US Airways - August 2013 - (Page 28)
The Bob Bondurant School
of High Performance Driving in Phoenix teaches
driving skills at top speeds.
By tara titcombe
As I pull into the driveway of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, I’m literally shaking behind the steering wheel
of my 2002 Honda Civic. I’m about to trade in these
wheels for those of a 505-horsepower Corvette Z06.
Outside the school’s office sit rows of Camaro
SS models and Corvette Grand Sport Coupes.
And then I spot them — the red and white Z06s
lined up perfectly, just waiting to be unleashed.
These babies go from zero to 60 in under four
seconds. I stop, stare, and let out a giggle. What
have I gotten myself into?
I’ve signed up for the two-day Z06 Experience.
According to my pamphlet, I’ll be “powering the
Z06 through a series of high performance driving
exercises that are sure to push your limits.” There
go my nerves again.
Two other “students” are taking the course
with me, and soon we’re sitting together in the
classroom to go over “The Bondurant Method,”
a learning-by-doing style developed by renowned
racer Bob Bondurant. We learn the details of each
focus area: concentration, vision, vehicle dynamics, line technique, and car control.
Then it’s time to hop in our cars and practice
what we’ve just learned. Our teacher, Tim Rose,
has been a driving instructor across multiple platforms for more than 15 years.
We start off with some exercises that help us
get a feel for the cars. We practice looking where
we want the car to go (which isn’t always straight
ahead). In a slalom course, I weave my car through
a line of cones at different speeds. In the accidentavoidance scenario, I get up to 65 mph and slam
on the brakes. Then I learn how to control a car
From Racer to Teacher
Bob Bondurant is one of the most well-known
names in racing. Since 1958, he has raced and
won in circuits across the industry, driving for
some of the most notable names including
Carroll Shelby and Ferrari.
In 1967, Bondurant was involved in a racing
accident that left him thinking he would never
walk again. He decided to put his expertise to
good use and open a driving school.
Today, the Bob Bondurant School of High
Performance Driving is one of the best in the
world. Graduates include celebrities, racing
professionals (including 90 percent of NASCAR
drivers), and everyday drivers alike.
when it spins out (oversteering) or won’t turn
at all (understeering).
I’m feeling pretty confident as we end the day
with a “follow the leader” session on the road
course. I see my speedometer reach 83 on a
straightaway and get a little too focused on that
number. At the last second I remember to slam on
the brakes into a corner. My car’s back end almost
comes around, but I manage to save it and get it
back on course. I still have a lot to learn.
The next day, we tackle an autocross course.
top: the Z06
the wheel, and
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of US Airways - August 2013
US Airways - August 2013
Table of Contents
From the Editor
Did You Know?
Making It Happen
Hot Spots: Architectural Attractions
Wine & Dine: Italy's Gourmet Capital
Adventure: Diving for Dinner
Golf: The Wyndham Championship
Adventure: Drive Time at Bondurant
Great Escapes: Riu Resorts
Gear Up: Tools to Stay Cool
Travel Feature: Seattle's Outdoor Delights
US Airways: Staffing the Skies
Health Matters: Rapid Recovery
Special Section: Historically Black Colleges & Universities
Must Read: The Book of Immortality
Great Dates: Euphoria Festival
Readers Resource Index
Your US Airways Guide
U.S. and Caribbean Service Map
International Service Map
Airport Terminal Maps
US Airways Fleet/Customs & Immigration
Passenger Info/Contact US Airways
US Airways MarketPlace®
Giving: Pulling Together
Window or Aisle?
US Airways - August 2013