Headed by Chief Instructor John Slenes, the SouthWest Motorsport High Performance Driving School is based at Sandia Motorsport Park, 12 miles west of Albuquerque.
SWMS High Performance Driving School instructors include a variety of driver/instructors who are certified by SCCA, PCA, and SWMS.
Southwest Motorsports offers an affordable and convenient school for learning the techniques of high performance driving in a controlled environment with experienced instructors.
Provided that you pass the first day of instruction, you will be eligible for Lapping Sessions with SWMS during the remainder of the weekend and at other subsequent events.
How do I sign up?
Sign up is easy. Simply download the form by clicking here, fill it out,and send it in with your check or money order.
As a school member you will NOT require a logbook or license or Medical Form, however you must have your car go through technical inspection for safety purposes. You must also have a valid driver's lincense. Fill out all other parts of the form. Mail it in with your entry fee and check the website as the event approaches to be check for dates and times. If you mail in your entry fee early, there is a substantial discount. You may also sign up at the event, provided that you arrive early enough to fill out all of your paperwork, get your car technical inspected, and make it to the first classroom session on time.
How much does it cost?
A full weekend (one day of instruction and one day of controlled lapping) is $195 . One day of instruction only (Saturday only) is $150.
Do I have to be a member of SWMS?
You do not need to be a member of SWMS to participate in the High Performance Driving School. However, if you plan to take advantage of your graduation by either moving into the lapping group or toward your competition license, you will have to become a dues-paying member of SWMS after your first weekend.
What kind of equipment do I need?
You do not need a racecar or a supercar to learn about high performance driving. Learning driving skill is much more about learning the physics of "finding the line" around a set of road conditions, learning about the balance and performance dynamics of your car and -- first and foremost -- learning about your own skills and limitations as a thinking, reacting and creative person.
What do I need to do to prepare fo the HPDE School
The more preparation that you do before the school, the better end result you'll have from the school. We encourage every student to invest several hours of study prior to the school. The SWMS HPDE Student Links page provides a wide variety of ideas and resources that will aid every student and SWMS racer improve their skills on the track. Please print that page as we'll discuss it in class.
At SWMS high performance driving school, we put the emphasis on learning. But it is imperative that your car be in good working order with no safety issues. The wheels bearings must be in good condition, the tires of a safe tread-depth and construction, your brake-lights in working order and there must be no leaks of fluids.
Other than that, we highly recommend that you wear long pants and a long-sleeve cotton tee-shirt, comfortable, closed-toed shoes which will give good "feel" for the pedals, and that you bring sunscreen and a hat for between sessions. If you have a 2000 Snell Foundation Approved helmet bring it. Otherwise, we have loaner helmets available.
What happens during the weekend?
You can also check in at the Sandia Race tower late Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning to complete your registration, sign the release, get your event wristband and pick up your Technical Inspection form.
You can get your car "teched" either Friday afternoon or early Saturday morning at the Tech Inspection station to be sure it is safe and in good running order. Because event mornings can often be busy, we recommend that you do it Friday, especially if this is your first event, to avoid confusion. Registration and Technical Inspection are open 3:00pm to Sundown on Fridays during weekend events and starting at 6:00am on Saturdays.
Saturday morning meet your instructors in the SWMS High Performance Driving School classroom at 8:00 am for your orientation session. Your day will be divided into four different classroom and driving sessions. Classroom sessions will be for learning "the line," discussing the safety and physics of driving, and for a forum during which you can ask questions and share experiences. Your on-track sessions will be with an instructor who will monitor safety conditions and provide coaching for finding and driving the proper line to allow the smoothest, most efficient line around the highly technical Sandia Motorsports road course.
What will I learn?
During the course, you will learn about car control, the physics of high performance driving, finding the right line through a given set of corners, and personal self-control and growth. High performance driving is as much about self-growth as it is about going fast, perhaps moreso.
Can I use this to earn a competition license?
The SouthWest MotorSports High Performance Driving School can be used as a starting point for earning your competition license with SouthWest Motorsports, a regional vintage car racing club. Once through your rookie probational period, you may be able to transfer your license with other motorsports sanctioning bodies in the United States.