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Old 02-08-2010, 11:15 AM   #1
TheMadChigga
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Good driving schools?

Hey guys, I'm looking into high performance driving schools and just wondering which ones are the best in/around GTA? I'm not looking for open-cockpit classes, just regular normal street cars.
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:55 AM   #2
careless7
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Depends on how much you wanna spend?! I've taken a few, one was the open wheelers at Bridgestone Racing Acedemy that was very enlightening since the cars were so twitchy and the tires were only 195s...after that you can handle any street car.

Kensai Race Days at Mosport, instruction is like $175 if you want to learn the track and advanced driving.

More entry level is www.spda-online.ca has autoslalom & skidpad at the Powerade center that are good starters.

Cost is no object...Jim Russell at Tremblant
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:01 PM   #3
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id be interested also. get a large group together for one maybe ?

ive heard that theres some good ones through bmwcca?
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Old 02-08-2010, 12:25 PM   #4
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I HIGHLY recommend starting with the Saab club. The instructors at these schools are the absolute best in the area (it's kind of their private hangout where they come to goof around [you'll get to see some wild driving] and also teach some people to drive). The schools are usually at Mosport DDT so you won't have to spend time getting over psychological awe of Mosport GP or Tremblant (plus I think the speeds at these tracks are too high for a beginner, things happen too fast for you to learn optimally - you will learn but not as fast as you could). They're also quite cheap. The only downside is that they're on Fridays.

After that it's pretty much up to you. Trillium has gone downhill in the past 5 years but they're pretty much your best bet for a Mosport GP school. They may have loosened their sphincters and the cool people have returned, I don't know I haven't been recently but I hear their schools aren't filling so probably not (it used to be that you had to book the next school within a few weeks of the last one, or you wouldn't get a spot). But if you want to treat yourself and the missus to a nice vacation, go up to Tremblant with one of the US chapters, like Boston or GVC (never been with GVC but I hear they're the best group). They're super cool, lots of fun on and off the track, and the area is so nice to relax in. Last time we stayed right in the middle of the village - if you've been there you know what that means.
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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The BMW Club Trillium Chapter offers ADS at Mosport. I tried out the school back in August í09 held at Mosportís DDT and I had a ton of fun and learned a lot. I highly recommend it. The GP track does seem to be a bit much for beginners but after more seat time, Iím up for the challenge.
There has been a fair amount of 'issues' in the past within the Club that seems to have tarnished its image.
The line-up of enthusiasts that are putting their own time and effort into the Club now are looking for a more positive outcome and want to put past issues behind them by moving forward. I find that they are doing an excellent job and I will continue to support the Club as best I can.

Iíll admit to this, once youíve gone out on the track, youíre not going to want to stop thinking about when you can head out again. Youíll need to put your ego aside and jump in fresh and you will see how much youíre able to learn in such short time.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:17 PM   #6
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Some weird responses on here.

The first question is whether you want to use your own car? My response assumes that you do (if you don't look at the BMW driving courses).

Kensai - is not a school. Povaledo will watch you from several places Mosport GP track and give you feed back on your line. This is nice if you have experience and want to fine tune but useless for someone who has never been to HPDE and probably does not know what the proper seat position is or how to hold the steering wheel.

Slalom and Skid pad in a parking lot is not really a school either.

Generally, there are two types of schools you can do. School run by pros: BF Academy or Jim Russell, etc. They provide a formula car. If you have never been on a track probably no the place to start. More info at:

http://www.race2000.com/

http://www.jimrussell.com/en/home.cfm

or

Schools ran by volunteers (some of whom are pros), Hanson, Trillium, Saab, Ian Law etc.

I would suggest that you start with the Hanson international school that are held at Mosport DDT and Trillium DDT school. Once you get some basics about high performance driving you can choose how to proceed next.

The Trillium events are fine and offer a good mix of class room, in car and skid pad.


I would also suggest you look at some literature, I like the Speed Secrets series from Ross Bentley.


Hanson:
HANSON International Advanced Driving School
Peter Hanson
Tel: (416) 540-2995
Email: hanson_gtr@sympatico.ca

BMW Trillium

http://www.trillium-bmwclub.ca/site/...DriverTraining

Hope this helps.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_Bangle View Post

Kensai - is not a school. Povaledo will watch you from several places Mosport GP track and give you feed back on your line. This is nice if you have experience and want to fine tune but useless for someone who has never been to HPDE and probably does not know what the proper seat position is or how to hold the steering wheel.

Slalom and Skid pad in a parking lot is not really a school either.

