Aaron Quine

Hometown: Medina, Ohio

Interests & Hobbies: Racing and Family time

Most Interesting Thing About You: Jack of all trades

What I like best about FPRS: The instructors, staff, and students

What I like best about instructing: Passing along our skills to clients

Best driving tip: Look ahead & smooth is fast

Tell students about yourself: Karts at 6 years old and started road racing in 1990. Race Mustangs and Camaros in Trans-am series as well as race vintage Corvettes. Testing and doing ride & drive corporate programs for various companies all across the USA. I also teach the FORD Teen driving schools too.

AJ Severino

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Interests & Hobbies: Racing, snowboarding, my dogs, painting, hiking, guitar

Most Interesting Thing About You: I am trying to start an animal sanctuary for animals in need of homes

What I like best about FPRS: How perfectly everything is run but how much fun we all still have.

What I like best about instructing: Being able to pass on my passion and knowledge for motorsports to others.

Best driving tip: Eyes Up!

Tell students about yourself: I’m originally from NJ but live in Charlotte NC now. I started racing in 2008 with FF2000 cars at a racing school in Pa. After that, I raced for VW on the Jetta TDI Cup. I was also a hot lap driver for the Scion FRS launch. I have been racing and instructing in various forms since 2008.

Andy Thurman

Hometown: Originally from Slidell, La., but live in Charlotte, NC

Interests & Hobbies: Fishing, hunting, boating, skiing, mountain biking

Most Interesting Thing About You: Was an over-the-wall pit crew member in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup series for 13 years as a tire changer.

What I like best about FPRS: Working with incredible instructors and staff that are dedicated to helping provide the best racing school experience in the country

What I like best about instructing: Being able to pass along the knowledge and skills I’ve learned from 15 years of racing and over 25 years of teaching to our students. And being able to watch students of all skill levels show improvement from the begin of the programs to the finish and learn so much more about themselves and the vehicles they were able to drive.

Best driving tip: Keep your eyes up and always look where you want your car to go. And be smooth.

Tell students about yourself: I grew up racing stock cars on pavement ovals. I was fortunate to race for 15 years everything from late models on half-mile short tracks to the NASCAR truck series on superspeedways in different touring divisions. I have been fortunate enough to either race or do some type of driving program on almost every major NASCAR track and major road course across the country in vehicles ranging from production type, exotic, or NASCAR stock cars. Also do various ride and drive programs for different manufacturers and have also been in the film industry for almost 20 years as a stunt driver in commercials and movies

Austin Robison

Hometown: Chandler, AZ

Interests & Hobbies: Spending time with my family and mountain biking

Most Interesting Thing About You: Still thinking…

What I like best about FPRS: 1. The personalities and ability level of my fellow instructors and teammates. 2. The professionalism and structure of the Ford Performance Racing School.

What I like best about instructing: Being able to share my knowledge with the students to help them develop their driving abilities and seeing the progress they make through the program. Not to mention the big smiles on their faces at the end of the day!

Best driving tip: Your body reacts off your vision! Always focus on looking far enough ahead to help your eyes tell your body what to do with the inputs to the car.

Tell students about yourself: I grew up in Reno Nevada. I spent my younger life downhill ski racing and competed at a very high level. I earned two AAA state championships in high school and competed in some FIS World Cup events. I also enjoyed motocross racing. After I got my driver’s license I developed an interest in racing cars. I started competing in SCCA solo II autocross events. Eventually, I got into Sprint Car racing and had some success. That earned me a fulltime ride in the Best in the Desert Off-road Series and the Score International Off-road Series. This led me to earn two BITD Championships, a couple of Score Baja 1000 class wins, along with competing and finishing the Paris to Dakar Rallye two times. I have spent time in various forms of racing over the years from pavement oval track dirt and pavement racing, drifting, and road racing. Most recently I have been competing in the Optima Batteries Ultimate Street Car Challenge series driving a 1971 Camaro in the GTV class. I have been involved in the industry for the majority of my life and have been instructing for over twenty years. I love what I do!

Brian Blair

Hometown: Flat Rock, NC

Interests & Hobbies: Driving, racing, off-road racing, water skiing, boating, snow skiing, and spending time with family

Most Interesting Thing About You: Hmm… You decide.

What I like best about FPRS: The great people I work with.

