When it comes to making a true driver’s car, there are few companies in the world that do it better than Porsche. Having sampled several of its creations, I can attest to how each car feels like it wants to push you to be a better driver. With that in mind, what better company is there to help you hone your skills behind the wheel?

As you may have noticed by our recent coverage here on the site, there are lots of driving programs offered here in the United States that cater to different driving disciplines, cars and regional locations. Even with such a plethora of options available, it is hard to see why anyone wouldn’t pick a Porsche Sport Driving School. With classes ranging from short one-day schools designed to enhance your on-street abilities to full competition classes that end with your receipt of a legitimate racing license, Porsche has something for every driver of every skill level. Like many of the competitors, Porsche also offers simulator training as well.

To top it all off, the school takes place at one of the greatest circuits in the U.S., Barber Motorsports park. This venue is used to host races for IndyCar, AMA Superbikes and more.

If you live anywhere near the state of Alabama, you have very little excuse not to at least take a peek at what Porsche is offering. To make it easier for you we have collected information on all the cars, classes and features that Porsche is offering. We also have a collection of videos that show you just how wild and amazing these classes can be.

Click past the jump to read more about the Porsche Sport Driving School.

Location

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Barber Motorsports Park is located just outside Birmingham Alabama. The course itself was constructed in 2003, has a total length of 2.38 miles and features 16 numbered turns. Since its birth a decade ago it has hosted races for IndyCar, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series, Pirelli World Challenge and the AMA Superbike Championship among others. The track is unique for many reasons including a lack of general grandstand seating near the main straight and a large collection of sculptures covering the infield.

The track was created by legendary course designer Alan L. Wilson who has more than 20 track designs to his name. Some of his most famous include Miller Motorsports Park and he led the redesign of Circuit Mont-Tremblant in Canada.

Address:

Porsche Sport Driving School - USA
6075-B Barber Motorsports Parkway
Leeds, AL 35094

The Cars

No race experience would complete without the right car, and Porsche offers all the sports cars you’ll need. From drop-top fun in machines like the Boxster to the all-out power and speed provided by the 911 Turbo there is a car that suits you needs, driving styles and experience.

Porsche 911

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As the legend that built Porsche as a brand, the 911 is a very special machine. Currently Porsche offers the 911 in no less than 20 models. There are cars with rear- or all-wheel drive, forced induction, or naturally aspirated, manual transmissions or PDK automatics, as well as convertibles, coupe and targas. Power output in the 911 ranges from 350 horsepower for the base Carrera 2 and goes up to 560 for the Turbo S.

Porsche Cayman

Porsche Sport Driving School Exterior
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The Porsche Cayman is arguably the best car that Porsche currently makes. As a hard-top sibling to the Boxster the Cayman gets the benefit of the superior mid-engine platform but gains the added rigidity and loss of weight that comes with a fixed top. Available in base, S or GTS trims, there is a solid selection of models to drive and experience, but Porsche has yet to give the Cayman any engines that outpower the 911.

Porsche Cayenne

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The Porsche Cayenne is the SUV of the family, and Porsche offers classes to help train people how to drive their SUVs in less than hospitable condition, like off-road tracks. Of course the Cayenne is still a Porsche, and it still retains the incredible handling feel and speed that Porsche is known for, so you can expect to drive this in anger and at speed.

Porsche Panamera

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The Porsche Panamera is the largest car that Porsche currently makes, and it’s one of the few cars that wear the Crest that can comfortable hold four people. This large sedan is an executive saloon car in the same vein as the Mercedes S-Class, but thanks to available models like the 570 horsepower Turbo S, the Panamera is no slouch on the track.

Courses

Precision - (One-Day High Performance Driving Course) - $1,800

The shortest program that Porsche offers is the one day “Precision” course. This high performance driving course will get students familiar with the racing line and vehicle dynamics through a combination of classroom and track time. Throughout the day students will spend time rotating through the skid pad, autocross track and Performance Driving Techniques programs. The afternoon sees the addition of the Autocross Challenge and Lane Change exercise coupled to more skid pad and track time. At the end of the day there is an instructor hot-lap session so every guest can ride shotgun and experience the circuit at the level of a real racing driver.

Precision Couples Package (One-Day High Performance Driving Course) - $4,400

If you have a spouse, significant other or best friend that would enjoy a Porsche driving school, there is a special couples course for the one-day Precision school. This package is the same training as the standard Precision program, just with special lodging, food and pricing for a pair.

