if you're doing really well they'll coach you differently than if you're a newb.
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      10-31-2011, 10:47 AM   #7
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I did the SB 3-day MazdaSpeed school at Lime Rock in April. It is a wonderful experience. You learn quite a lot without even knowing, and the instructors were top notch (Dean, Rick, and John).

I chose to do the MazdaSpeed class with the Spec Miatas rather than those old dilapidated Van Diemen FF open wheelers. The Miatas were much more comfortable, and the information I learned was more easily transferable to my driving with the M3. Also, on a not-so-good weather weekend, the Miatas were MUCH faster than those open wheelers.

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      10-31-2011, 11:20 AM   #8
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I've done three Skip Barber classes including the 3 day racing and the 2 day advanced racing school, and though it's expensive, the training I got there has saved my life a few times since being coached from these guys. I could not recommend it more to be honest. I say do it!
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      10-31-2011, 11:25 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonRocket View Post
I did the SB 3-day MazdaSpeed school at Lime Rock in April. It is a wonderful experience. You learn quite a lot without even knowing, and the instructors were top notch (Dean, Rick, and John).

I chose to do the MazdaSpeed class with the Spec Miatas rather than those old dilapidated Van Diemen FF open wheelers. The Miatas were much more comfortable, and the information I learned was more easily transferable to my driving with the M3. Also, on a not-so-good weather weekend, the Miatas were MUCH faster than those open wheelers.

-Chris
All three of them have been with SBRS for a long time and all three of them are sucessful racers. Rick had a podium finish at theDaytona 24, John has run in a number of series including Nascar Bush North.

You can read the instructor bios here"

http://www.skipbarber.com/instructors.asp

These guys are pros and tend to be a cut above the instuctors you will encounter at PCA and BMWCCA DE events.

Don't short change those open wheelers, the are very reponsive and very good cars to learn in and an excellent way to perfect your car contol skills as they are not very forgiving if you do something wrong. I really enjoy sliding them around on a wet track.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 10-31-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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      10-31-2011, 12:14 PM   #10
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I've done skip barber and it was very good, but with that being said if your only going to do one i highly recommend bondurants Z06 courses... Absolutely outstanding
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      10-31-2011, 05:22 PM   #11
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Wow guys, thanks a lot for the feedback, i guess i just have to get the timing right and just go for it. BTW what would you say is the best course to take if i'm not planning to go to track often, just want to improve my driving, would love to be able to safely do occasional slides and such while being aware of my own capabilities
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      10-31-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunnyK View Post
I have been looking into performance driving schools for a while now, and just wanted to know if anyone had taken classes at Skip Barber (like the 3-day performance car or such). If so, was it worth it?

My friend, originally from Russia was telling me how it is just a big rip-off and is way overpriced. He told me back home they have similar schools of precision driving, but they were nowhere near the same price (i believe skip barber is around 3.5K for 3 days), and you actually have to attend it for about couple of months.

So do you think it worth the money? And can you actually learn any skills in just 3 days?

Also if you know any alternatives around LA i would greatly appreciate the feedback!
Thanks
ask the young man who won the ctsv challange in his m3 sedan? he went there
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      10-31-2011, 08:04 PM   #13
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Skip Barber Racing Vehicle Specs: http://www.skipbarber.com/vehiclespecs.asp

Practice, race, and qualifying times for the Barber Formula R/T 2000 and the Barber MX-5 Cup: http://www.mylaps.com/results/showev...?st=3&org=4612
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      10-31-2011, 08:45 PM   #14
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Most of the programs are only TWO days and they are over $3k. I did the Porsche school. They did not include accommodations either and it was expensive. The school was fantastic though. Plenty of seat time in 911s and even manual trannies if you can drive them. Also drove the Boxster Spyder and Cayman S on the track. Got to autocross a Cayenne turbo. It's one thing to go to the M school, but at the Porsche school most of the cars are over $100k. You really get your money's worth. However, learning to drive a 911 is nothing like an M3, so the experience doesnt quite cross over. I'd also like to do the M school one day. Especially since the 911 is gone...
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      11-01-2011, 08:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
I have taken a number of Skip Barber courses including the 2 day driving school, the 3 day racing school. the 2 day advanced racing school, car control clinics and lapping days. I took all of them multiple times but you will be amazed at how much you can learn in 3 days. When people asked me what I got ou of it my answer is: I am a much better driver than I was and I am no where near as good a driver as I thought I was.

