Bob Bondurant Racing School
When it comes to racing schools the name Bob Bondurant comes up a lot. With the largest purpose built training facility, the largest collection of student cars, and one of the largest collections of student programs, the Bondurant Racing School is the biggest and one of the best options for anyone looking to improve their driving skills.
The school is also one of the oldest names in the world of advanced driving instruction, with a history that dates back to 1968. The school is set up to be a one-stop location for students from all walks of life to come and learn. There is a giant skidpad, four tracks, and multiple configurations of courses for advanced students. From karts to stock cars, there is something here for everyone.
If this sounds like something you may be interested in checking out, we have gathered all the information you would need after the jump. We have a breakdown of many of the courses, cars used, costs and more. When you get done checking it out, why don’t you hit the comments to let us know which course you would most like to take.
Click past the jump to read more about the Bob Bondurant Racing School.
The Bob Bondurant Racing School is located just south of Phoenix, Arizona right of Interstate 10. The facility occupies a full 60 acres and features a full collection of tracks and facilities. Along with a purpose-built road course, the school has access to three of Firebird Raceway’s tracks. There is also an eight-acre skidpad with mark outs for four circular pads and a handling course. The various sections consist of the Throttle Steer Circle, Handling Oval, Accident Avoidance Simulator, Slalom Course, Autocross, and Skid Pad. They also use the pad for various skill, slalom or drift events.
The main track for the school is a 1.6-mile road course with 15 separate turns. Of course the track has various configurations to be used for different skills and events. In the infield of the main circuit there is a SuperKart track. This track also features 15 turns, covers a full half-mile of distance, and includes elevation changes, high-speed sweepers, technical corners and state-of-the-art timing equipment.
Beyond this main set of tracks, there is also a pair of tracks available to use that are more traditional racing style tracks with fast turns, long straights and a collection of variable speed corners to test novices and experts alike.
With such a vast collection of different class types the Bondurant School needs a huge inventory of cars for students. All together the school claims more than 200 vehicles spread across several different types, from SUVs and street cars to formula racers and karts.
Chris Cook Stock Cars
For the stock car racing programs, Bondurant uses a felt of Chevrolet stock cars. These Chris Cook Performance stock cars get their motivation from open race engines that are tuned to produce a might 650 horsepower. All that power gets routed to the rear wheels through a G Force transmission.
To keep all that speed in check each car comes with a monster set of six-piston Brembo brakes that clamp large heavy-duty rotors specified for road course use. To finish out the list of race-spec equipment, each car has an open exhaust, Momo steering wheel and full five-point harnesses.
The new C7-generation Corvette Stingray needs no introduction. Power comes from GM’s new LT1 V-8 that makes 460 horsepower and 465 pound-feet of torque. With a zero-to-60 sprint under four seconds, the Stingray is the fastest and most powerful base corvette ever made. Transmission choices for students include both the seven-speed manual and the paddle-shift automatic.
With a sophisticated suspension system that utilizes the latest and greatest iteration of magnetic shock absorbers this car can pull more than 1.0 g on the skipad. This is a real driver’s car.
Before Chevrolet released the track special Z/28, the best Camaro for use on a road course was the SS 1LE. The package is essentially a collection of performance add-ons that were designed to make the Camaro more competitive with machines like the Mustang Boss 302. It comes from the GM factory with a special Tremec six-speed manual transmission, a 3.91 rear axle ratio, an upgraded suspension, a host of visual goodies borrowed from the ZL1 like 20-inch alloys, a vented hood that comes in matte black and a rear spoiler.
Bondurant takes this machine and adds new Eibach springs and anti-roll bars for even better handling abilities. The brakes have been given new high-performance PFC pads, and the brake fluid has been swapped for a more track appropriate fluid. When these cars go in for their first clutch service, Bondurant also takes the time to swap the stock clutch for a new Centerforce unit.
If traditional road cars just aren’t exciting or challenging enough for you, Bondurant’s Formula Mazda racers may be what you need. These are legitimate racing-specification cars that are legal for competition. Each one is powered by a Mazda rotary engine that is similar to the Renesis unit found in the RX-8 sports car. These fuel-injected engines only produce 250 horsepower, but with a full carbon-fiber chassis, the weight is so low that 250 ponies is all you really need. Each car comes with a six-speed sequential gearbox, racing suspensions and unassisted steering systems for the ultimate in feel and control.
Tahoe Law Enforcement
For professional training classes in tactical and protection fields, Bondurant has a collection of law enforcement Chevy Tahoe SUVs. The cars all start life as normal 2WD Tahoes that are equipped from the GM factory with the approved Police Package. These are referred to as the Police Pursuit Vehicle version of the Tahoe. Compared to traditional Tahoes, this model has a lower ride height and a lower center of gravity for increased maneuverability. The engine is a 6.2-liter V-8 very similar to what was used in the C6 Corvette and it produces more than 400 horsepower.
Forza Motorsport Grand Prix Road Racing - $4,399
For one of the best experiences you can have at a racing school, Bondurant and Forza Motorsports have teamed up to create an incredible program that spans four days and sees you spend time in Corvettes and Formula Mazda racers. The class is organized in way that makes it beneficial to seasoned enthusiasts while also being friendly enough for novices to jump and in learn. The only required skill you need is proficiency with operating a manual transmission.
With a track to classroom ratio of about 80 to 20, this is an intensive course that will push and test each student’s maximum abilities. The class will teach car control skills with weight transfer, heel/tow downshifting, skid control and accident avoidance. Students also get to practice braking techniques with and without ABS assistance. After control, students get to dive headfirst into racing theory. The racing line, cornering techniques, apex points, and overtaking are all part of the curriculum.
