Thanks for that positive feedback and the notion of being matched with driving style and capability. I do pretty well with the little 100 hp MGB and have a no fear approach to driving on the 'back' roads.

I appreciate the advice and will check out the Winery Dinner Experience - feels like something we would enjoy.

Now, how many sleeps .....

flyboy999 has the accurate personal plate for many of us.
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Friday past, I booked the 2 day package at Spring Mountain for April 10 & 11. Based on everything stated on this forum it will be an amazing experience. My wife loves Vegas so the compromise is 2 nights Spring Mountain and 4 nights Cesar's - I think she won. Life moves fast and in our early 70's this is an incredible opportunity. My lady of 52 years likes her slot machines and I like cars - so we stay happy.

Based on all your exposures at Spring Mountain, what would you guess is the percentage of old farts taking this course? I am a bit concerned about showing up to find myself in a group of youngsters - you know, 50 and under! You 50 and under guys are all great but us old guys don't want to be embarrassed you know. I really like that the younger guys are ready to buy the beer.

My sports car history is all about 4 banger Brits. Driving the Vette is a wonderful experience but I am a bit intimidated by the power in corners. I have the feel and confidence to drift the little MGB through a dirt corner but I can't more then crawl through the same turn with the Vette. I don't have a feel for when the ass-end will cut loose and how far it will go. I need this course to give me the confidence to make beautiful sliding turns down the local gravel farm roads - wow what a feeling! Donuts Derek - really? They wet the pad and have you do donuts?

Looking for some feedback on showing up really early on the day before. Spring Mountain reception said check-in is at 3 pm, but if I show up at the COS at noon just to observe will they send me packing?

I am so pumped for this I might start counting sleeps. :happy:

Firstly forget all your anxiety.
Yes show up early the day before and enjoy exploring the facilities. Even if your condo is not ready they will give you a wrist band and direct you to the clubhouse where you can relax inside with a snack and drinks 🍹 of any kind. I enjoyed sitting outside the clubhouse with my drink and watching the club members in various cars roaring around the track. This is the big track and not the one used for the school. You will register with the rest of the folks in the morning at the gift shop. Extra insurance (deductable coverage) will be offered to you then if you are driving a Stingray. Not available for GS and Z06. Thus I did it get it. Not sure how many did but what they told me is only 1 time there was an incident where it would have been relevant anyway. This was not even realated to a driver error. (Medical condition caused the guy to leave the track apparently).
And yes you will be given a car with your exact configuration and the transmission will be what you own. They have your vin so it’s all prearranged. They will tell you your car #.
Ok age and expectations.
There are guys in this course from 20s to 80s. Most 45-70s. In my class we had an elderly guy (veteran) with 1 leg. He got to his car in a power chair. He did great and the comradary develops very quick in the group. Aggressive people or drivers are simply handled by the excellent instructors instantly before anyone gets close to a car. Thus you will likely not see anything like that.
They bring you up to making actual laps with a series of simple driving technique practices. So you get to drive the car and get more relaxed and comfortable doing some specific stuff before any laps are done. So some events have an instructor in the car with you, and the track time you are following the instructor. You set the pace and he is coaching you. Good luck trying to catch him if you think you can 😂
You have a radio in your car and are receiving personal instruction, praise and advice every moment you are in the car. I’m not kidding; they call you by your first name. Incredibly positive and you feel these guys are on your side. They want you to enjoy your experience and do well. You will be very impressed with this particular aspect of the experience.
There is a series of events with the cars that give you experience with the antilock brakes, stability control and basic technique on how to drive the car around a course. Where and when you should be looking for example. Again no pressure, positive and a great deal of fun.
They will be breaking the class up into 2 main groups. One in cars and one in the classroom at all time. So all the things you do in the car will be explained in the classroom first.
As you drive your car through the exercises you will be evaluated by the instructors without your knowledge through observation. They will then divide the class up again to groups of 4 or 5 cars that will move around the track together. This puts drivers with similar ability together. It is not uncommon to be promoted to a faster track group and those struggling to keep up will be moved to a slower group. Makes the experience better as nobody is feeling intimidated.
So the best thing to do is pay close attention and make a good effort to focus on using the techniques they teach you. Believe it or not you will become faster and faster. Your confidence of the capabilities of the car will grow and grow along with you own. Don’t worry you will be out of your comfort zone cornering at first but using what they show you that will disappear very quickly. This is not a class on driving around town. You are encouraged to press this car hard but active the handling system is on, so relax. Remember as you are following your instructor he is talking to you the entire lap to help you with technique and give you confidence.

