When driving, always make sure to do regular peripheral scans, which include checking the side and rear mirrors.
Photographs by Tomas Muscionico
Clipping the apex.
The race track includes cones placed strategically at the apex, or the geometric center, of each turn. Clipping the apex allows the driver to minimize the time it takes to round a corner.
Start your engines!
The Academy boasts three different vehicles available to drive: the CTS-V Coupe, Sedan, and Wagon. Drivers can mix and match throughout the day.
Don’t forget to blip.
Driving instructor Rocky Ferraro explains how to properly downshift gears. The key is to "blip" – to hit both the brake and the throttle at the same time – before going around a corner.
Round and round.
Instructors Rick Malone and Nick Parmelee discuss proper technique during “The Oval” exercise. “The Oval” is a signature Academy exercise that teaches drivers how to take turns.
Do the wave.
All drivers are instructed to wave as the signal that their two-way radios are working correctly.
Drivers have full access to Spring Mountain’s closet of racing gear. You don’t really feel like you’re racing until you put on the helmet.
Lead and follow.
All drivers follow the instructors around the track to observe proper form and hone their technique.
On the air.
Every car is equipped with a two-way radio so that the instructors can provide real-time feedback while driving.
The Slalom exercise is a great way for drivers to test out the different computer control settings of each car and to practice handling.
Hit the brakes!
The first exercise of the day is a tutorial on the anti-lock braking system. Most people are afraid to slam on the brakes for fear of sliding out, but the Cadillacs we tried retained a surprising amount of control, even on wet ground.
The wheel can start to feel like a weight after hours of driving, so a good seat position is crucial. Pull the steering column in tight, bend your elbows, and put your hands at 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock on the wheel.
Race to the finish.
After a full day at the Academy, you’ll be ripping up asphalt like a pro.