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Spring Mountain Impressions

TK42ONE

Seasoned Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2022
Messages
98
Location
DFW Texas
V-Series Cadillac(s)?
2022 CT5-V (traded)
Just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the Spring Mountain V Academy and my experience there. Long thread with pictures so the BLUF is had a blast, it was fun.

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I took the class on 11/12 Jan. Getting up there was quite easy from Vegas, about an hour. Unfortunately I did not get in until midnight the day before the class due to aircraft mechanical issues. Check in with security after hours was really easy and less than five minutes. The condo was nice. More like a studio apartment. One great room with a king size bed, sofa, small dining table and a kitchen. There were four small bottles of water in the fridge and plenty of coffee. DirecTV and a wall / window ac/heater. Bathroom was stocked with essentials. Overall very comfortable for two nights.

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Day 1 / 2 heading to the clubhouse for breakfast. There were three total classes going on at the same time. The blackwing class and two corvette classes. The food was served buffet style with typical quality. Wasn't terrible but did not knock my socks off. There were approximately 18 round table with six seats or so at each table. I found a place and joined a crowd. In this case a couple of corvette people and one blackwing student; @LastGas

Lunch was similar to breakfast, buffet style. Food was good.

After day 1 there was a no host social at the club. Someone shared a slice of pizza with me. It was tasty. Drinks were reasonably priced.

Class Days 1/2:

After breakfast headed over to the White classroom on the east of the complex. The complex has 9.1 miles of track that can be reconfigured into more than 50 different tracks. We were on the East loop for the two days. Class room was comfortable, good seating, cup holders and not too crowded with 16 students in the class. Two did not make it due to flight cancellations I believe. I'm combining day 1 and 2 below for ease since I did not copy the agenda.

IMG_0765.jpeg


Instruction was similar to other driving schools. They broke us up into three groups to start. Red, Green and Blue. The code for the week was Red was the slowest group, green in the middle and Blue faster or as they said more aggressive. Groups were adjusted as required after the first session and after the second session on the 1st day. For our class the groups did not change on day 2. Each group would either be on the track (lead / follow), up on the paddock or in the classroom. Course layout is on the right of the image below.

IMG_0788.jpeg


The off track car work consisted of ABS breaking exercises, figure 8 drifts, launch control, look ahead turns and autocross.

ABS: typical to other classes. Accelerate to cones, hard break, and go to one lane or the other. The difference between this class and say the Porsche class is that here they emphasized using ABS and Porsche pushed threshold breaking.

Figure 8: They wet the asphalt and you would do a figure 8 between two cones and break the car loose and try to regain control. At the end of the exercise the car was put into snow/ice mode to show how difficult if not impossible to break the back end out.

Launch Control: just like you would expect. We did three launches between cones. I hit 3.9, 4.1 and 4.0 for zero to 60.

Look ahead turns: Series of cones to weave through that you are forced to look ahead to the next one outside the passenger or drivers side window to be successful. At one point in the exercise they put a window shade up so you can't see out the front. They encourage you to move faster as you become more comfortable.

Autocross: simple autocross course. Ran for time on the second time through the course.

Class time: A bit fuzzy remembering these as most were not as value added to me compared with driving. There was a PDR class (I don't have PDR), 8 step curve class, garage talk (modes and maintenance), photographer sales, PDR video review of track session and I'm sure I'm missing one.

The most valuable class time to me was the unscripted back and forth with the instructors and students on track management. Additionally, JJ, lead instructor day one took a drone up and videoed a series of corners for each group. That really cemented in my head of where i was dorking it up and needed to make some changes. Next most valuable was the PDR review with instructors. After seeing it from above, then from the PDR it was quite helpful.

Instructors: I found them very good and personable. I really liked JJ and Tammy. Tammy was great on course. Vinny was probably my runner up to Tammy on course.

