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Drivers in Phoenix sometimes seem like they’re trying out for a spot on a Grand Prix racing team, but Bob Bondurant is the real thing. The former racer for Carol Shelby and Team Ferrari coaches thousands of students every year at The Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving (20000 S. Maricopa Rd., 800/842-7223, www.bondurant.com), his custom-designed, 60-acre facility near Phoenix’s Firebird International Raceway.
Single-day courses are designed to impart skills ranging from introductory racing techniques to highway survival. Multiday courses cover all kinds of training, including military and security hazard-avoidance strategies and general high-performance driving “experiences.” Fees start at $400 and rise to well over $5,000.
A similar though less expensive (and less intense) experience that also involves beer and video games can be had at the F1 Race Factory (317 S. 48th St., 602/302-7223, www.f1racefactory.com). Their “European racing carts” can hit speeds upwards of 45 mph, and video cameras and timed clocks keep careful track of who wins and loses for later bragging rights. Fees for single races start at $30, and an all-day pass is $75.
© Jeff Ficker from Moon Phoenix, Scottsdale & Sedona, 1st edition