What I like best about instructing: Watching the students enjoyment as they learn more about themselves, improve their abilities, and experience performance driving. Witnessing that “ah-ha” moment when they finally “get it.”

Best driving tip: Eyes up- look ahead. As the eyes go, so goes the car.

Tell students about yourself: I grew up in the Southern California deserts and started motorcycle desert racing at 12 years of age. In my teens, I made the switch to 4 wheel off-road racing when it was still in its infancy. I had the privilege to work and race with some legendary off-roaders including Bill Stroppe, Walker Evans, and Parnelli Jones. After relocating to the east coast, I started participating in track days to quench my need for speed. That evolved into instructing and coaching. I have been teaching high-performance driving for over 15 years for various clubs, schools, manufacturers, and at numerous venues. Participate in and manage ride and drive programs for numerous automotive companies, have done test driving for a major tire manufacturer, and performed driving duties for television commercials. I really enjoy seeing students develop their abilities and confidence behind the wheel while enjoying themselves too. The staff at the Ford Performance Racing School are some of the best. I am honored and privileged to be a part of this great group of people.

Brian Smith

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Playing sports, college football, South Carolina Gamecocks, Boating, Water Skiing, Mountain Biking, Snow Boarding, Snowmobiling

Most Interesting Thing About You: Did 272 mph in a Hennessey Venom GT

What I like best about FPRS: Professional but fun employees

What I like best about instructing: Seeing participants improve while having fun and learning about their vehicles.

Best driving tip: Look around the corner as early as possible (eyes up).

Tell students about yourself: Started driving/racing during college so was later to the driving world compared to most instructors. After finishing Engineering school worked with Michelin/BFG as a test driver. Performed race and high-performance tire testing in the US and Germany. Raced in World Challenge, IMSA, Grand-AM and SCCA in touring and sports cars. Managed Carolina Motorsports Park and Miller Motorsports Park. The last 4 years have been with Ford Performance Racing School.

Brandon Kennedy

Hometown: Pahrump, NV

Interests & Hobbies: Entrepreneurship and Golf

Most Interesting Thing About You: Life goal is to race 24hrs of Le Mans

What I like best about FPRS: Great people to work with, that all share the same passion of coaching as myself.

What I like best about instructing: Being able to watch the progress of my student from Beginning to End of a program and see how far they have come as an all-around driver.

Best driving tip: Keep your eyes up! The worst habit we have has drivers on or off track is just staring right in front of us while driving, being able to look as far ahead as possible to be able to prepare for what is coming up will help you make huge strides in track driving.

Tell students about yourself: Started off racing dirt bikes at a young age until I was into my teenage years, not being able to keep up with the financial pressure I hung up the helmet. A few years later I began working with my friend’s off-road race team for 5 years trying to make a name for myself in the industry, during that time racing oval dirt track around the west coast. When I got tired of playing in the dirt I decided to make the life-changing swap to road racing. Beginning working for a few different performance driving schools around the country and working with private clients coaching them and doing a few races, I began working my way through the trenches and have been fortunate enough to be able to do some prototype testing, drive for multiple exotic car brands, and coach at the most premier racing schools in the country!

Brenden Johnson

Hometown: Originally from Raleigh, NC., but live in Detroit, MI.

Interests & Hobbies: hockey, golf, and driving anything with 4 wheels and a steering wheel

Most Interesting Thing About You: I am a Purdue Engineering Graduate and Ford Performance P&D Engineer

What I like best about FPRS: Getting to do what I love everyday with an amazing staff

What I like best about instructing: Working with people individually to achieve personal goals and even pushing their limits to new heights

Best driving tip: The eyes fuel the body, good eyes will make for smooth driving

Tell students about yourself: I started racing go-karts at the age 7 in 2003. Competed in SCCA, NASA, SVRA cars ranging from open-wheel to low horsepower Miata’s to high a horsepower Corvette.

Chad Melnik

Hometown: Originally from Akron, Ohio. Now living in Charlotte, N.C.

Your Interests & Hobbies: Mountain biking, perfecting pizza dough and any project that requires me to solve a problem, take something apart and put it back together.

Favorite Food: Homemade pizza. 

