Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

by Michael Satterfield - 11/19/2021

Many of us grew up wanting to be racing drivers, fighter pilots, or cowboys, but few kids grow up to win Le Mans, be a Top Gun, or become a steely-eyed wrangler. It's just not how the world is ordered, most kids grow up to become dentists or paper salesmen living quiet lives of desperation, floating through the suburban malaise, one incident away from becoming William Foster. 

While dogfighting over the English Channel or quitting your job and moving to Montana to work for the Duttons are wildly impractical options, for as little as $3,695 you can live out your racing driver fantasies, in a program designed by three-time Le Mans winner Ron Fellows. Just about an hour outside of Las Vegas, in the small town of Pahrump, you'll find Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club, home to the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School

Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

Chevrolet had invited me out to check out the program that is offered to all Corvette owners when they purchase a new Corvette C8, booking the driving school at the time of purchase saves thousands of dollars, as Chevrolet wants owners to understand how to get the most of their car. It is about 102 degrees as I step out of the airport to make my way to a new C8 that I will be driving out to the motorsports resort, which is 72 miles northwest of Las Vegas near the California/Nevada state line. 

I had never been to Pahrump, up until this point my only frame of reference was it hosted the Optima Street Car Challenge which took place after the SEMA Show each year, and that it was home to legal brothels, a fact of which was thrust into the limelight thanks to Lamar Odom's $75,000 bender in 2015 at the Love Ranch South that ended up putting him into the hospital. In 2017 to town made international news again, this time thanks to LuLaRoe co-founder Mark Stidham arranging to shut down the highway so his Koenigsegg could set a land speed record. That is a lot of action for a sleepy desert town of around 45,000 people. 

Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

Arriving at Spring Moutain Motor Resort the property is like most other country clubs, instead of fairways and greens, there are skid pads and racing circuits. There is a clubhouse with a bar & restaurant, condos, trackside homes, racing shops for Ron Fellows, Radical, and other racing teams. It is an 866-acre automotive theme park in the middle of nowhere and soon to be home to the longest racetrack in the world. The next day I and a group of journalists would be joining several Corvette owners who had signed up to better understand how to drive their C8. 

Like most driving schools we started in the classroom, learning the basics of the course, cone colors, and the commands that the instructors will be giving us over the radio. Corvette owners don't need to bring their own car, everyone will be driving brand new Corvettes supplied by the school. The class is divided into three groups and we head outside to pick out our cars, the heat hits you like a brick wall as you exit the airconditioned classroom. I attempted to get into a bright red C8 Coupe, however, another journalist asked if she could have the red one, so being a gentleman I acquiesced and slid behind the wheel of a silver C8 convertible.

Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

Our groups rotated through acceleration and braking exercises, skidpad, car control, autocross, and lead follow laps on the track. The instructors are incredible and while they are teaching you how to drive better they are also demonstrating just how far away most people are from being racing drivers. After a long day on the track we return to the clubhouse for dinner, drinks, and to share stories with our classmates. Everyone had a great experience from the young professional who had bought her first Corvette to the gentleman in his late 70s who likely just bought his last. There were fathers and sons, husbands and wives, friends, and those who came alone left with some new friends. 

The next morning we would be getting a lot more track time and there was a competition, one of my usual rivals (friends) Manual Carrillo III from the Robb Report was also in attendance and we had last faced off at the BMW M4 GT4 Performance Driving School, where he barely bested me at Thermal Club but just tenths of a second. It was another race track in the desert and another chance for glory. 

Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

We split up again into groups and headed out to the various parts of the track, the second day of this program is where the magic really happens, everything is faster and more focused, building on everything that we learned the previous day. Plus today we would be doing a video review with the onboard Performance Driving Recorder where we sit down after our track time to watch our recording the instructors to better improve our performance. Our first stint out on the track was already faster and as we stepped up the pace we started shaving seconds off our lap times. 

After our track session, we headed in and reviewed footage, got some pointers, and headed out to the autocross course. A new contender also threw his hat into the ring, a GM Corvette Engineer and autocross veteran who was there with the Chevrolet team. But the real competition was between Manual and me, we would get three timed runs, my first run was 33.31 seconds, my final run was 30 seconds flat, but it would not be enough to to take out Manual who laid down a scorching second run of 28.69 seconds, the fastest of the day. I would secure a 2nd place finish in our group and a 3rd overall in the class. Like all racing drivers, I blamed my car for the defeat, since I was the only driver in our group driving a Convertible which does weigh an additional 102 pounds. 

Be A Hero: Ron Fellows Driving School

It was time to go, as had to catch a flight, on my way out they handed me my graduation plaque, I said my goodbyes, and I jumped into the waiting Suburban outside. On my hour and a half ride to the airport I thought about the last two days, the school, the driving, and the other programs I have taken part in. The Ron Fellows program quickly moved to the top of my list, many manufacturer programs I have experienced feel more like an event and less like a school. The instructors at Ron Fellows, are of course polite and engaging, but they also want every student to leave faster and more confident. This isn't just a photo op and luxury weekend, it is a real driver's school and for first-time C8 owners, it is an incredible value. 

If you plan on purchasing a new Corvette be sure to take advantage of this program, for just $1,000 you get the 2-Day Program, a night of accommodations at Spring Mountain, and the opportunity to really learn what your C8 can really do. It is a small price to pay to get to live out a childhood fantasy of strapping on a helmet, climbing into a car festooned with racing decals, and chasing friends around a world-class racing circuit. 

For more information or to register for your own experience visit