I’m a firm believer in track instruction making you a better street driver. I also believe that there’s no such thing as too much track time, especially under the watchful eye of an instructor who can actually teach and motivate you. Good instruction isn’t cheap, and a two day class in a formula car can easily set you back $3,500 plus the cost of travel. It makes sense, then, that top level driving schools are now starting to offer discount packages to students who buy instruction in bulk.
Imagine my delight when Skip Barber announced a lifetime FAST PASS, good for any venue and any type of instruction ranging from sportbikes through MX-5 Cup through open wheel. And then I saw the price tag of $295,000, and I had to pick myself up off the floor. No really, it’s how much?
Two hundred and ninety five thousand dollars is a lot of money to spend on a hobby. For that kind of coin, you could buy into just about any motorsport country club in the U.S., and even hire some top tier drivers to come in and give you one on one instruction. Of course you don’t get the nifty Skip Barber stickers for your toolbox and fridge, but you probably won’t spend nearly $300k, either.
I guess there are circumstances where this makes sense. Say your eight year old has been kicking ass and taking names on the local karting circuit, and you want to make sure he gets a shot at the big time. Lifetime instruction for an eight year old can work out to a lot of hours on the track. Who needs a high school diploma when you’re sure you can get signed by Red Bull F1?
On the other hand, for the rest of us working slobs who can’t take more than a few weeks off per year, this makes no sense at all. The travel expenses alone would be astronomical, and I’ve long since come to the conclusion that I’m neither fast enough to get rich nor rich enough to get fast. For me, at least, that kind of money would be far better spent in spending a year behind the wheel of an MX-5 Cup car. All I have to do is hit the lottery first.