For most people, the term “driving school” connotes a bespectacled instructor with a clipboard riding shotgun in a 10 year-old automatic compact with 100,000+ miles and an auxiliary brake pedal to make sure the automotive high jinks don’t get too out-of-hand. But for the Hot Rod magazine staff, their driving school consisted of 400+ hp manual-transmission Corvette Grand Sports, trail-braking, and ample track time. But as the saying goes, you have to walk before you can run, and before the eager staffers were let loose on the track, they had to sit through some pointers from the pros.
For most, driving school means the state-mandated instruction on following speed limits, using your signals, and learning to parallel park and do three-point turns. But when you add the term “Hot Rod” into the mix, driving school takes on a whole different connotation. Hot Rod magazine sent six of its staff members to the Bob Bondurant Performance Driving School in Arizona to give the relative rookies some pointers on high-performance driving. After sitting through the mandatory classroom instruction, the staffers were put behind the wheel of C6 Corvette Grand Sports, and given a series of exercises to hone their driving skills.
The methodical approach of the school breaks down the sometimes daunting prospect of high-speed, high-performance driving into easier-to-understand modules emphasizing a specific driving skill. Toward the end of the course, the students are let loose on the track to combine the skills learned in the modules to apply to a highly technical road course.
In addition to seat time in the ‘Vettes, staffers were put behind the wheel of the Cadillac CTS skid car, which has instructor-adjustable outrigger wheels that can simulate low-traction conditions to teach vehicle control.
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