Skip Barber Two-Day High Performance Driving School: Review (Part 1) Page 3

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Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

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Skidpad

The skidpad at Road Atlanta is a large, sealed asphalt circle watered by a sprinkler built into the middle. The water reduces traction to make changes in grip more readily apparent. The school uses a pair of Mazda RX-8s, outfitted with smaller, less-grippy rear tires to help make the cars more willing to rotate.

Here, you'll get behind the wheel with an iron-stomached instructor riding shotgun as you find the limits of grip. Exercises include inducing, then correcting, both understeer and oversteer, as well as recovering from a slide.

Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

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To do this, you'll learn how your throttle foot affects the car's weight balance, what that balance does to grip at each end of the car, and how to handle the steering wheel to make the car go where you want it to. You'll also learn that the direction of your eyes is as important as any other single technique, as the car will want to go where you're looking--if you're looking off-course, that's where you'll end up.

Our class was about half the usual size, with nine total students. We were then split into two groups, leaving four or five students with two instructors per group. This high instructor-to-student ratio means you'll get plenty of time on the skidpad and lots of first-hand tips and tricks, plus direct feedback on what you're doing, both right and wrong, behind the wheel.

If you've never been on a skidpad before, be prepared to find out that even at 18-20 mph, things can happen very, very quickly. You will spin out, but you'll also learn how not to--a key skill to have on the street in any car, but especially in a high-horsepower rear-drive car in the wet.

Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

Skip Barber 2-Day High Performance Driving School

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