Most Interesting Thing About You? Serial entrepreneur: Motorsport’s marketing agency, Digital marketing agency, Fitness app, Yoga studio owner. Working on the next one that will make money… 

What I like best about FPRS? Working with a great team of people from different parts of the country.

What I like best about instructing? Seeing the ah-ha moment when a student finally gets it. 

Best driving tip? Look ahead, think ahead. Always get the insurance on your rental car.

Tell students about yourself:

I began racing BMX at eight years old, advancing through the ranks to the expert class until I realized I could go a lot faster with an engine. In high school, I started working (pro bono) for a race team out of Columbus, Ohio, doing everything from cleaning wheels to building touring cars from the chassis up. Working for that team eventually provided me with the opportunity to get behind the wheel. With the support of various automotive manufacturers, I raced sports cars and prototypes professionally for over ten years. After a decade of racing, I began driving for, and eventually managing, one of the most significant national racing experiences that included sports cars, formula cars, and stock cars. We worked at all the major racing facilities across the United States for nearly 12 years. During that time, I also helped develop an off-road experience with H1 Hummers for the same global brand on their 18,000-acre ranch in Montana.

Today I am lucky enough to be able to get out from behind the desk a couple of days a week to instruct for FPRS and to continue to do what I love with a great group of people and fantastic equipment.

Charlie Putman

Hometown: Casper, WY

Interests & Hobbies: guitar, shooting

Most Interesting Thing About You: Running my fourth season of European endurance series races

What I like best about FPRS: Quality and of instructors are enjoyable to work with

What I like best about instructing: Seeing students “get it” and make big improvements in their driving

Best driving tip: Speed comes from grip, grip comes from being smooth, being smooth comes from keeping your vision far ahead

Tell students about yourself: I have been racing at the professional level for about 20 years, and instructing for the Ford Performance Racing School for 9 years. I started out late in life in a performance driving class just like the ones we teach here at FPRS. Now years later I have raced everything from low powered cars to front-wheel-drive cars to extremely high-performance GT3 supercars. I specialize in endurance racing and was the 2010 Grand Am Conti Tire Series Champion. In the last four years I have been racing European endurance races and currently, am leading the 2017 24Hour Series Championships both in class and overall. I teach because I love working with both new and experienced drivers and helping them safely raise their proficiency to a level they did not know was possible. Sharing with you the experience and knowledge I have gained over the years is really fulfilling and fun for me. Watching the light come and the excitement in your faces as you improve and learn gives me great pleasure. I like to see you have as much fun learning as I have teaching.

Dan Buckle

Hometown: Camp LeJeune, NC

Interests & Hobbies: Driving, Racing, Shooting. Reading

Most Interesting Thing About You: Diversity of knowledge and experiences.

What I like best about FPRS: Working with all the cool Ford vehicles; driving them and learning them

What I like best about instructing: Sharing what I’ve learned with others

Best driving tip: Relax, your experience is about what’s going on in your car. Don’t worry about what others are doing, being too slow or not advancing as quickly as others; enjoy your learning.

Tell students about yourself: I’ve always enjoyed the act of driving; even back when driving my matchbox cars around the designs on my bedroom rug. I bought a ’68 Porsche 912 Targa and was so impressed with its handling, I took to the track and loved the application of learned skills and the sensation of controlled speed. Racing an ’80’s, 1st Gen RX7 with my friend Niel Gueldner was a step into the next level of driving where you are literally door-to-door through turns at over 100mph and I’ve yet to surpass that feeling of competition and excitement while driving. As a Marine and Tactical Driving Instructor, I’ve been able to combine my love of driving with a sense of duty in training with the Military and Government in a way that truly matters when lives are depending upon the driver. Having the support of my wife to begin Instructing professionally full-time brought my need to pass on my life experiences with others and my love of driving to my next level of life and it’s very fulfilling. Working at the FPRS has been very rewarding and introduced me to great Instructors whom I respect and will have as friends for life. I look forward to discovering my next student and group of students to share the track and those great new Ford vehicles with!

Dan McKeever

Hometown: Grantsville, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Racing, Golf, Family

Most Interesting Thing About You: Still thinking…

What I like best about FPRS: The staff

What I like best about instructing: Seeing the students succeed

Best driving tip: Look ahead.