Yes it’s true that I was able to quickly demonstrate (with the instructor in the car for this exercise) that I understood and could handle a full on active handling intervention sliding on the wet skid pad. So I just did donuts after that till my time was up. Guess what; he was laughing his head off and I had a blast.
There is a small oval event you will really enjoy. This comes late in the course after you have had some track time. This I where you really get to learn just how far you can push these cars on a dry track. It was an outstanding experience with the instructor sitting in the right hand seat explaining the corners to you and saying “ok Derek full throttle now”
The track time is even more fun after that. Yes my Z06 car had the back end move a bit but the car sorted it out effortlessly with just basic input from me. Soon this was when I knew I was getting it right. Especially when the instructor was telling me “well done / great corner” etc
You will be a bit sad to see it end as you say farewell to the new friends you just made.

We did just what you are doing with adding a few nights in Vegas. One thing I can tell you... you feel like an F1 champion on your way back to Vegas. I tried gambling in the casino like one and well... that’s another story but it turns out I’m not. Although I sure get a ton of VIP invites back to the Pallazo. 😂
Pardon the long story but for sure you will fit right in and have a great time while getting to legally drive a Corvette as fast as you want. Not many actually get do this and you will see your car in a whole new way after. Yes you will love it even more.


PS. Be sure and bring your SD card for the PDR and take advantage of the photographer that offers to capture you on the track. Worth every penny.
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Wow - what a great and detailed explanation and story of your experience at SM. Thank you so much for taking the time Derek and you have alleviated any concerns I had with age. Your story will be a wonderful reference article for others who are going or contemplating the SM opportunity. As has been said elsewhere in this thread - GM is giving new Corvette owners this opportunity for just one year following purchase. The expression carpe diem applies.

Thanks also for the advice to bring an SD card for the PDR. That will be video to support the memories of the experience.

Depending on weather, it is unlikely that my Stingray will be out of storage before I leave for Spring Mountain, but the timing should be perfect for the return and implementing the newly learned driving skills. Someone might learn why the hand holds in the passenger seat are called scream handles. :Biggrin:
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Just booked my flight and course for March 29-30th! Pretty pumped!! Thanks for all the help and the great details on what it is like there as well as first hand experiences everyone who contributed! I really appreciate it =)
Post your trip later if you can ... as well ... we live and love photos
Have a helluva awesome time 😁👍🏻
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Post your trip later if you can ... as well ... we live and love photos
Have a helluva awesome time 😁👍🏻
I definitely will! I am bringing a gopro for the interior to add to the PDR info!

I’m not sure when to go. I’m thinking October/November after I store the car and I start missing taking it out haha
My train of thought was that I wanted to do it right before I took it out for the season so I can get a good feel of how to drive it properly then I can start tracking it this year :)
I definitely will! I am bringing a gopro for the interior to add to the PDR info!

My train of thought was that I wanted to do it right before I took it out for the season so I can get a good feel of how to drive it properly then I can start tracking it this year :)

Yes for sure this school will prepare you for taking the car on to the track. You learn all the physics involved in cornering. Braking and throttle application for over and under steer mitigation was very interesting to me particularly.
The grass roots stuff in the car for dealing with road incidents I found very useful as well. Nice to test full anti-lock brake applications while maneuvering in the school before you have to in real life.
For sure you will have a good understanding of the car to start off with and enjoy it even more. 👍
I did see guys with GoPros there so that should be ok. Be a nice compliment to the PDR yes.
Don’t forget to bring some beers or whatever so you can socialize with your new pals in the evening at your condo.
I definitely will! I am bringing a gopro for the interior to add to the PDR info!

My train of thought was that I wanted to do it right before I took it out for the season so I can get a good feel of how to drive it properly then I can start tracking it this year :)

Definitely mount the GoPro inside. First time I was there a guy mounted his on the exterior and lost it during a corner! One of the track spotters collected some of the pieces, but they never found the memory card.

Totally agree with going in the spring that way your skills are honed for driving/race season.
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