When people buy a performance vehicle, there’s a wave of anticipation that washes over them. It’s the tug of the seatbelt as they picture downshifting, pressing into the accelerator on a straightaway. It’s the smell of burnt rubber as they emerge from a cloud after smoking some donuts on the head of a dime. It’s the excitement that only a sports car can deliver — a promise seldom realized on two-lane roads and cul-de-sacs.
There are few opportunities for the everyday driver to experience the raw power of that kind of ride. But there is a place where drivers can go to learn everything from driving theory to drifting basics.
At the Lexus Performance Driving School, guests of every skill level learn how to properly operate a performance vehicle while taking advantage of the Lexus performance fleet. From the GS F to the RC F to the LC, guests are treated to a full-day experience where they can turn their high-velocity dreams into a reality.
With its final weekend event of the year coming up, the Lexus Performance Driving School puts guests shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the world’s greatest driving instructors. Hosted by Scott Pruett, Lexus Brand Ambassador and one of the most decorated drivers of the modern era, guests learn from Pruett’s 50-plus years of racing experience. On top of that, they get to drive one of the most iconic racetracks in the world, California’s pristine WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, where Lexus is designated as the Official Luxury Vehicle.
“The elevation changes make the facility a pleasure to drive,” says Todd Lewis, Event Marketing Specialist for Lexus Performance Driving School and fellow adrenaline junkie. “The Corkscrew is a five-story drop down the hill that you must experience for yourself.”
And while a corkscrew the size of a small skyscraper may seem intimidating for some (let’s be honest, most of us), Lewis is assured that five hours of track time is more than enough to make any guest crave the thrill of these pulse-quickening features.
Learn the Basics — Like a Pro
What does a day at the track entail? Guests arrive at 7 a.m., where they’re served breakfast and then divided into four groups based on previous track experience. A short classroom introduction sets the expectations for the day.
- Braking exercises
- Car control on the skid pad
- Autocross technique
- Driving theory
- Lead/ Follow
- Autocross competition
- Hot laps with the instructors at the end of the day
What’s most exciting, though, isn’t the world-class instructors, the iconic racetrack or the free breakfast — it’s watching all the fellow guests’ progress.
“We chat to all the guests during the day and you can see their progression as they get comfortable driving,” says Lewis. “The Autocross time will drop by full seconds in the afternoon. Everyone has smiles on their faces at the end of the day.”
Bring the Lessons Back Home
Some guests are experienced drivers who know the Lexus brand inside and out. Others are simple car enthusiasts who haven’t yet realized their passion for performance. In either case, there are valuable lessons to be learned at the Lexus Performance Driving School.
“One guest was a 70-year-old retired flight attendant who had purchased [an] RC F,” says Lewis. “She learned such a great deal during the day and had so much fun that she promised she’d be back.”
That fun comes from having confidence behind the wheel. Drivers who learn how to operate a performance vehicle properly not only see benefits on the track, but in everyday driving situations.
With the wisdom gained, drivers learn how to spot a panic situation, correct it in that very moment and prevent it in the future, all while having a best-in-class experience on a world-renowned racetrack.
So, for any driver that has purchased a Lexus or dreamed of being a race car driver, consider this, “Monterey, California, is a vacation destination for many and we can’t think of a better reason to join us on the track to Experience Amazing,” says Lewis.
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