What makes a great racing school?

What makes a great racing school?

So, you want to go racing?

You have already figured out that learning to drive and race is much more complex than what simulators or “Club” schools can address. The next step is to choose a professional racing school, but which one?

There are a number of variables to consider, but sometimes credible information is hard to find. Of course, price and location are important, but as you continue to investigate the quality and safety of the program become the most critical components. After all, your goal is to get fast, and do so safely…that is the exact philosophy of the Bertil Roos Racing School!

During the last 45 years, we have perfected the art of teaching performance driving and racing. We are the oldest and pre-eminent school in the country, because we have focused our efforts, without compromise, to provide the best and safest racing programs available. We have accomplished this by focusing on four variables — tracks, instructors, curriculum, and equipment.

On the equipment portion of the equation, the question is “What kind of car should I be learning in?” Bertil Ross Racing School relies almost exclusively, on formula cars as its “rolling classroom.”

Formula cars are open-wheel, open-cockpit single-seaters, which in our case, emphasize cornering and braking ability over horsepower. They provide the characteristics that will make you learn to be fast, smooth, and safe.


No matter what type of car you eventually compete in, feedback and sensitivity play important roles. Successful drivers must be able to constantly monitor grip, balance, cornering, and braking thresholds.

In larger, closed-wheel, closed-cockpit cars, feedback is muted by weight, softer suspension, higher center of gravity, windows, fenders, and other non-essential “filters.” Learning in a lightweight, open-wheel, open-cockpit car helps sensitize drivers to feedback. Sound, vision, feel and even smell are magnified in these stiffly sprung, lightweight, learning tools.

Once you have developed your heightened sensitivity, you will be able to more effectively read and drive any type of performance vehicle.


The centerpiece of the Bertil Roos philosophy is what is referred to as Ocular Driving Technique. Proper training of the eyes, to adjust to a high-speed environment, is the most critical part of the driving equation. Developing this technique in an environment unfiltered by A-pillars, windshields, mirrors, and other visual impediments is critical to your driving education. It also plays the critical role in race craft.


Bertil Roos cars are lightweight, and very agile. This means mistakes are easily corrected, well before the problem becomes critical and unsafe. Most spins (and you will probably spin) are kept on the pavement, as grip and low mass/movement bring the car to a stop in a short distance. Exploring the limits of the car more safely is critical to your confidence and growth as a driver. It is also the primary reason that we do not charge crash damage in our entry level programs.

Manual shift/footwork

You want to be a driver, not a passenger, correct? There is no ABS, no traction control, no paddle shifting, no automatic transmission with your choice of sequential or standard H pattern. Either way, Bertil Roos Racing School will teach you proper footwork and shifting technique. No experience is necessary upon arrival. Leave Hollywood to the actors and become a driver. You will never again fear driving any kind of car.

Vehicle dynamics/car setup

Success in this sport is not only a function of driving well but learning to make your car fast. Our cars are highly adjustable, with everything out in the open. You can watch how the suspension works and can more easily become familiar with vehicle dynamics. Our cars will help you learn the art of setup.

Cost effective

There is a reason why our prices remain as low as they have. Our cars are easy to fix and are designed to be both safe and cost efficient. We understand that the bulk of drivers using our cars are novices. Our cars are designed in-house with the specific goal of training aspiring racers. They are the perfect tool for the task — the opposite end of the spectrum from a Porsche GT3.

Now you have some guidance when choosing the best “Rolling Classroom.” Check out the specs on our cars, along with pictures by visiting www.raceNOW.com.

IndyCar Debrief