Overall a good two day program. For me I would have liked to eliminate launch control, ABS breaking and a couple of classroom sessions for more track time. Track time was five 20 ish minute sessions over two days. Additionally, more drone footage from above and the ability to take it home as well. I did opt for the photos. Quality is quite good for the photos and well I figured the class was free so why not spend $175 on photos.

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Just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the Spring Mountain V Academy and my experience there. Long thread with pictures so the BLUF is had a blast, it was fun.

View attachment 16002
I took the class on 11/12 Jan. Getting up there was quite easy from Vegas, about an hour. Unfortunately I did not get in until midnight the day before the class due to aircraft mechanical issues. Check in with security after hours was really easy and less than five minutes. The condo was nice. More like a studio apartment. One great room with a king size bed, sofa, small dining table and a kitchen. There were four small bottles of water in the fridge and plenty of coffee. DirecTV and a wall / window ac/heater. Bathroom was stocked with essentials. Overall very comfortable for two nights.

View attachment 16003

View attachment 16004

Day 1 / 2 heading to the clubhouse for breakfast. There were three total classes going on at the same time. The blackwing class and two corvette classes. The food was served buffet style with typical quality. Wasn't terrible but did not knock my socks off. There were approximately 18 round table with six seats or so at each table. I found a place and joined a crowd. In this case a couple of corvette people and one blackwing student; @LastGas

Lunch was similar to breakfast, buffet style. Food was good.

After day 1 there was a no host social at the club. Someone shared a slice of pizza with me. It was tasty. Drinks were reasonably priced.

Class Days 1/2:

After breakfast headed over to the White classroom on the east of the complex. The complex has 9.1 miles of track that can be reconfigured into more than 50 different tracks. We were on the East loop for the two days. Class room was comfortable, good seating, cup holders and not too crowded with 16 students in the class. Two did not make it due to flight cancellations I believe. I'm combining day 1 and 2 below for ease since I did not copy the agenda.

View attachment 16005

Instruction was similar to other driving schools. They broke us up into three groups to start. Red, Green and Blue. The code for the week was Red was the slowest group, green in the middle and Blue faster or as they said more aggressive. Groups were adjusted as required after the first session and after the second session on the 1st day. For our class the groups did not change on day 2. Each group would either be on the track (lead / follow), up on the paddock or in the classroom. Course layout is on the right of the image below.

View attachment 16006

The off track car work consisted of ABS breaking exercises, figure 8 drifts, launch control, look ahead turns and autocross.

ABS: typical to other classes. Accelerate to cones, hard break, and go to one lane or the other. The difference between this class and say the Porsche class is that here they emphasized using ABS and Porsche pushed threshold breaking.

Figure 8: They wet the asphalt and you would do a figure 8 between two cones and break the car loose and try to regain control. At the end of the exercise the car was put into snow/ice mode to show how difficult if not impossible to break the back end out.

Launch Control: just like you would expect. We did three launches between cones. I hit 3.9, 4.1 and 4.0 for zero to 60.

Look ahead turns: Series of cones to weave through that you are forced to look ahead to the next one outside the passenger or drivers side window to be successful. At one point in the exercise they put a window shade up so you can't see out the front. They encourage you to move faster as you become more comfortable.

Autocross: simple autocross course. Ran for time on the second time through the course.

Class time: A bit fuzzy remembering these as most were not as value added to me compared with driving. There was a PDR class (I don't have PDR), 8 step curve class, garage talk (modes and maintenance), photographer sales, PDR video review of track session and I'm sure I'm missing one.

The most valuable class time to me was the unscripted back and forth with the instructors and students on track management. Additionally, JJ, lead instructor day one took a drone up and videoed a series of corners for each group. That really cemented in my head of where i was dorking it up and needed to make some changes. Next most valuable was the PDR review with instructors. After seeing it from above, then from the PDR it was quite helpful.

Instructors: I found them very good and personable. I really liked JJ and Tammy. Tammy was great on course. Vinny was probably my runner up to Tammy on course.