Tell students about yourself: Instructing for 30 years for various schools, started BMW Performance Driving School in 1999, moved to Utah to run FPRS, now the owner. Racing background includes SCCA Showroom Stock, Legends Cars, Grand-Am, World Challenge, NASA. Legends Car National Champion 2001, NASA Spec Miata National Champion 2010.

Devin Jones

Hometown: Mooresville, NC 

Your Interests & Hobbies: Motorsports, Competitive Cycling, Fitness 

Most Interesting Thing About You?

I am a category one road cyclist – My brother and girlfriend are both professional cyclists.

What I like best about FPRS? 

The opportunity to interact and teach like-minded people at a state-of-the-art facility with great performance vehicles.

What I like best about instructing? 

I am sharing my passion for driving with students and coaching them to improve their skills behind the wheel.

Best driving tip? 

Everything starts with your eyes, look ahead to go faster. 

Tell students about yourself:

I have been racing for the better part of 20 years since I was 6 years old. I’ve been fortunate enough to win races and championships in karting, legends cars, late models, formula cars, NASCAR, and IMSA. My racing background is in both oval and road course racing, where I’ve raced professionally in the NASCAR Truck Series and Xfinity Series and competing in IMSA since 2015 in GT-based sports cars. I have an IMSA championship under my belt from the 2018 season and still compete professionally today in sports car racing.

I have been instructing and coaching professionally throughout my racing career for 8 years now. I joined the Ford Performance Racing School staff in 2020.

Drew Staveley

Hometown: Walnut, CA

Interests & Hobbies: Boating, Dirt bike riding, Mountain biking, Skiing, Traveling, and Racing cars.

Most Interesting Thing About You: Is that I am living my dream by working at FPRS and racing Mustangs on the weekends.

What I like best about FPRS: The people!

What I like best about instructing: To be able to share something that I am so passionate about.

Best driving tip: Look further ahead.

Tell students about yourself: I’ve been racing sports cars for 18 years. Lucky enough to do the 24 hrs. of Daytona. I am currently racing in the Pirelli World Challenge series where we were able to win the 2018 GTSA-X Championship.

J.R. Smith

Hometown: Salt Lake City, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Racing and Racing.

Most Interesting Thing About You: Surviving a 120-foot fall from a helicopter.

What I like best about FPRS: The Instructors

What I like best about instructing: Seeing the excitement and skill level improvement

Best driving tip: Keeping your eyes up – Looking where you want to go

Tell students about yourself: J.R.’s degree is in Business Management with associated studies in Sports Science and Kinesiology. He was one the first cycling coaches in the nation to receive the Elite (Category 1) USA Cycling license. He has coached National and World Champions as well as trained a successful Mt. Everest climber, NASCAR, ALMS/Tudor Series and 24 Hour of Lemans driving competitors. He possesses valuable knowledge in the utilization of power-based training for cycling (Training Peaks) and auto racing data analysis (advanced certification in the AIM data acquisition system). In addition to his 20+ year coaching experience, he is a licensed PCA driving instructor and an instructor at Ford Performance Racing School.
As a competitor, he has participated in a variety of racing sports since he was a teenager, including cycling, running, skiing, off-road and road motorcycles, fuel dragsters, powerboats, sailboats, and auto road racing. He has been Regional SCCA and NASA class champion as well as NASA National Champion.

James Burke

Hometown: Tooele, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Fishing, Bike Riding, Sim Racing

Most Interesting Thing About You: I’m a Mormon, and I am an entrepreneur.

What I like best about FPRS: We have so much fun.

What I like best about instructing: Connecting with the students and instructors.

Best driving tip: Order of driving, start with your eyes, then to your hand and lastly your feet.

Tell students about yourself: Race driver from the U.K. Living in the US, Race every kind of race cars. From open-wheel to closed wheel open cockpit. Also, love racing classic cars, I racing at classic Le Mans, in a 1959 Lister-Jaguar. I have raced in the continental tire championship with Ford Mustangs, I also raced Lamborghini Super Trofeo. Nasa national championship in TT2 And ST2.

Jim Bishop

Hometown: Clovis, CA

Interests & Hobbies: Racing

Most Interesting Thing About You: My love of teaching

What I like best about FPRS: The friendly environment

What I like best about instructing: Imparting my love of driving and watching the student succeed.

Best driving tip: Keep your eyes up and look where you want to go!