The instructors are professional instructors and in many cases professional racers as well. One of the coaches I had is a two time Daytona 24 Hour winner and others were SCCA Champions, National Champion Autocross and Rally drivers, etc. You will get a lot of classroom, one on one instruction and seat time and the classes are relatively small so you will not encounter a lot of traffic on the track.

I would highly recommend the Skip Barber School and I think that you will find that the prices are in line with other similar schools, such as Bondurant, BMW M School, etc.

One big advantage is that they supply the cars and they supply the tires.



CA
All true. I have done the 3 day racing school and the 2 day advanced racing school at LRP. Expensive, but lots of fun.

I would note however, that what you learn in the open wheel formula cars is not all applicable to front engined sports cars during street driving. This is true for all racing schools, simply because driving on the track involves driving the car "on the limit of adhesion." The fun stuff like trail-braking, car rotation, and threshold braking while double-clutching (sequential manual in the car used in the 2-day school) is not readily usable on the street. If you try this stuff on the street you get in big trouble.

You are better off doing some lapping days with your M3 and an instructor, either with a BMW club, or another high-performance club where you can use your own car. At LRP we have the SCDA which runs terrific lapping days with good instruction.
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      11-01-2011, 01:28 PM   #16
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3k plus is a Loy of hpde days where you get a lesser quality instructor. Probably do some hpde sobu get some basics and then consider whether advanced training from skip barber at premium prices is worth it.
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      11-01-2011, 05:34 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc V. View Post
Skip Barber Racing Vehicle Specs: http://www.skipbarber.com/vehiclespecs.asp
interesting. I want to drive this 6-speed automatic M3 that they have......
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      11-01-2011, 06:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FunnyK View Post
Wow guys, thanks a lot for the feedback, i guess i just have to get the timing right and just go for it. BTW what would you say is the best course to take if i'm not planning to go to track often, just want to improve my driving, would love to be able to safely do occasional slides and such while being aware of my own capabilities
If you haven't done any, I think you should do BMWCCA/PCA HPDS events first. They're usually $200/event.

Also, don't attempt drifting on the street. It is far too dangerous. The best setting for that is Car Control Clinics / Skills Days / Autox.
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      11-01-2011, 06:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soberin View Post
All true. I have done the 3 day racing school and the 2 day advanced racing school at LRP. Expensive, but lots of fun.

I would note however, that what you learn in the open wheel formula cars is not all applicable to front engined sports cars during street driving. This is true for all racing schools, simply because driving on the track involves driving the car "on the limit of adhesion." The fun stuff like trail-braking, car rotation, and threshold braking while double-clutching (sequential manual in the car used in the 2-day school) is not readily usable on the street. If you try this stuff on the street you get in big trouble.

You are better off doing some lapping days with your M3 and an instructor, either with a BMW club, or another high-performance club where you can use your own car. At LRP we have the SCDA which runs terrific lapping days with good instruction.
LRP is my "Home away from home". I am there most weekends during the season. I agree with you about SCDA. Their instructors are top notch. SCDA instructor Elivan Goulart is also one of the coaches for the Lime Rock Drivers Club and Ian Prout (SCDA) supplies the club with Spec Miatas.

I don't necessarily agree with you about the transfer of skills from the Formula Skip Barber cars to a road car.

CA:
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Last edited by captainaudio; 11-01-2011 at 09:14 PM.
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      11-01-2011, 07:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I don't necessarily agree with you about the transfer of skills from the Formula Skip Barber cars to a road car.
Nor do I.

The Skip Barber Racing School programs remove a significant amount of radius from a driver's learning curve.
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      11-04-2011, 10:31 AM   #21
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interesting. I want to drive this 6-speed automatic M3 that they have......
lol I noticed that too!
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