Generally, there are two types of schools you can do. School run by pros: BF Academy or Jim Russell, etc. They provide a formula car. If you have never been on a track probably no the place to start. More info at:

http://www.race2000.com/

http://www.jimrussell.com/en/home.cfm

.
Umm ya as I pointed out Kensai / Povoledo is to "learn Mosport and advanced driving"...ironically they did have a section on proper seating position and steering wheel position. Povoledo will drive your car, drive with you and lead / follow and video analysis. No reason to be scared of Mosport, most people take it easy in the beginner group.

Yes, the SPDA Advanced Driving Clinic was 1-on-1 instruction covered the following: car prep, seat position, steering wheel position, sight focus, understeer, oversteer, rapid acceleration, threshold braking, slalom...then advanced slalom over 2 days. It is decent instruction for the price. No its not Jim Russel but its 1/10th the price.

Article I wrote:
http://prnmag.com/index.php?option=c...heel&Itemid=68

OP already stated he didn't want open-wheel but we both recommended it anyway FYI.

Last edited by careless7; 02-08-2010 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #8
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Derek Hanson is the head instructor and at all Trillium schools. There are 4 schools running this year. 2 at the GP and one at the DDT. The fourth school is at Shannonville and will posibly be running 3 track configurations over 2 days.

Trillium also teaches the Ross Bently ciricullium.

Also alot of the instructors teach at various schools.

There will be an upcoming meeting where people can come out and meet some of the instructors from the Trillium club and talk to them about the schools and see what they offer.

Last edited by richie_s999; 02-08-2010 at 09:12 PM.
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Old 02-08-2010, 09:19 PM   #9
Chris_Bangle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by careless7 View Post
Umm ya as I pointed out Kensai / Povoledo is to "learn Mosport and advanced driving"...ironically they did have a section on proper seating position and steering wheel position. Povoledo will drive your car, drive with you and lead / follow and video analysis. No reason to be scared of Mosport, most people take it easy in the beginner group.

Yes, the SPDA Advanced Driving Clinic was 1-on-1 instruction covered the following: car prep, seat position, steering wheel position, sight focus, understeer, oversteer, rapid acceleration, threshold braking, slalom...then advanced slalom over 2 days. It is decent instruction for the price. No its not Jim Russel but its 1/10th the price.

Article I wrote:
http://prnmag.com/index.php?option=c...heel&Itemid=68

OP already stated he didn't want open-wheel but we both recommended it anyway FYI.

I did not recommend open wheel, I used it an an illustration for the type of schools one can do.

Some additional corrections (btw don't get me wrong, I enjoy Kensai days); Povoledo can drive your car and do lead follow, unless I am mistaken this is not a practice.

+ A beginner will learn 1/10 driving by himself in the beginner group with Kensai of what he we learn at trillium (even with Evan at the class room) or listening to Derek Hanson at the Hanson school.

I did not know that parking lot events had instruction, my mistake.
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Old 02-08-2010, 10:32 PM   #10
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I can attest for what Chris_Bangle added for the Hanson International Advanced Driving School.

I attended it back in 2008 and had Randy (Empowred on maxbimmer) as my instructor at Mosport DDT. It's a great school to get yourself in learning how to drive your car around the track. They do have in-classes throughout the day to help people understand better on driving dynamics; and you get to drive on the skid pad as well as practice emergency stops / avoidances.

The 2nd time I attended it, the instructor signed me off to let me lap on my own in the intermediate group. This is not to say that they'll sign off on anyone; I guess I'm relatively a quick learner, have a good sense of driving dynamics, and pushes the car at a level I'm comfortable with.

Due to the scheduling of the the Trillium Chapter this year, I probably will join the Kensai Lapping at Mosport GP. I know a guy there a.k.a. "Turtle" who races regionally and he helped my buddy out a lot to learn the track.

I feel the key point is don't overdrive yourself and drive smart!
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Old 02-08-2010, 11:32 PM   #11
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I have to agree to what someone said earlier in this thread. Some really weird responses here. Possibly from some people who have never gone to the advanced driving schools that are being mentioned.

Firstly, all schools offer a mix of pros and cons. I've been instructing since 2000, and I currently sit on the board of directors with the Trillium BMW Club of Canada. For those who have a beef with this club, I would really like to know what it is and how I could help fix it. Please through PM only, I don't want anyone crapping in public as it helps no one, and just stinks . No sarcasm, sincerity. I've made it my personal mandate to improve the bread of this club to what it was in the mid '90's when I was making my way through the schools. I believe we've made an improvement commencing last year, and it IS carrying on into 2010 with SO many more exhaustive changes. If myself and a few others put any more time into this club, I'll probably end up in divorce court. That said, if any of you have had a beef or currently has a beef with Trillium why don't you nominate yourself to the board of directors and be a part of the fix. We are currently looking for two people to join us in our expansion and improvement this year!