Tell students about yourself: I started racing karts as a teenager and have been involved in auto-crossing, rallying, stock cars, and road racing. I have accumulated many wins, lap records, and championships plus I have instructed for over 30 years. I am also the Chief Instructor for the Cal Club Region of SCCA and was an instructor for many years for the Long Beach Pro/Celebrity Race.

Jochen Tartak

Hometown: Charlotte, NC

Interests & Hobbies: Family, Outdoors, Cycling, Soccer

Most Interesting Thing About You: Named after 1970 Formula One World Champion Jochen Rindt

What I like best about FPRS: The people!

What I like best about instructing: Helping people improve their craft.

Best driving tip: Eyes Up

Tell students about yourself: Jochen was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and began his career racing karts in South America before moving on to Formula cars which he raced in the US and Europe. Over the years Jochen has driven various types of race cars including Formula Dodge, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula 3, Formula Renault, Formula Vauxhall Jr., Legends Cars, Touring Cars, Pro Trucks and Stock Cars. He has spent the last 20 years teaching at some of the world’s best driving and racing schools. During that time, he has coached over 100 celebrities worked with almost every major car manufacturer covering 15 countries. He is also a member of the Screen Actors Guild where he does work as a stunt driver and stunt double for the Commercial and Film industry.

John Williams

Hometown: Murray, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Off-Road Exploring and Racing

Most Interesting Thing About You: Still thinking…

What I like best about FPRS: Great people sharing their love or racing and talents with all of the school’s guests.

What I like best about instructing: The opportunity to Share

Best driving tip: Learn how to left foot brake and how to use it properly.

Tell students about yourself: I have been involved in the Off-Road Industry since 1997 when I opened my first off-road shop. Competed Professionally in National Rock Crawling Series from 1999-2007, Competed In Ultra 4 Racing for 2 Seasons, I have raced the Baja 1000 5 times with BFGoodrich Tires. Proud to help them earn the Baja Champion Designation for the KO2 and KM3 Tires. I am a member of the BFGoodrich Tires Performance Team. I have been involved with the Raptor Assault Program since The beginning.

Justin Bloxham

Hometown: Taylorsville, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Golf, Fitness, Reading, Woodworking

Most Interesting Thing About You: I was a golf professional before my motorsports career

What I like best about FPRS: The quality of the product and the focus on the student.

What I like best about instructing: Witnessing the joy on a student’s face, and helping them see what is possible for them as a performance driver.

Best driving tip: Always look where you want to go, not where you currently are.

Tell students about yourself: I have a later start in motorsports than most of our instructors; which started in track/race operations. However, the driving bug took no time to bite and I was quickly looking for a way to get in a car and learn how to drive fast! I have since raced both karts and cars in racing series local to Utah. I was fortunate enough to begin my development at the Ford Performance Racing School just like the majority of our students. I believe this beginning allows me to relate to our students, helping them pick up performance driving basics more easily. It never gets old helping people develop as drivers, learn the capabilities of their vehicle, or cross something off their bucket list.

Kyle Walker

Hometown: Pocatello, Idaho

Interests & Hobbies: Cars. Helicopters. Shooting

Most Interesting Thing About You: I can fly a helicopter

What I like best about FPRS: Great cars. Great track. Great people.

What I like best about instructing: The smiles people have from learning and having fun.

Best driving tip: If you always look where you want to go you will get there.

Tell students about yourself: I have always enjoyed cars and trucks since I was little. My family reminds me of the first word I read to them was gas off of a toy car. I bought my first sports car and was hooked. I enjoy driving whether it be a casual mountain road or on the track or up a mountain.

Lea Croteau

Hometown: Steamboat Springs, CO

Interests & Hobbies: Racing, Skiing, Sailing

Most Interesting Thing About You: Traveled a lot

What I like best about FPRS: Friendly atmosphere

What I like best about instructing: Sharing my passion for driving.

Best driving tip: Practice!!

Tell students about yourself: I was born in England and grew up in a military family. I was lucky enough to experience a lot of different cultures at an early age, as well as learn to ski on some of the best resorts in Europe. It was actually skiing that led me to auto racing, which I got my start in the club level racing sports cars. I have competed with SCCA and NASA at the regional, national and pro levels, as well as compiled many podium finishes in my career. I still race with teams that participate in 24 Hour endurance events. Was a select member of the PPG IndyCar Pace Car Team and Marlboro Drift Team. Also, drive for television commercials and recently for the movie Need For Speed in the Mustang. Was nominated as stuntwoman of the year for that role. Aside from sports car racing, my specialty is high performance driving on snow and ice. I have been instructing since 1993 and love passing on what I know to others to help them enjoy the sport of driving.

