I am very good at driving fast. The Highway Patrols of California, Arizona and New Mexico can vouch for that. I have slowed down on the highways and decided to satisfy my need for speed by learning to drive a real, high performance, race car at the Bondurant School in Phoenix.
The facility is known as “The Fastest 60 Acres” in America. It is a multi-configuration, 1.6 miles course with 15 turns. I had pictured zipping round and round like at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. This experience, with all the turns, proved to be more challenging than I anticipated.
My instructor, Danny Bullock, greeted me at the front desk and did not waste any time. He outfitted me with the proper equipment including a head sock and helmet. We went through the course, turn by turn, and Danny explained the “science” of driving. I did not realize how calculated every move is when it comes to driving a high performance racing vehicle. These drivers are incredibly knowledgeable about physics and engineering. Kind of blew my mind at how much thought is required. After reviewing the safety guidelines and a brief classroom driving lesson, Danny put me into a car and had me drive a few laps.
I was feeling pretty confident soaring around at a whopping 60 MPH. I had listened carefully to Danny’s instruction about when to ease up on the gas and when to accelerate. This was much harder to actually do than I anticipated. You can not let your concentration lapse or take your eye away from what is coming next for even a tenth of a second. I was truly fatigued after my drive. When I got back, Danny invited me to hop into his car for some “hot laps”. OMG. I didn’t even make it through one full lap before I used the previously agreed upon safety word to tell him to stop. He begged me to let him blow through the straightaway once. That was all I could handle 🙂