Teens, families learn about driving safety at Bondurant school - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Money

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
Logout|My Dashboard

Teens, families learn about driving safety at Bondurant school

Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Related Stories

Posted: Thursday, August 29, 2013 7:45 am

A few months ago, Alan and Mike DeNaro of Massachusetts packed for a flight to Phoenix. When they arrived, father and son drove 15 minutes from the airport to the world-famous Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving, where Mike participated in an Advanced Teen Driving 3-Day course.

“Because the school has a great reputation for enhancing driving skills, my wife Carol and I knew that it would provide us with reinforcement that Mike has the skills and abilities to handle a motor vehicle under varying types of road and weather conditions,” Alan said.

The only purpose-built facility of its kind in the world, the 400-acre Bondurant School, on the Gila River Indian Community near Ahwatukee, has trained nearly 500,000 people — NASCAR racers, executives and chauffeurs, performance enthusiasts and day-to-day drivers — to become safer and more proficient at handling the challenges of track, street and highway driving.

Fortunately, one of the days it was raining in the Valley — which Mike encounters often in New England, with snow and hail and other inclement conditions. Valley-based teens enrolled in this course also received the additional benefit of driving in slick-road weather — most frequently encountered in the Valley as summer monsoons and winter storms.

“The rain helped,” Mike said. “It added an extra variable to the driving. The slippery surface made it more challenging, and it taught me how to control the car in rain.”

Under the guidance of skilled Bondurant instructors, Mike drove one of the school’s skid cars, in which the instructor safely creates skid conditions and shows the teen how to drive safely out of them. He also drove the slalom course, the auto cross and the racing track as well as learned how to drive a manual transmission.

“I learned how avoid accidents, to properly take a turn, to control a car in a skid, and I learned how to handle the car better,” he said. “I will take away all of those skills. I feel like I am a better driver after taking this course. I feel more confident in my driving ability.”

The DeNaros’ concerns are shared by all concerned families who have teens just beginning to drive or tweens just a few years off from the wheel. For 45 years, Bondurant, the acclaimed driver and driving instructor, and his superlative staff have been teaching new drivers the skills to handle normal and emergency road conditions — all the while giving their parents less concern about handing them the keys to the family car.

Bill Glatzel, a Phoenix resident also wanted the assurance that his son Tyler would bring to the road the best skills that could be acquired anywhere — more assurance than a basic chalkboard course and virtual-world simulators would provide.

“Tyler’s dad signed him up for the course because he wanted to be sure he would have a better-than-average understanding of how to handle unexpected and emergency situations should they occur,” said Lisa Glatzel, Tyler’s grandmother.

She and her now-deceased husband, Ralph, moved to the Valley from Wisconsin before Tyler was born — but they knew the Bondurant School back then, she said. “I have no doubt in my mind that this experience made Tyler a much safer and educated driver. The fact that he took this course has increased his level of self-confidence even more. As a result, I have total confidence in his driving and feel even more comfortable.”

“At Bondurant, we teach teens safety and more safety,” said Bondurant, this year celebrating his 80th birthday. “That, by the way, is what we also teach our NASCAR drivers, too, but at their higher experience levels and under intense track conditions.”

While many teen programs offer mostly classroom time and stimulator training, the Bondurant School emphasizes “seat time” — putting the young drivers into cars in real-time and instructing based on real situations they will encounter sometime in their lives.

All teen courses offer approximately 80 percent in-car instruction with Bondurant employees, many of whom are professional drivers. The instructors use starter Chevy Sonics for the basic 5-Hour Teen Course and the company’s more powerful Camaros for the 1-, 2- and 3-Day Advanced Teen classes.

Following daily morning ground school training, covering subjects such as confidence, concentration, awareness, vision and anticipation, the teens learn, on their seats, real-world techniques for dealing with under steer, over steer and accident avoidance.

“We just don’t teach concepts here to teens,” Bondurant said. “We teach procedures, mechanisms, life-saving maneuvers. At Bondurant, we state it on the classroom blackboard and restate it on the asphalt.”

Following classroom work, the track schedule can include a variety of exercises, such as ABS braking exercises, autocross and lead and follow — all designed to simulate real-world conditions. Some insurance companies, such as AAA and State Farm, in fact, offer discounts for completed teen courses at quality schools such as Bondurant.

More about

More about

More about

  • Discuss

You know what's scary? The assault on Halloween!

America is in danger of losing a grand tradition! It’s something that we, as Americans, have recognized and counted on for a long, long time. …

Published: October 24, 2016 - 6:01 pm @ http://ktar.com/story/1329469/you-know-whats-scary…

Adelson gives half million to anti-pot campaign in Arizona

PHOENIX (AP) - The latest major donation to the campaign against legal recreational marijuana in Arizona comes from Las Vegas casino owner She…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 6:00 pm @ http://www.ktvn.com/story/33466548/adelson-gives-h…

What makes a champion tree?

Champion trees are the super-sized superstars of their species. Blessed by a “perfect storm” of superb growing conditions, Teflon-like resilie…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 5:32 pm @ http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resour…

Warren launches broadside against Trump, saying he ‘aggressively disrespects’ women

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a top ally of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, launched a broadside against Republican nomine…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 5:23 pm @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/in-campaig…

McCain won’t stop running from Arizona media

October 24, 2016 Contact: press@kirkpatrickforsenate.com NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release: October 24, 2016 McCain won’t stop running from A…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 4:41 pm @ http://www.kirkpatrickforsenate.com/blog/2016/mcca…

How Can A Successful Film End Up Losing Money?

This week Neil Calloway looks at Hollywood Accounting… Earlier this week it was revealed that Harry Shearer  is suing Vivendi for his share of…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 4:23 pm @ http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2016/10/how-can-a-su…

The United States should fight against tax dodgers, not for them

Carl Levin, a Democrat, represented Michigan in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 2015. Front and center in the presidential campaign is tax avoida…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 4:11 pm @ https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-united…

Great Hearts Academies to build $17M school in north Phoenix

Great Hearts Academies plans to build a $17 million campus in north Phoenix. The new campus at the northwest corner of 32nd Street and Hearn R…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:59 pm @ http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2016/10/24…

Protest held in north Phoenix to oppose state-operated halfway house for convicted criminals

PHOENIX - Hundreds of people are voicing their displeasure with a halfway house for felons in north Phoenix. A peaceful protest – organized by…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:58 pm @ http://www.abc15.com/news/region-phoenix-metro/nor…

The Biggest Character You May Have Missed in The Red Dead Redemption 2 Trailer

The great character reveal in last week’s Red Dead Redemption 2 trailer wasn’t one of the seven masked figures thundering toward us during the…

Published: October 24, 2016 - 3:31 pm @ http://www.ign.com/articles/2016/10/24/the-charact…


ahwatukee.com on Facebook


ahwatukee.com on Twitter


Subscribe to ahwatukee.com via RSS

RSS Feeds


Most Popular

Online poll