Performance - (Two-Day High Performance Driving Course) - $3,200

The first two-day course that Porsche offers is dubbed “Performance” and it covers a wide variety of situations, skills and scenarios. The first day starts with classroom work to discuss basics like vehicle dynamics and the racing line. From there drivers get tossed between the Skid Pad, Performance Driving Techniques, Autocross and Track sections. This collection of divided classes serves to help students master the driving line, learn the trickier corners of the track and help to sharpen basic skills that will help them excel. The second day is dedicated to more advanced skills including heel-toe downshifting, and then students compete in the Autocross Challenge, Cornering Drill and Track Sessions. After a break for lunch, students get to experience the Porsche Cayenne on the off-road course. There is also more Track Session time, a team Skid Pad Competition and the day wraps up with hot laps with the instructors.

For two days of time and $3,200 of your hard-earned dollars, the Performance program offers a wide variety of driving experiences and skills.

Women’s Only - (Two-Day High Performance Driving Course) - $3,200

This special program is catered to the female in your life. While the track curriculum is identical to the standard Performance class, this program alters the hotel resort and comes with a discounted rate at the resort spa. As a bonus, there is a two day bonus extension to the resort that gives participants an extra two days at the resort with the heavily discounted Porsche school rate.

Masters - (Two-Day Advanced Driving Course) - $4,000

If you have tackled the standard two-day Performance course and you want to learn more and increase your skills behind the wheel, the advanced “Masters” class is your next step. This class is only offered to graduates of the lower-level courses and it compounds on everything you should have learned. You participate in many of the same exercises, but instructors are even more involved with each driver, and you go far more into depth about the nuances of the racing line, track, and driving skills. With experience comes skill so day two is almost exclusively track time that is used to push yourself and master the new skills that you have learned. There is a break for an Autocross Challenge in the middle of the day, but otherwise it is just a whole day of fast and furious track time.

G-Force – (One-Day Advanced Car Control Clinic & Lapping Day) - $3,000

If you have finished the Master course and you feel like playing with some of the faster and more powerful cars in the Porsche stable while simultaneously learning the fine art of tire adhesion and throttle control, the G-Force class is the perfect option. This one day class starts with drivers in the Carrera S where they will learn finely tuned car control skills that involve how to handle a car at the absolute limit. The class will teach drivers how to recover during an oversteer scenario, as well as how to perform perfect sweeping drifts. The class helps teach and demonstrate how both throttle and braking application can be used to effectively steer the car by introducing rotation.

This class ends with drivers getting seat time in both the 911 Turbo S and the 911 GT3. The only caveat is that you must have graduated from the Master class in the last two years.

Masters Plus - Race License - (Three-Day Competition Driving Course) - $6,000

This is what really separates the men from the boys. Porsche’s most advanced class is also the longest consisting of three days of work. The class is designed to be taken only by students who have successfully graduated from the Master class (and ideally the G-Force class) and want to move to a more professional level. This class combines every skill you have learned over the other programs including brake-induced car rotation, heel-toe downshifting and power slide skid pad exercises. Along with the refinement of these skills, the Masters Plus class introduces race strategy, track flag procures, lapping skills and a deep look at data and telemetry thanks to in-car camera and telemetry data systems. As an SCCA accredited program, all graduates are eligible to apply for an SCCA Regional Racing License.

With hot laps, passing drills, and race craft all wrapped up into three days of excitement and speed, this is the pinnacle of the Porsche Sports Driving School.

Porsche Driving Simulators

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Porsche is looking to stay ahead of the technology and instructional curve and is introducing a state-of-the-art simulator setup for students to use. The simulators are mounted on actuated platforms that move to simulate g-forces, feature a three monitor setup to fill your peripheral vision and a professional grade steering wheel and pedal setup to provide the most realistic experience possible. The simulators allow students to experience tracks from around the world like the Nurburgring or Le Sarthe. The system is also setup to allow real-time competitions between two or more simulators.

Currently there is no solid info about potential costs or scheduling for the simulators. Porsche says they should have more information available after the new year.

Video Gallery

40 Years of Porsche Sport Driving School


Porsche Sport Driving School - USA at Barber Motorsports Park


Porsche Sports Driving School @ Barber Motorsports Park - Masters Plus


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