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I attended the three day Ron Fellows Performance driving school at Spring Mountain June 25-27. My wife accompanied me with expectations of enjoying the sun and pool and catching up on her reading. We arrived on Tuesday night and checked into our condo in building A. I must say that the condo's are extremely nice and are reasonably priced, everything is first class. The owner of this facility has spent a lot of money to make it a first class facility with a resort feel.
Everyone that we came into contact with at the facility was extremely courteous and professional in their duties.
On the first day of class my wife went to check with one of the girls about signing up for a ride along with an instructor. The girls there encouraged her to take the classes as well and ride along as often as she wished. They even offered to drive her down to the classroom at the other end of the facility. She attended that first class and never looked back, she ended up enjoying herself so much that she made all of the classes and took every opportunity to ride along with the instructors and observe. She was amazed at how the instructors were able to drive their cars (Camaro's and C7's) at speeds over 100 mph, watch the student in the rear view mirror while talking to them over the radio and even conversing with her all at the same time.
Day one
The first day was all about learning new skills and learning about the C7's abilities. We did several braking exercises on a wet course, turning exercises with cones, and a wet skid pad exercise. We then spent the last part of the day on the track following the instructors and learning the turns, apex and braking points. It was a full day!

Day two
We spent time in the classroom discussing heel and toe shifting, braking techniques, balancing the car with braking, apex and scanning the turns. We spent time on the track practicing heel and toe shifting and then took laps with an instructor riding shotgun giving us tips. That afternoon we spent a lot of time on the track following the instructors but at a much faster pace and introducing shifting and balancing the car into our laps. We were able put our newly learned skills into use and we had some great laps.

Day three
This was a great day on the track. We spent some time in the classroom discussing the track and turns and techniques for improving our skills. There is nothing like seat time to really improve your skills and day three was all about seat time. We were given the opportunity to lead the instructors around the track and receive helpful input on ways to improve our lap times. I never thought of using my brakes to go faster but it really works.

My impressions
This is an awesome course where you will learn numerous techniques about vehicle control that can be used both in every day driving as well as when you hit the track. The track, facilities and the instructors are all first class. I was totally blown away by the level of knowledge and professionalism from these instructors. Rick Malone is the lead instructor and he is a live wire, full of energy, and very inspirational with a wealth of knowledge and he LOVES what he is doing.
I was also amazed at the capabilities of the C7 from it's sheer performance, handling, braking, and total comfort while screaming around a race track. I had no idea our cars can perform at this level and keep you out of trouble with the computer assisted controls. The third day was in my opinion where I received the most value for my money, if you have the time and money I highly recommend it as I improved my driving skills the most on that day. My classmates echoed these comments as well. We had people in our class who had previously attended the ZR1 two day school and one guy had been to the Skip Barber and Bob Bondurant schools and he said that these classes did not hold a candle to Spring Mountain and this classl. High praise from experienced drivers. According to our instructor several months ago they taught 7 or 8 Chevrolet NASCAR drivers the same basic course. These drivers were not sure what they were going to get out of the course in the beginning but by the end of the first day they were all smiles and commented that they had forgotten many of the skills that this school teaches.
I think GM has done us all a great favor by offering this course at an affordable price! Kudos to GM!
 

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smokey 12
You really gives us a taste to go take the course there is no doubt. It is open now we Canadian.
This should actually be a beautiful experience!
Thanks for share...:cool:
 

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The third day is definitely worth the extra cost. You use what you have learned the previous days. Extra time available to have instructor ride with you and provide individual attention. There should be an additional day available after the third day.
Condos are very comfortable and well appointed. Breakfast is convenient. There isn't much available in Parumph. The lunch provided with the course cost is very good and filling. Also additional time with the instructors at the tables provides good feedback and great stories. The instructors are all top notch and very understanding. They really make the experience unforgettable.


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Discussion Starter #68
The third day is definitely worth the extra cost. You use what you have learned the previous days. Extra time available to have instructor ride with you and provide individual attention. There should be an additional day available after the third day.
Condos are very comfortable and well appointed. Breakfast is convenient. There isn't much available in Parumph. The lunch provided with the course cost is very good and filling. Also additional time with the instructors at the tables provides good feedback and great stories. The instructors are all top notch and very understanding. They really make the experience unforgettable.


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They do have full individual days available as an option. Check out their web site.
 

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I'm signed up for the 27-29th also-will hate to drive back over the hill to Vegas after the last day I'm sure!
 

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"Smokey12's" description and comments about the course are extremely well written and VERY accurate. I did the course June 9 - 11 and was EXTREMELY IMPRESSED.

I signed up for the course before GM announced their participation and did not have delivery of my new C7 prior to taking this course. Therefore I still have a credit available
until June of 2015. I was so impressed with what I learned and the totally professional manner of the instructors that I've now decided to take the level 2 course!

I Highly recommend the level 1 course!
 

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I haven't done it yet in a C7, ours hasn't been built yet, but I did do it a couple years ago in the C6s. I live in Vegas, and Rick Malone lives very near me, and I see him on the freeway going home pretty often. He's almost always in a Ron Fellows car, and when the C7s first came out I saw him in different colored C7 every time I saw him, as he was one of the people breaking them in for the track. He knows me and my car on sight (a Cadillac CTS-V wagon), and we'll roll down our windows and chat when we're going home at the same time. Most recently he told me the school is getting a bunch of Camaro Z/28s in. ;)

Anyway we're definitely going to do the school again, because with the discount there's no reason not to.
 

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How does the GM credit work? I picked up my C7 A51 2LT late July.
 

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Call the school and tell them you want the new owners discount. They will obtain your VIN from you and verify ownership with GM.
 

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Discussion Starter #75 (Edited)

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Just finished the first day today. Signed up for the 3day. Today was heel and toe(perplexing), serpentine drills to force looking ahead and out side windows, small oval(all traction control off) focusing on turn in point and hitting apex, wet abs emergency stopping, and wet figure eight skidpad (all traction control off) and finally track drills focusing getting used to turn ins, and apex.

Overall impressions. It was a lot of good stuff, let me emphasize it was a lot, I'm glad I did the 3 day, i think it will come together and start gelling on the 3rd day. Two days are not enough time to take it all in and put it together, in my opinion.

Facility and amenities are world class, can't imagine there is anything else as good anywhere in the world. The staff is very accommodating and customer oriented. They will make things happen for you if you ask.


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Discussion Starter #77
Glad you are enjoying it mattkemp! The heel and toe is a bit easier to understand if you think of it as heel and roll. With the brake and gas pedals closer together on the C7 most people can, with practice, roll the side of the shoe over to blip the accelerator while maintaining slight pressure on the break and find it is more effective than the heel and toe technique that many of us grew up with.
 

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End of day two. Plenty of track time. Real intense. I can't believe they let you go this fast. It is amazing. My expectations have been exceeded in every way. The instructors are great. The car is amazing. You won't believe what your car can do. It's so much faster than you think. They teach how to steer the car with the pedals on day two. The biggest surprise is making a car turn into a turn by lifting off the throttle. It's black magic! Amazing.


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Discussion Starter #80
Good summary Matt. You are right- it is amazing how lifting off the throttle and 'trail' braking (I think I remember them calling it that, meaning very light braking) dramatically changes the attitude and shifts the weight distribution of the Stingray through the turn on the course.
 
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