Secondly, for anyone, and I mean anyone to say the quality of instructors is better at Hanson school, or Kensai, or Trillium or Saab or spda is better than the other is completely and utterly absurd! I instruct with about 30-50 others at these schools. It is the same group, give or take some, of instructor pools that all of these clubs use. I am instructing at SVTOA, Golden Horseshoe Mustang ASS., Trillium, Peter Hanson D.A., Ottawa/Hull BMW Club of Can. and GVC this year just to mention the ones I'm registered for. That said I'll be travelling in a convoy with other instructors for all above said groups!!

Thirdly, it is completely safe to start at the Mosport GP Track if you have a qualified instructor with you, and have been properly briefed prior to. I started on the GP track and it was amazing. It was with Trillium in '96 and it was an absolute, SAFE, hoot. I highly recommend it. As Rich stated in an earlier post, we will be having a pre-driving school season meeting in march to have a bit of a talk and a large open Q and A session with anyone who has already registered, or wants to register but wants more info first or for just those of you who are curious. It will be open to anyone, and we will personally welcome anyone who wants to come just to meet and mingle with instructors, board members, fellow participants.

Cheers,
John

P.S. Sorry about being so long winded, (I have a knack for that) but this is something I take very seriously, and am very passionate about!
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Old 02-09-2010, 05:29 PM   #12
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I have to agree. I went to a track for the first time this year at the Mosport GP track, and it is a great track to start on. I think if i started at the DDT i would of almost been put off. (I have taken a ride in cars around it and its just not the same) You get some good speed and some great elevation changes which makes for way more fun. Its not overwhelming at all. Just know your limits.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:02 PM   #13
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The only issue with going to the GP track for your first time, is that at DDT one can play around with the car more to feel the limit, if you put a wheel off or even spin - no big deal, the GP track is not quite conducive to it.
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Old 02-09-2010, 07:20 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dble Trouble View Post
I have to agree to what someone said earlier in this thread. Some really weird responses here. Possibly from some people who have never gone to the advanced driving schools that are being mentioned.

Firstly, all schools offer a mix of pros and cons. I've been instructing since 2000, and I currently sit on the board of directors with the Trillium BMW Club of Canada. For those who have a beef with this club, I would really like to know what it is and how I could help fix it. Please through PM only, I don't want anyone crapping in public as it helps no one, and just stinks . No sarcasm, sincerity. I've made it my personal mandate to improve the bread of this club to what it was in the mid '90's when I was making my way through the schools. I believe we've made an improvement commencing last year, and it IS carrying on into 2010 with SO many more exhaustive changes. If myself and a few others put any more time into this club, I'll probably end up in divorce court. That said, if any of you have had a beef or currently has a beef with Trillium why don't you nominate yourself to the board of directors and be a part of the fix. We are currently looking for two people to join us in our expansion and improvement this year!

Secondly, for anyone, and I mean anyone to say the quality of instructors is better at Hanson school, or Kensai, or Trillium or Saab or spda is better than the other is completely and utterly absurd! I instruct with about 30-50 others at these schools. It is the same group, give or take some, of instructor pools that all of these clubs use. I am instructing at SVTOA, Golden Horseshoe Mustang ASS., Trillium, Peter Hanson D.A., Ottawa/Hull BMW Club of Can. and GVC this year just to mention the ones I'm registered for. That said I'll be travelling in a convoy with other instructors for all above said groups!!

Thirdly, it is completely safe to start at the Mosport GP Track if you have a qualified instructor with you, and have been properly briefed prior to. I started on the GP track and it was amazing. It was with Trillium in '96 and it was an absolute, SAFE, hoot. I highly recommend it. As Rich stated in an earlier post, we will be having a pre-driving school season meeting in march to have a bit of a talk and a large open Q and A session with anyone who has already registered, or wants to register but wants more info first or for just those of you who are curious. It will be open to anyone, and we will personally welcome anyone who wants to come just to meet and mingle with instructors, board members, fellow participants.

Cheers,
John

P.S. Sorry about being so long winded, (I have a knack for that) but this is something I take very seriously, and am very passionate about!
So at Trillium, which will be the beginner's course? and how is this conducted
also would be great to know the time/date of the upcoming meet the Trillium instyructors, boarb members event.
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:42 PM   #15
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^^The meet the board/instructors night, is tentatively scheduled for March 21st at GPKartway at Downsview park. We're not sure time yet, check the www.trillium-bmwclub.ca website for confirmation of date and time. We may also have Pirelli there for their tire presentation and technical info session, so it will be a full evening of info.
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