And all of that is just the first two days.
Day three starts to put all that knowledge to the test with mock starts, an overview and application of SCCA rules, racing etiquette and racing flags. After a whole day of fine-tuning skills and practicing real racing situations, drivers are thrown into Formula Mazda cars for day four. This is a full track day where students can finally put all their new skills to the ultimate test. Once all is said and done, you will have a fully endorsed logbook that qualifies you for an SCCA Regional racing license.
Performance Driving Challenge - $499
If you are new to the idea of high-performance driving, the Performance Driving Challenge can be a great starting point. Rather than focus on the smaller details like braking application and heel/toe downshifts, the PDC course uses tools like lead-follow laps around the track to teach the basics of racing line, braking zones and turn-in.
This serves as the training basis for the ProKart Enduro race. Participants are split into teams and then funneled into the Bondurant ProKarts for a one hour endurance race around the track. Team work, driver changes and racing technique are all tested in this exercise.
Throughout the day there will also be an autocross event for drivers to compete in. Each lap is timed for fastest time in the event.
High Performance Driving - $1,225
If you don’t want to start with a short class like the Performance Driving Challenge, or you took the PDC and just want more, the High Performance Driving class is a great step forward. Students will refine their car control skills with time spread across autocross, slalom and accident avoidance lessons, as well as a solid amount of time lapping the track. This class offers an optional third day that sees students practice lapping the track all day in full safety gear including helmets and fire suits.
This course is completed using the fleet of modified Camaros.
Stingray High Performance Driving - $1,650
If you want to go through the High Performance Driving course, but the modified Camaros just aren’t quite quick enough, the Stingray High Performance Driving course may be just what you need. Students will still experience the same autocross, accident avoidance and slalom exercises, coupled with the track driving and racing line instruction, but rather than use the Camaros, each student will be piloting one of Bondurant’s new 460 horsepower C7 Corvette Stingrays.
Intro to Racing - $1,375
While the High Performance Driving courses will teach you many skills that apply to racing, that course is focused more on improving your general driving abilities. The Intro to Racing course is a similar program but with the exact curriculum organized with a focus on actual track performance. Line technique, skid control and accident avoidance are all included, but where the HPD does autocross training, the Intro to Racing Course has track time with lead-follow laps.
Advanced Road Racing - $2,499
This is a course built for racers who want to take their skills to the next level. With lots of one-on-one instruction along with real-world racing scenarios and five hours of track time per day, this course will help push every student. The course is conducted in the Corvettes, and the course is designed for graduates of lower level Bondurant courses. The course is so effective, that a list of professional racers like Tony Stewart, Jimmie Johnson and Dale Jarrett are all graduates of the program.
Formulas@Bondurant - $499
If you have ever been intrigued by the idea of racing a Formula car, but didn’t know where to start, Bondurant wants to talk to you. The Formulas@Bondurant experience is a short class that lasts less than three hours, but sees drivers spend more than one hour of that time in a Formula Mazda racer. The course starts with a basic ground school, then it’s time to suit up, get seated and blast around the track.
This also happens to be one of the cheapest courses on offer making it a great gift for that budding racer in your life.
Advanced Formula Car Racing - $2,350
If you are ready to step into the big leagues of racing, the Advanced Formula Car Racing class is the next step. This class is only open to graduates of the Grand Prix Road Racing course or holders of an accredited racing license; this isn’t for weekend warriors or simple enthusiasts.
Much like the other racing courses, this class will focus on the finer points of competitive driving with extra attention paid to defining vehicle limits, improving lap times, passing techniques, and race craft. One of the key advantages of this program is that each student will spend five hours on the track every day they have class. There is no teacher like experience, and 15 hours behind the wheel across three days is an incredible amount of practice and experience.
Chris Cook Performance Stock Car Driving Experience - $750
The Chris Cook Performance Stock Car Driving Experience is just a small taste of what Bondurant can offer for stock car enthusiasts. This program is short, but it offers a lot for newcomers. The day starts with a short ground school that explains safety procedures and proper technique. Form there students suit up, and slide into their own road course-prepped stock car for a 650 horsepower lead-follow session around the 1.6-mile track.
Introduction to Stock Cars - $1,500
The Stock Car Experience is just a small taste of what students can experience behind the wheels of these great machines. The Introduction to Stock Cars course will up the ante by providing a lot more seat time and more advanced instruction. The course will help teach the critical fundamentals of driving a stock car like smoothness, steering, braking, consistency, shifting, vision and concentration. During the course, students will get to complete 20 laps.
Intermediate Stock Car Program - $3,750
This course is the next step up for stock car students, and it builds on the Introduction course. Students practice the same skills, but through greater practice and instruction, these skills will be further harnessed and developed. This course ups the lap count to 50, and there is a professional debriefing after every session.
Half Day Advanced Stock Car Program - $5,500
This is the perfect course for racers who need to brush up on their skills before the next season starts, or for amateurs who want to improve enough to compete in the big leagues. The half day course is an intense one-on-one day that uses personal coaching to grade, alter and improve a driver’s techniques and skill with a road course stock car. This half-day program mixes ground school, lead-follow sessions and open track time to teach and train.
Full Day Advanced Stock Car Program - $9,000
This is the same intensive class as the Half Day Advanced program, but it increases the amount of time students have to a full day. This is the ultimate in stock car training that Bondurant provides.
If all you really want is a special session for one car, or a certain skill, Bondurant offers classes that are perfect for you as well. Nearly every piece of course curriculum from autocross competitions, skid control, leaf-follow laps, team slalom events and more are available as their own separate programs.
Beyond these classes, Bondurant also offers a whole host of Kart courses.