GEORGIA

Zoom. Zoom.

I am SUCH an adrenaline junkie! When I found out I was going to get to go to Road Atlanta to attend Skip Barber Race School  I was out of my SKIN excited! I have always wanted to attend one of their schools.

I was extra excited to wake up early on a Saturday to head down to the race track at Road Atlanta. I checked into the school and sat down with the others in my class. It was a full load of students of all ages. The classroom instruction time was better than I expected. Short, sweet and to the point. Nothing overly complicated. The class I took was 1 Day Driving School.  This school was incredible; to say amazing would be an understatement.  This is a course that every new driver should be required to take. The driving school teaches the very basic fundamentals of what keeps you safe in a car. The course overall was very to the point and practical.

I was elated to learn very quickly that the majority of the instruction was hands on. There is no way you could learn or practice the things that they teach without an enclosed facility like this one. Skip Barber has it NAILED. The class instruction takes place on the infield of turns 6, 7 and 8 at the Road Atlanta Track. Talk about atmosphere! Just watching the cars zooming around the track gave me a rush.

We were broken into small groups and there were different stations that taught different fundamentals of car safety. My first stop was 5-Speed Instruction in a Mazda Miata! How fun! I've never fully driven a 5 Speed so successfully. I knew the concept, but this is the first time I had ever driven one with confidence. It was super cool and I was pretty smooth with it by the end of my lesson. Who would have thought I would be such a quick learner?

The second stop for our class was the skip pad. This was by far one of the most popular stations. This is where you get to play with the car when it has a very slippery grip on the pavement. It was so much fun playing with speed and learning how to steer out of an under correct or over correct under such slick pavement conditions. 

The third station was braking. We practiced coming to an abrupt stop and really feeling how anti-lock brakes work. It was pretty fun slamming the gas to the floor and then switching from gas to full on brake when the light changed unexpectedly from green to red.

Lunch is included in your all day class. The instructors took the groups in shuttles over to a neat restaurant called Key West. We placed our order at the beginning of the day when we checked into the school. When we arrived at Key West they had already served up all the plates and labeled the table accordingly. The food was definitely brag worthy.

After lunch we had a mini-briefing in the classroom explaining what was coming up next and reinforcing some fundamentals of car safety. My first lesson after lunch we got to practice our 5 speed skills in a Miata.  We took the Miata's on a mini track and got to learn how to control our speed, when to brake and when to accelerate when taking sharp curves and corners on a little track while going as fast as we were comfortable.

The lesson after that was called U pad, which built on the skills of the preceding lesson. We got to work with wet and dry pavement in a U shaped motion. It was really fun playing with the cars on varying levels of grip and maintaining control.

By the end of the day we all had skills every driver should have. I left that class knowing a 15 year old kid that is starting off a better driver than most adult drivers I know, including myself. This class is something I would recommend to anyone of any age. It's a lot of fun and the skills you derive from it could save your life. 

Take heed however, their classes are as addictive as skydiving. They leave you with a taste for more!  I really wish I had gone for the two-day course. Also, be sure to take a friend! You will not want to experience this alone.

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