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Don't be surprised if you are wondering what the heck you are doing their after the first day. My son and I went and they divided the group of 20 students into 2 groups of 10 each. The first group went directly to the track (mine) and the other to the class room. I had no idea what I was doing following a guy I did not know around a track I had never seen. Crazy. I went to bed that first night wondering what I was doing there.

However, the next day the instructor voiced the very concerns I had and it turned out they anticipated our apprehension. They have done this so many times that they know what the students are thinking. Very cool and one of the greatest driving experiences of my life. My 29 year old son was in seventh heaven. Cannot say enough about the professionalism and class of the instructors.

Day three is open track day and you just bomb around making laps. By then, the track is your friend and you are wishing for day 4 ! Good luck.
 

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As @tommypaul said, the SM experience is a lot like drinking from a fire hose. Suggest searching YouTube for Spring Mountain Corvette Owners School videos for a preview of the activities... Also, be sure to have a Class 10 SD card and become familiar with operating the PDR to record ALL the training and track events... A 32GB card should capture all the fun times.
 

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I just returned home following a two-day Corvette Owner's School at Spring Mountain. I went into day one with an open mind, knowing we would not be spending a lot of time on track the first day, but doing "dynamic vehicle exercises". Our first track experience in the afternoon was a nice. slow cruise around the track, learning the corners, the braking zones, transition areas and the apex curbing. That evening, I will admit to feeling a little apprehension about the next day. Almost to the point of not being able to eat dinner.
Day two, my group of 10 was first to go to the track. The tempo picked up dramatically on that first run of the day - from 8:00 am until 3:30 pm it was non-stop - track / class / track / class / track / class. The instructors can "read" a class like a book - they build your confidence as they increase the speeds. At the end of the second day, I was proud of myself for improving my performance, while still knowing that I will never be a good enough driver to match the capabilities of the C7 Corvette. At the end of day two, I was also exhausted!
I have owned and driven Corvettes for 47 years, at least one of every generation, but I have a new-found respect for this latest generation. What a magnificent automobile on the track!
IMG_0073.jpg
 

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I have been twice. Went last May with a good friend. This is an incredible program from top to bottom....EVERY corvette owner should go. There is no better way to learn about the features and technology that are in this car.
 

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We were at Spring Mountain in April 2015, the spring after buying our 2014 Stingray not long after my retirement. It was an absolutely wonderful experience. And if I trade up to a C8 I will sign up again in a minute!

Yes, parts of the first day were a little bit "slow" doing braking exercises, skid pads, etc., but once you start doing the follow-the-leader runs on the track it becomes an incredible experience. I've always been a somewhat "aggressive" driver, but in my over 50 years of driving I have NEVER had speeding or reckless driving tickets, so yes, I am usually very careful. This was the first time I was ever able to lead a car through its paces.

This is NOT a racetrack with C7s one against the other. You will NOT be able to learn "everything" the car can do at the high speed end, because this is not an oval NASCAR track but a Grand Prix type course instead. But that means you will definitely learn how to handle it in a road course which is more like streets than a NASCAR oval is. My top speeds on the straightaways were around 110 mph. But you will be able to learn how to handle the car much better. Don't expect they will waste time telling you about every screen on the dashboard. That's not what this is about.

All those things you wish you could do with your car on occasion you will be able to do there, within reason. And it is a much safer environment with instructors and without stop signs, traffic lights, and drivers on cross streets or coming at you. If you are in a lower category as far as driving ability... we had one C7 owner that after sliding off the track on the first run, they put an instructor in the car with him the entire time after that to avoid further mistakes, for everyone's safety and to give him better instruction.

I don't know how they do it now, but at the time, the lead instructor drove a Camaro. Several times my wife rode shotgun in that lead Camaro, and she commented how the Camaro's tires would squeal on curves, while our C7's tires right behind them did not. She really enjoyed being there, although she did not take the course, and just went as a (free) observer.

We had been planning a cross country roadtrip and the Spring Mountain course was the excuse to actually kick off the roadtrip. We put our camper at a very fine resort just 4 miles from Spring Mountain and stayed at spring Mountain the one free night.

I have looked at the three-day course, but they included much of the same "basics" as on the two-day owner's course. Add the high expense to that, and decided not to do it for now.

Bottom line: DO IT! I can't think of a reason not to! Phenomenal instructors, a great track layout, and a lot to learn. And like I said, if I trade up to a C8 I will sign up again in a minute!
 

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I just got back from my 2nd trip to Ron Fellows owners school in Pahrump. This was even better than the first, which was a five star trip. I bought a used Z06 a few months ago and figured I'd better go and learn how to drive it. Well worth the $.
Have you ever wondered how long these expensive tires last on the track? The answer I got was 4 days.
They did something different this time that I thought was a nice improvement. You get to ride with an instructor driving for 2 laps and watch an expert work. All the cars have video recorders and when I got home I couldn't wait to review the session with the instructor driving. One of the hardest things for me while driving the Z06 is getting the gas pedal all the way to the floor. It's just so damn fast. During my trips around the track I got to the floor twice on every lap. The expert got there 5 times. My top speed was 113. His was 127. And we were warned at the outset that they would be driving at around 70% of their capabilities. Eye opening to say the least.
The most important thing I learned and if you are reading this please think about this; all our cars have automatic braking systems in them. If you need to stop in an emergency put the brake pedal to the FLOOR; and continue to steer away from whatever it is that you are trying to miss. The car can handle it but you have trouble because we just never do that.
Go to this school if you can. It is fabulous to talk to and learn from real experts!
And as a bonus, Ron Fellows was there and came to our "graduation". He is a very nice man and had a smile on his face the whole time while he was talking about the school. He has put a lot of work into making it better as have the employees.
And Rick Malone's energy is everywhere at the school.
 

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I just finished my third class at Ron Fellows, which was my second Level 1 class. I meet people there every time who come out on a yearly basis. This time, I was watching the seats available for the class and wondering if it would even take place. They always plan for 20 people in a class, and at the time I signed up, only 6 were registered. They went ahead with the class with a total of 9 students. On the first day they evaluate and compare relative skills, and group the students accordingly. We went to the track with 3 groups of 3. This worked out well for all of us for having lots of lapping time.

As it turns out, I happened to be the more experienced and therefore fastest driver in my group. When it was my turn to follow the instructor, I managed to "push" him to much higher speeds than we had been going. There was enough classroom time to compare Cosworth data from our driving to the instructor's example lap. In one session, I beat the "demo lap" time by a hundredth.

Just had a great time driving the heck out of borrowed cars, and adding to my skills as I went.

This was the first time I had driven on the East track, which was a new track to learn, but really a fun circuit once you drive it a few times.

A new feature this year is that they have added some drone videos, giving a literal overview how the car control segments are to be driven.

The 3 day school is not inexpensive, but the fun of passing a Z06 with a Grand Sport makes it worth it! I expect I will be one of those annual customers.

For C7 owners: I learned that the Corvette Owners School will continue as it has until the last C7 is sold. That new car buyer will then have one year to attend the COS. That means that while the C8's will become part of the fleet at Spring Mountain, there will still be C7's there for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter #490
Thanks white_out. Sounds like a a great time. We had a smaller class when I did it as well and that is just a bonus. :cool:
 

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Here is that video posted directly. This is me in a Grand Sport chasing down a Z06 on day 3:

 

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Discussion Starter #494
Nice driving white_out. Thanks for sharing the video.
 
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