Subject: BMW/Skip Barber Advanced Driving School
From: Mark Sirota <>
Date: Fri, 4 Aug 89 13:22:45 EDT

I just got back from the most exhilarating two days I've had in a long, long time. I took the two-day BMW/Skip Barber Advanced Driving Course at Lime Rock, Connecticut. And I recommend the course completely.

It costs $700, and is totally worth it. The right thing to do is to spend $700 less on your car, and take the course. Consider it an absolute necessity.

Basically, you learn to take your car to 100% of its ability. According to government studies, most people (70%) can only use their car to 50% of its ability. Some people, the better drivers, can use a car to about 65% of its ability.

The major points of the course are to learn why a car does what it does, in terms of handling. The focus of the course is on suspension dynamics. In the 2-day course, you get about 8-10 hours of in-car time and 2-3 hours of classroom time. All the time, you're having an absolute ball.

The cars are supplied by BMW. At Lime Rock, we had 3 M3's, 2 325i's, and 1 325e, for 12 students. Lime Rock is the only place they currently use the M-series cars. At other locations, they also use some 5-series. Exercises included skidpad, braking, lane changing, brake turning (trail braking), slalom, heel-and-toe downshifts, autocross, and lunch (a real treat since the instuctors drive there). We really beat on the cars. Went through 6 sets of brand new Comp T/A's (BF Goodrich is another sponsor) in those two days.

There were 4 instructors for the 12 of us. All of them are also race drivers (a Skip Barber requirement), and they're just fantastic. They really want you to learn, teach everything in a clear way, and are very perceptive and helpful. One of the objectives of the course is to teach more in those two days than you've learned in your whole driving career, and it works. Especially if you include all the things you have to unlearn as negative.

If I were to send real specifics, it would be *very* long, so I didn't. I'll do so if you all want me to. If you have questions, feel free to mail me.

I can't recommend the course enough. It's great fun, and a great learning experience. It should be taken whether you're a driving enthusiast or not. It should also be a requirement for getting a driver's licence, but that'll never happen.

Mark Sirota (rochester!ur-tut!msir)