Bob Bondurant Driving School - Sixty Acres Of Speed

Learn To Drive Your G-Machine At The Bob Bondurant School Of High Performance Driving

Chris Werner Dec 1, 2008 0 Comment(s)
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If you've ever wanted to find out what it takes be successful on a racetrack, yearned for the skills to be a safer driver on public roads, or just looked for the experience of a lifetime, Super Chevy knows where your metaphorical rainbow ends: on the outskirts of Phoenix at the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving.

With suspension modifications and g-machine builds being all the rage in the world of Chevrolet performance, it doesn't make sense to modify your car in this fashion and not modify the driver at the same time. Without proper training, there is no way to take full advantage of all those expensive suspension parts you just installed. With all of the above goals in mind, this author has wanted to experience a course at Bondurant for some time. That's right, not just at any driving school-Bondurant. Nothing less would do. I hungered to learn the most I possibly could in the valuable time spent at a school, wanted to push my limits as far as I felt comfortable doing, and demanded the best instruction in the industry. I knew the one place to find all of this would be at Bondurant.

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The main Bondurant grounds. Directly adjacent is the multi-track facility of Firebird International Raceway (parts of which are used for some more advanced courses and corporate events), but this is where we spent our time: the 15-turn, 1.6-mile Bondrant Road Course, which can be run in a few different configurations. You can see its Carousel section at bottom right, the Lake Loop in the middle, and the Maricopa Oval at top left. Also visible is the 8-acre asphalt "kills" pad where the Skid Pad, Accident Avoidance Simulator, and other exercises take place.

Started by racing legend Bob Bondurant back in 1968, the school has four decades of experience teaching drivers from every walk of life to be safer and more skilled behind the wheel, whether on a racetrack or out on the road. Today Bondurant is the official high performance driving school of General Motors, and features a full fleet of GM iron. The mainstay is its massive stockpile of pristine C6s, but there are also Cadillac CTS sedans, Pontiac Solstices, and Corvette Z06s, among others (plus, you'll soon see owners of ZR1 Vettes here as part of Chevy's two-day driving class included with every purchase). There's something for everyone, no matter what your experience level or your goals in attending. From racing courses tailored to novices and current racers alike, to safety courses that instruct anyone from teens to veteran drivers safe driving on the street-even military/executive security courses for training specialized personnel in how to get or evade the bad guys-there is a wide variety of programs available at Bondurant to fit any need or budget.

So when Super Chevy editor Jim Campisano and I decided to trek out to the Sonoran desert during June of 2008, we opted to go through the crme de la crme of racing courses that don't require a prerequisite or extensive racing experience: the Grand Prix Road Racing course. While it can be had in three- or four-day form, we chose to go the whole nine yards so that we could experience not only brand-spankin'-new Corvettes, but open-wheel Formula Bondurant race cars as well.

There is no earthly way that text on a page can do Bondurant justice; you simply have to experience one of its courses to truly appreciate not only what is taught (heck, the plethora of skills and subtle coordination you learn can't be expressed in words anyhow), but the courteousness and individual attention of a staff whose every member goes out of his or her way to accommodate your every need. Hopefully, we can give you just enough of a taste of it all to realize a Bondurant experience is one you'll not soon forget.




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