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Except for fighter pilots, almost everyone who has ever strapped himself into a race car will admit that race driving is the most difficult thing he has ever tried to do. A race car can feel like a hostile environment which demands precision with little time for decision and no room for error. Between the condition of high stress which racing imposes on a driver and the scarcity and expense of track time, only a small percentage of those who try it actually ever feel as though they have reached their potential.
Many other athletic sports (which sometimes seem tame to the racer) make extensive use of coaching. Rarely today do you hear of a top professional in any sport who does not have one (or more) personal coaches. Whether it's Tiger Woods' swing coach or the goalie coach for the Dallas Stars, coaches are found in every sport. Until recently, that was not the case in racing. Now we have caught up with the "mere stick-and-ball sports" and make use of driving coaches for our very difficult activity.
Today, drivers get help from several directions, the coach being one of the most important. The advantages of using a coach in racing are many. It is much too easy for a driver to drive within his comfort zone. The only way to progress is to take a particular turn or section of track faster than feels comfortable in order to learn how to take it at that higher speed, while keeping the car stable and controlled. Without the benefit of coaching by someone who has been there before, that is always a risky enterprise. Coaches can show you how to broaden your comfort zone without risking life and bank account. They can show you the proper line, suggest ways of controlling weight transfer to allow the car to respond properly, help in offensive or defensive passing strategies and many more areas than we have room to discuss here. In doing so they will save you a great deal of time and, on the race track, time is money. Coaches can even help in interpreting data generated by on board electronics and show you their techniques used in public appearances while representing sponsors. These days, every driver, whether a weekend warrior or a pro climbing the ladder to the top, needs a driving coach. We have three of the best available to you. Please contact us to discuss your plans so that we can recommend the best coach for you and your situation.
Ryan Hampton began his racing career, as have many other top professionals, in karts. Since that time, he has driven many types of cars on the majority of U.S. tracks, frequently winning races and setting records. Ryan and Robert Metcalf met after Ryan had progressed through ITB in SCCA and through Legends cars. In 1997 they worked together in the Pro F/2000 series, Ryan finishing 6th in the championship. That was enough for him to catch the eye of the Tatus team for whom he drove in '98 finishing 2nd in the series championship. Since that time he has competed in the 24 hours of Daytona four times, won the Grand Am championship in SRP II in 2000, competed in the ALMS series in LMP 675, tested with Dyson Racing in LMP 900 and with A.J. Foyt Racing in IRL. He has recorded the fastest qualifying lap and the fastest race lap on many occasions.
In 2001, he worked with Metcalf again, this time in the Infinity Pro Series in IRL, scoring a 3rd place finish at Texas Motor Speedway and a win at Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis. That race produced the Indy Car record as the first time in history for a race to have been won from the pole, the car leading every lap. Ryan also also garnered the award for the largest gap in history between fastest qualifier and 2nd fastest at that St. Louis race of .75 seconds. Since that time, he has enjoyed drifting and has become one of the most successful and most recognized drift drivers in the world. In addition to his on track accomplishments, he has been an instructor for SCCA, the Panoz Racing School, Bob Bondurant Racing School, the Willow Springs International Driving School and is an instructor for the Drift Association. He has also just been named as chief test driver for Cooper Tires.
Jason Hart also began his career in karts but quickly moved into cars. He now makes his living driving everything from Outlaw Mini Sprints to Vipers, and F/2000s to Porsches. He ran the American Road Race of Champions in 2000 finishing 4th in class and scored a race win in the Michelin Challenge series in a C5 Corvette. Since 2002 Jason has run 360 Outlaw Sprint Cars never missing the feature race at the end of the night. In 2006, he won the NASA Pro Racing title for the 25 hour race in the E2 class. He has run Formula 2000, GT-1, USAC Midgets, Drift cars and quite a few different types of race car. His attitude is that you learn something from each one. His list of instructor positions is long indeed including stints with the Bertil Roos Driving School, RUF North America and the Panoz Racing school, in addition to many others. Tommy Kendall says of Jason, "He is the ideal mix of intensity and control, intelligence and bravery, and he possesses a rare quiet confidence that seems absolute."
Nick Boulle is a young man on a mission. Still only twenty, he has already accomplished more than many twice his age. You will like Nick's polite, casual manner immediately. Nick is fast and consistent, rarely putting a wheel wrong. He's still learning but can teach many of us a great deal. He is yet another who started in karts and has a wealth of experience in shifter karts racking up several karting titles. In 2005 he ran the Cooper Tires Zetec pro series, finishing his first season in open wheel cars with a podium finish at Virginia International Raceway. 2006 saw him return to karts in the Stars of Tomorrow series and he led the prestigious Robo Pong 200 until a mechanical gremlin put him out. Shortly afterward, he tested a Daytona Prototype on the high banks of Daytona. In early 2007, he qualified 6th out of a field of over 40 in the Race of Americas, finishing 6th and 3rd in two races. Nick has been driving our RT-40 Formula Atlantic gaining more experience with an eye toward a professional open-wheel career.
Please let us know what your goals are. We can recommend a coach who can help you achieve them.
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