Lloyd Reed

Hometown: Danville, CA

Interests & Hobbies: Flying, Motocross, Snowboarding, and Hiking

Most Interesting Thing About You: I was born in the UK and moved to the US when I was 7

What I like best about FPRS: Everyone enjoys what they do and it is always a fun day with the staff at FPRS

What I like best about instructing: Seeing a student’s face when they get out of the car after a track session.

Best driving tip: Always be one step ahead of the car.

Tell students about yourself: I was born and raised in the UK where motorsport is a mainstream sport. I grew up racing motocross and go-karts but went all-in with 4 wheels when I turned 17. I competed in various open-wheel series throughout my career including the Indy Lights Championship which I competed in for Bryan Herta Autosport. I then transitioned to GT racing with Flying Lizard Motorsports in their Audi R8 GT3 LMS. Since then, I have competed in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge and have been a coach for many drivers as well. When I am not racing I am a commercial pilot and spend my time flying around the country in various planes.

Mark Claussner

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Interests & Hobbies: Kids and My Cabin

Most Interesting Thing About You: Career diversity: Sales/Marketing, Police Officer, Stunt Driver, and so many more.

What I like best about FPRS: The outstanding quality of the program and equipment

What I like best about instructing: Seeing people improve

Best driving tip: Look further ahead than you think you need to

Tell students about yourself: I’ve been on wheels in one form or another since I was 8. From an old Jeep on a farm to motorbikes, go-karts, snowmobiles to cars, I have always loved to go, and quickly. I started racing at 18 and started a career at 25. Though the form of the vehicle has changed throughout the years, I have always loved auto sports and feel blessed to have been able to turn it into a career I love.

Mark Wolocatiuk

Hometown: Petaluma, CA

Your Interests & Hobbies: Motorsports, Motorcycles, Golf, Watersports

Favorite Car: Porsche 911 Carrera S, Manual non-turbo

Favorite Truck: No Favorite, they all keep getting better

Favorite Food: Italian

Most Interesting Thing About You?: I was the fastest qualifier against Jack Brabham, Parnelli Jones, Mickey Thompson, and other great drivers early in my racing career at Riverside International Raceway in a particular invitational race for eight great veterans and eight hopeful rookies like me. The organizers flipped the entire 16-car grid, and I finished 7th of 16 while locking bumpers with Mickey Thompson for 1/2 lap.

What I like best about FPRS?: Programs that are tailored to specific models

What I like best about instructing?: Seeing the “Light Bulb” illuminate when those that have been driving many years learn something new that they cannot experience in the real world.

Best driving tip?: Eyes up are #1 but keeping a lite grip on the wheel is my go-to when someone is nervous about pushing theirs and the car’s limits. 

Tell students about yourself: I started racing in 1980 at The Jim Russell Racing Drivers School. I quickly won some championships and found myself trying to move up toward Europe and or Indy Cars. I promptly became lead and chief instructor at Riverside, Laguna Seca, and Sears Point raceways for JRRDS. I managed to race nearly every type of race car, from open-wheel single-seaters to production cars, Trans Am, stock cars, vintage, sports racers, and ice racing endurance cars on road circuits, street circuits, ovals, and frozen lakes all over North America, Canada & Japan. I raced as a “factory” driver for Chevy, Geo, Enkei Wheels, and Honda. Since 1985 I have worked for nearly every automobile manufacturer as a product specialist demonstrating new vehicle features and capabilities to the media, sales staff, and consumers. I have some TV and numerous commercial credits as a “professional driver on a closed course,” has been a Screen Actors Guild (SAG) member since 1991. 

 I thoroughly enjoy helping those new to the track environment experience the true capabilities of themselves and their vehicle.

Matt Reilly

Hometown: Sonoma, Ca

Interests & Hobbies: All forms of motorsports, go-karting, woodworking, football, shooting, spending time with my family.

