When The Speed Journal’s Executive Editor Jeff Francis attended the Ron Fellows Performance Driving School near Pahrump, Nevada, he wasn’t expecting to find one of the fastest growing communities dedicated to performance racing in the world. We were so enthused about visiting the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club that we knew it deserved its own feature.
The club—located just 55 miles west of Las Vegas— is the brainchild of entrepreneur John Morris, who purchased the burgeoning Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch racetrack in 2004, a year after he founded Radical West Inc., one of the country’s top distributors of the Radical Extreme Sports Car. Morris is simultaneously an icon and an iconoclast in the vein of Richard Branson, a man of action who enjoys racing sports cars, paragliding, and flying among other pursuits.
Currently, the Spring Mountain Motor Resort & Country Club is a relatively private racetrack and retreat for members, one that boasts a painstakingly designed 6.1 mile racetrack. However, this small getaway is poised to become much more, as Morris has plans to lease land from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and recently purchased a 150-acre site on the track’s west side.
Once his plans come to fruition, the complex will total 900 acres and include a community of luxury homes, a hotel, restaurants, theaters, and car washes. But that’s not all—Morris’ plans on the racing side are even more ambitious. In addition to a 6-mile off-road desert course for trucks and ATVs and a racing track for high performance go-karts, the company plans to expand the main race track to at least 15 miles. The expansion of the race track at Spring Mountain will rival the length of world renowned Nürburgring, the legendary “Green Hell” racetrack in Nürburg, Germany.
As an added bonus, current members of the club have encouraged Morris to build a 6,000 foot landing strip that he says can double as a drag race strip.
The concept is to provide a full-service destination for racers that can also accommodate friends, family members, guests, and clients. One of the centerpieces of the complex is nearby Lake Spring Mountain, where visitors can catch the desert sun on white sand beaches, traverse the lake on stand-up paddleboards, check out the nearby indoor shooting range, or catch serious air with Jetpack America, which offers a state-of-the-air flying experience using the world’s first water jetpack, complete with walkie-talkie helmets.
As Jeff Francis learned during his experience, the real draw for the racing enthusiast is the track itself at the Spring Mountain complex. First of all, the track is architecturally challenging, boasting fast corners, hyperfast esses, feared and celebrated off-camber turns, and four straights including a high-speed half-mile. The track has more than 50 configurations and replicates some of racing’s legendary corners including Mosport’s 5a and 5b, Laguna Seca’s “Corkscrew,” and the Watkins Glen “Bus Stop.”
The track’s first driving experience can be had by joining Ron Fellows’ Performance Driving School, established in 2008 by the multi-time driving champion and class winner in every major long-distance sports car race. The driving courses focus on progressive car control exercises, advanced cornering techniques, and in depth use of Corvette’s electronic driving devices. The course only costs $1,000 for new Corvette Owners, which is over a $1500 savings.
The second driving course is the Cadillac V-Performance Academy, which offers an exclusive opportunity to test the motorsports pedigree of the brand’s CTS-V and ATS-V models. As an astonishing incentive, Cadillac currently offers complimentary enrollment in the course with the purchase of every 2017 V-series vehicle. The package includes transportation from the airport, use of a Cadillac vehicle, lodging, meals, and 100% of the tuition for the academy. Cadillac also welcomes non-Caddy owners a 2-day course at a starting price of $2,470.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a vacation without a trip to the gift shop and Spring Mountain Motorsports offers quite an amazing take-home gift. The resort maintains its own dealership for new and used sales and support of the fastest, most reliable and safest race cars including exclusive access to the Wolf GB08SM as well as the largest inventory of new and used Radicals in the nation. Not only can visitors purchase these phenomenal machines but the dealership is also happy to arrange for instruction on Spring Mountain’s challenging road course.
Memberships at this one-of-a-kind racing club cost $45,000 to join and $5,000 a year in dues. The packages, available to individuals and corporations, include 16 or more days of track time per month, up to 20 guests per month for individuals and 50 for corporations, and the ability to race the track during Driving School Hours, with staff approval. For fans of high speed racing, it’s a vacation destination like no other.
“I didn’t want just another racetrack,” says John Morris of his expanding racing kingdom. “I wanted to create something that made people feel special, a place that made them feel like they were at a resort—somewhere comfortable where they could relax with friends, entertain clients or enjoy family time after a great day of racing.”
Whether you’re setting a track record on Spring Mountain’s ever-growing race track, rocketing around the lake like James Bond in Thunderball, or simply enjoying a drink at a Tiki Bar, there’s something for everyone at the Spring Mountain Motor Resort and Country Club. For more information on the race track and the resort’s many amenities, visit www.springmountainmotorsports.com.
The Driver’s Series scours the world to find and explore compelling driving experiences for anyone with a driver’s license and passion for speed. We send our resident driver Jeff Francis to get behind the wheel and report back to Speed Journal readers to ride along virtually or become inspired to take on the driving experiences themselves. Are you involved with a driving experience that should be featured on The Speed Journal? Do you have a driving experience suggestion for The Speed Journal to investigate? Please contact us.