When I received an invitation to Bondurant High Performance Driving School, I honestly had to look it up and find out what it was all about. Once I found out that regular people had the ability to drive high performance cars on a track, I got a giddy (partially crazy) look on my face and decided I had to go.
Bondurant’s simple mission is for people to be better drivers. And, if you have lived in Arizona for any amount of time (or are just visiting), we could all use some help. My husband and I are originally from the northeast, and people from the northeast could use some help as well.
Bondurant is currently owned by Stig Investments but was founded in 1968. At the school located in Chandler, Arizona, you’ll find a 450 acre facility that has a 1.6 mile track with 3 additional road courses and a NHRA drag strip. The school has over 100 race prepared vehicles, sedans, SUVs and open wheel formula cars. Bondurant is sponsored by Dodge/SRT.
Three different driving and racing programs are available at Bondurant: High Performance Driving, Grand Prix Road Racing and Teen Defensive Driving. We did the High Performance Driving, but as a mom of three kids who will eventually get to drive (agggh), The Teen Defensive Driving class was pretty interesting to me as well!
I was a little concerned that I might have to drive a standard car, but they were all automatic cars in the High Performance Driving. I could drive a standard-if they wanted me to stall when I saw another car!
There are many different buildings on the Bondurant’s huge 450 acre facility. We started at the event center.
Accident Avoidance Drill
We then proceeded into 15 passenger vans for the Accident Avoidance Drill.
If you get car sick, you will want to let the instructors know, because you will be shaken up in the van on this drill. It is a lot of fun, but you will get thrown all around. The instructor will go over different scenarios that you may encounter while driving and the impact that speed and weight impact while driving.
We did a tour of the facilities and saw that they fix and upkeep all of the cars on site! After every day, the cars are cleaned and maintained and kept in the highest operating condition.
Next we did the Team Slalom exercise. Our group of twenty was split into two teams of ten. We were to drive around a set of cones and see which team who got all of the team members back first. You had to do the course correctly. And, a five second penalty was added for every cone that was hit over! Nerve wracking! I think the worst part of this was that I didn’t know how to shift it into gear at first!
We didn’t get a trial run of the car, so going from never driving a car before to trying to get it between cones as quickly as possible in front of people I didn’t know was a bit nerve wracking. Am I now ready for a heist? I don’t know! Maybe a movie scene of a heist!
After this round, we did an individual competition. Ashley recorded one of my rounds. My biggest issue was the music. I needed some good music to drive.
I came in eighth out of twenty, just in case you were curious. I think it was respectable. Next time I willthink I could have done better. Next time, next time!
Lead and Follow
After this was the lead and follow. Tyler, one of the trainers, showed us a map of the course and what to expect. We were going to follow a lead car (orange) and try to keep a space distance of about 3 cars behind the next car.
I opted to go in the “fast” group! I was super excited! We took about five laps around the course, and we were traveling about 50-60 miles around all of the twists and turns
I recorded Ashley, who opted a slower for the slower follow group. I like to call hers ” A nice Sunday Drive”
Lastly, we were able to be a passenger with one of the drivers in an 800 horse power, standard Dodge SRT that whipped around the track at speeds up to 95 miles an hour!
This part of the ride was super thrilling as we whipped around corners and and sped down straightaways.
Bondurant was truly the dream I never knew I had. Especially since I was sidelined from driving for a year for health reasons. I’m glad that I was able to take part in this amazing day.
If you have a hard to shop for relative that is a “gear head”, looking for some thrills, need some driving experience or are part of a conference that needs team building exercises, Bondurant in Chandler is an amazing place to go! It was hard to get back in my minivan and drive back home, but I definitely felt more confident doing so!
2000 S Maricopa Rd Gate #3
We received complimentary admission. All opinions are 100% are own. This is not an appropriate place for children to come along. Sorry kids, just a place for mom and dad!