Most Interesting Thing About You: Used my First Aid/CPR training to help save a person’s life!

What I like best about FPRS: We have a great team of instructors and staff, awesome cars to drive we get paid to have fun and share our passion for cars and driving!

What I like best about instructing: Sharing my passion for driving with the students coaching them to improve their car control and confidence behind the wheel. Love to witness the “Ah-Ha’ moments!

Best driving tip: Look ahead your eyes are everything to driving, be smooth with the controls, and work on your consistency to develop your muscle memory.

Tell students about yourself:

I have instructed for 32 years for numerous racing schools; Bob Bondurant school of High-Performance Driving, Skip Barber Racing School, Jim Russell Racing School been lucky that I’ve been a pro driver my entire adult life making a living holding a steering wheel!

I grew up in my Dad’s automotive repair shop developing my love for cars and anything mechanical as he competed in drag racing and Sprint cars.

Started racing early driving an Austin Healy Sprite in SCCA H production class progressed through Solo 1, Regional and National competition in various classes, small-bore production, showroom stock, various GT classes, Formula Mazda also competed on dirt ovals in stock cars.

I earned 3 driver championships before I made the move into the professional ranks racing in the highly competitive NASCAR Southwest Tour and Winston West series.

Built a reputation around the NASCAR garage as a “road race ringer” working with over 30 NASCAR drivers as a driving coach helping drivers/teams improve their road racing techniques and car setups, two of my star pupils were Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Sr who both won races at Sears Point while I was coaching them. Dale Sr asked me to start a driver development program for his race team DEI, which brought me to Charlotte NC from Northern California.

In 2006 my Mother-in-Law was struck in killed in a crosswalk 3 blocks from our front door she was a victim of a 17-year-old HS Senior that was texting and driving, that crash sent my family into a tail spin…. After the crash I was introduced to NHRA Top Fuel racer Doug Herbert who had lost both his sons to a car crash in 2008, Doug had just started a non-profit called B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) I teamed up with Doug to run the charity and developed the Teen Pro-Active Driving School to teach teens about being safe behind the wheel and give them hands-on defensive driver training. We grew B.R.A.K.E.S. into a Nationwide program that has trained over 45,000 teen drivers and their parents at no cost to the public.

Worked in the automotive industry for various manufactures designing and managing dynamic driving events, sales training, consumer marketing, PR events vehicle testing, and development, been behind the wheel as a precession driver shooting footage for videos, commercials, and movies.

Mike Johnson

Tell students about yourself: I’m a 32 year veteran of Performance Driving with 11 National Solo Championships with the SCCA. I’m also blessed with 2 Baja 1000 class wins with the best team in the business, the BFGoodrich Performance Team. I’ve been instructing for 20 years, and also the owner of an autocross based Performance Driving School.

Mike McGovern

Hometown: Santa Clara California 

Your Interests & Hobbies: Family, Biking, Snow Skying, Racing cars. 

Most Interesting Thing About You? 

What I like best about FPRS? The fantastic staff, superb training vehicle, and intense training programs.

What I like best about instructing? Sharing my knowledge and experience with others!

Best driving tip? Elevate your vision 5,10,15 seconds ahead of your vehicle.

Tell students about yourself:

I have been working and participating in the motorsport world for 35-plus years. My career started working for The Bob Bondurant School of High-Performance Driving in Sanoma, CA. I started working in the shop, and during that time, I got the opportunity to train with some of the best Bondurant Instructors. My next position move was to become a Bondurant Instructor. This was an incredible challenge for me, and at the same time, the challenge of learning the fantastic Sears Point Raceway.

My racing career started with racing G0-karts, and soon I found myself racing stock cars on dirt and asphalt. My next racing adventure led me to the Jim Click racing team. We competed in SCCA and IMSA sports car racing, vintage sports cars, and stock car racing.

Instructing for the Bondurant school, I worked with a wide range of students, from teen drivers, First responders, Advanced Military teams, High-Performance Drivers, Professional race car drivers, and celebrities. To name a few, Jimmy Johnson, Kurt Bush, Tim Allen, and Kevin Hart.

There is nothing like racing a car and being in the heat of battle; next to that is sharing my knowledge and experience with others.

I’m forever grateful for the opportunity that Bob Bondurant gave me! I would have never thought working for him would take me on a lifelong journey.

