Many manufacturers offer some sort of performance driving school as part of a “high performance” vehicle purchase. Ford has their ST Octane Academy, Mopar runs the SRT Track Experience, and even Land Rover offers the Land Rover Experience Driving School. Cadillac has joined the mix with their “V-Performance Academy,” held at Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, about 55 miles west of Las Vegas.
Cadillac claims the school, included with the purchase of any new V-series vehicle, “is designed to assist V-Series owners in mastering their vehicle’s immense power and capabilities, while expanding their driving skillset.” Fred Smith recently purchased a Cadillac ATS-V and was excited to attend. Cadillac covers everything aside from airfare.
Fred’s last racing/driving school experience was with Panoz at Road Atlanta in 2000, and he said “the thought of doing this with the actual car I own [was] really exciting to me.”
The two-day school was “a blast,” according to Fred, and split into two days of instruction and seat time.
“The first day was more classrooms and specific exercises (braking, slalom, skid pad etc). The best part so far is learning what you daily driver is really capable of. So far it has cemented my decision that the ATS-V was a better choice for me than the CTS-V. The CTS feels overpowered, big and brutish compared to the extension of my body feeling I get from my car.”
Fred spent his second day doing lead-follow exercises around Spring Mountain, with video recording and all:
Says Fred, “We lapped the group in front of us twice during this session. It’s great to learn what your car is capable of doing using someone else’s equipment.”