Overall a good two day program. For me I would have liked to eliminate launch control, ABS breaking and a couple of classroom sessions for more track time. Track time was five 20 ish minute sessions over two days. Additionally, more drone footage from above and the ability to take it home as well. I did opt for the photos. Quality is quite good for the photos and well I figured the class was free so why not spend $175 on photos.

View attachment 16010

View attachment 16009
Wow, thanks for this writeup. I can't wait to go next month!!
 
Just wanted to jot down a few thoughts about the Spring Mountain V Academy and my experience there. Long thread with pictures so the BLUF is had a blast, it was fun.

View attachment 16002
I took the class on 11/12 Jan. Getting up there was quite easy from Vegas, about an hour. Unfortunately I did not get in until midnight the day before the class due to aircraft mechanical issues. Check in with security after hours was really easy and less than five minutes. The condo was nice. More like a studio apartment. One great room with a king size bed, sofa, small dining table and a kitchen. There were four small bottles of water in the fridge and plenty of coffee. DirecTV and a wall / window ac/heater. Bathroom was stocked with essentials. Overall very comfortable for two nights.

View attachment 16003

View attachment 16004

Day 1 / 2 heading to the clubhouse for breakfast. There were three total classes going on at the same time. The blackwing class and two corvette classes. The food was served buffet style with typical quality. Wasn't terrible but did not knock my socks off. There were approximately 18 round table with six seats or so at each table. I found a place and joined a crowd. In this case a couple of corvette people and one blackwing student; @LastGas

Lunch was similar to breakfast, buffet style. Food was good.

After day 1 there was a no host social at the club. Someone shared a slice of pizza with me. It was tasty. Drinks were reasonably priced.

Class Days 1/2:

After breakfast headed over to the White classroom on the east of the complex. The complex has 9.1 miles of track that can be reconfigured into more than 50 different tracks. We were on the East loop for the two days. Class room was comfortable, good seating, cup holders and not too crowded with 16 students in the class. Two did not make it due to flight cancellations I believe. I'm combining day 1 and 2 below for ease since I did not copy the agenda.

View attachment 16005

Instruction was similar to other driving schools. They broke us up into three groups to start. Red, Green and Blue. The code for the week was Red was the slowest group, green in the middle and Blue faster or as they said more aggressive. Groups were adjusted as required after the first session and after the second session on the 1st day. For our class the groups did not change on day 2. Each group would either be on the track (lead / follow), up on the paddock or in the classroom. Course layout is on the right of the image below.

View attachment 16006

The off track car work consisted of ABS breaking exercises, figure 8 drifts, launch control, look ahead turns and autocross.

ABS: typical to other classes. Accelerate to cones, hard break, and go to one lane or the other. The difference between this class and say the Porsche class is that here they emphasized using ABS and Porsche pushed threshold breaking.

Figure 8: They wet the asphalt and you would do a figure 8 between two cones and break the car loose and try to regain control. At the end of the exercise the car was put into snow/ice mode to show how difficult if not impossible to break the back end out.

Launch Control: just like you would expect. We did three launches between cones. I hit 3.9, 4.1 and 4.0 for zero to 60.

Look ahead turns: Series of cones to weave through that you are forced to look ahead to the next one outside the passenger or drivers side window to be successful. At one point in the exercise they put a window shade up so you can't see out the front. They encourage you to move faster as you become more comfortable.

Autocross: simple autocross course. Ran for time on the second time through the course.

Class time: A bit fuzzy remembering these as most were not as value added to me compared with driving. There was a PDR class (I don't have PDR), 8 step curve class, garage talk (modes and maintenance), photographer sales, PDR video review of track session and I'm sure I'm missing one.

The most valuable class time to me was the unscripted back and forth with the instructors and students on track management. Additionally, JJ, lead instructor day one took a drone up and videoed a series of corners for each group. That really cemented in my head of where i was dorking it up and needed to make some changes. Next most valuable was the PDR review with instructors. After seeing it from above, then from the PDR it was quite helpful.

Instructors: I found them very good and personable. I really liked JJ and Tammy. Tammy was great on course. Vinny was probably my runner up to Tammy on course.

Overall a good two day program. For me I would have liked to eliminate launch control, ABS breaking and a couple of classroom sessions for more track time. Track time was five 20 ish minute sessions over two days. Additionally, more drone footage from above and the ability to take it home as well. I did opt for the photos. Quality is quite good for the photos and well I figured the class was free so why not spend $175 on photos.

View attachment 16010

View attachment 16009

Agree, appreciate the write-up. Now just wish I was going sooner. For @rubberduck, dry Nevada air makes everyday a great hair day.😁
 
Hey, wait!!! Good write up of our time last week!!! What is your first name?

Thx
Russell
 
Hilarious! I figured it was one of the Texas gents, didn't know it was you Dave. Was good to connect in 3D!
 
Nice, thanks for the write up! I got my name on the list on Friday. They're booked up out until Sept.
 
Wonderful writeup @TK42ONE, and great to meet you and @rdollie last week. Glad I could give you a draft on your fast lap! Driving felt so much faster in the car than it looked on the video. I'll try to upload my video of that same lap so people can see the difference between CT4/CT5.

I think that it was crucial that they split us into three larger groups, and then divided those in half for track time, so you are in a small (two or three cars) group at similar speed on track and can get skill level appropriate instruction and then discuss with the instructor afterward. That makes it possible to get great benefit whether you are a first time track driver or have a few prior track days or driving schools. If any of you have done the Mid-Ohio School two day program, this is world's better just for driving instruction. @Throat Yogurt you'll have a terrific time. I'll recommend the #42 which may have been the only no sunroof manual CT4.

Also, east loop is a terrific layout. If you squint you can pretend its Barcelona.

-Gabriel
 
Hah @LastGas you were tough in the corners for sure. The other thing that would have been neat is to swap cars for one session or better yet add an additional session if you wanted at the end of the last day.
 
What time does each day start and end? I'm in the Bay Area so wondering if it's possible to spend just one night but still attend both days.
 
Thanks for sharing the write up and pictures!

I’m heading there this weekend…very excited (and nervous to likely be the only lady…at least one of the few if anything).

I am glad to hear they split you into groups - I have a feeling I’m gonna be on the slow side. But who knows, maybe after day 1 I’ll learn I’m a little more aggressive than I expected (unlikely).

They unfortunately are overbooked at the resort so they put me in the Holiday Inn Express.

My folks live in Vegas so I get to fly in a couple days early which alleviates any travel concerns.
 
We had three women I think. Don’t worry about. It’s about you and everyone is in the same boat. It doesn’t matter which group you are in. The experience is good and you drive at your comfort. They stressed that quite a bit.

In the lead follow since you are always rotating who is behind the leader they will go at your pace. If you keep spacing they go faster if you don’t they won’t. The whole time they are coaching on the radio and getting you to be better regardless of speed.

We had one woman who brought her husband. He did not drive. He had been before. They were a nice couple from Scottsdale. I chatted with her quite a bit.
 
Personally I am pleased they are using the East Loop for the V Academy. I have done the West loop in 2019 for the V Academy but did the East Loop in 2017 for the Corvette School.

My thoughts on East Loop. The three keys to the East Loop are 1) once you turn in and get through Turn 1 you can go flat out up to Turn 3 or at least you could in the C7Z06 as Turn 2 will hold more speed than you think. 2) you need to give up Turn 3. No reason to push it as you will just slow yourself down as you push out to the left side. 3) on the right turn before the straight, definitely be looking right as you turn in and get it shut down and do an early 'late apex' so you can get on the throttle early to get going up the straight. Half of the fun is actually learning the track you are on as you really can't get up to speed until you have run it several times.
 
Jealous, since Im not the original owner, I gotta pay to go. So debate for me has been go driving for 2 days or get aftermarket wheels...they're gonna cost me the same.
 
I paid to go to the V Academy in 2019. I bought my 2018 ATS-V with 1426 miles on it in 2018. It was totally worth it.
 

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