Bob was my friend and mentor. I will miss him and never forget what he did for my family and me.

Norman Hamden

Hometown: Sedona, AZ

Interests & Hobbies: Racing and High-Performance driving instructing

Most Interesting Thing About You: The variety of my background

What I like best about FPRS: The instructors and staff

What I like best about instructing: Bringing joy to others by teaching them how to go fast and safe

Best driving tip: Focus on what you want! Then go for it…

Tell students about yourself: Fell in love with cars as a young child, started racing cars in 1993, first time on track was Charlotte Motor Speedway’s road course. Instructed for just about every car club in the country, raced on more than 40 race tracks domestic and international. Precision driver in major motion pictures and commercials. Security driver for celebrity. I lived and worked in the United Arab Emirates for the Dubai Aerodrome and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi. Currently racing a 944spec Porsche with National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and director for the series in the AZ region.

Paul Charsley

Hometown: Fort Worth, TX

Interests & Hobbies: Ice Hockey, songwriting, Collecting and building car models

Most Interesting Thing About You: Born from a racing family who has major success in sportier racing, and before I was a driver I was the lead singer in a band

What I like best about FPRS: Great group of instructors to work with and the level of participants we get to teach. You all can drive a stick shift!

What I like best about instructing: Enabling people to push further than they thought was possible and the opportunity to give someone one of the highlights of their year and possibly life

Best driving tip: Head turn for you turn, look aim fire

Tell students about yourself: Paul has been racing for over 28 years. A natural on the track, he started out by winning his first-ever race on the last corner of the final lap. A year later he carried off his first championship, before turning to the pro circuit in IMSA endurance racing. Although primarily a “tin-top” racer, he has driven a variety of car types, including Super Touring sedans, formula cars, and sports car endurance GTs. Alongside his racing, he has made a career of coaching in series events such as Grand Am, ALMS and SCCA, as well as providing incisive insights for one of the biggest F1 sites in the world an F1 centric racing website and podcast.

Ronnie Swyers

Hometown: Tigard, Oregon

Interests & Hobbies: Karting, Race tracks, Home & Family

Most Interesting Thing About You: I wanted to be a professional bowler, competed heavily until I found race cars, then it was all downhill.

What I like best about FPRS: The people, period.

What I like best about instructing: Teaching and educating track enthusiasts about the entire process, from tire pressures to vehicle dynamics.

Best driving tip: Learn car placement and the driving line before adding speed.

Tell students about yourself: First and foremost, even though racing has been a big part of my life since 1987, my biggest accomplishments are my 2 daughters Alex and Kylie. I was inspired at a young age from my late uncle, a local admired Northwest Porsche racer. At the age of 17 and a junior in high school, I began building my first racecar auto shop class. From there I started racing in the most hyper-competitive class in the northwest earning numerous championships in SCCA & ICSCC regional and national divisions driving low horsepower front-wheel drive and higher horsepower showroom stock GT cars. At the age of 30, I began racing shifter karts and to this day is still part of my training behind the wheel.

Shawn Umphries

Hometown: Camarillo, CA

Interests & Hobbies: I enjoy just about all forms of racing and sports. When traveling and not at a track I’ll find the local museums.

Most Interesting Thing About You: I’ve driven a car that pulled more G’s than a space shuttle launch and landing.

What I like best about FPRS: The diversity of the programs offered for every skill level.

What I like best about instructing: I enjoy sharing my 25+ years of knowledge with the different groups of people that come through the doors every day at FPRS.

Best driving tip: Look where you want to go, eyes up.

Tell students about yourself: My passion for cars started early. I was in or around a garage early on and the trips to the track were my reward from Mom when my homework was done during the week. After years of working behind the scenes in the racing industry, I decided it was time to venture out on my own. The knowledge and skills I gained behind the scenes have allowed me to pursue opportunities on and off-road, behind the camera and in front of it, and introduced me to hero’s I now call friends. I can honestly say I’m living my dream one day at a time.

Spencer Geswein

Hometown: West Lafayette, IN

Interests & Hobbies: Family, Church, Cycling, Farm Restoration

Most Interesting Thing About You: In college I motorized our mascot (an elephant) and outfitted it with a pump and plumbing to shoot water from its trunk into the crowd at football games.

What I like best about FPRS: FPRS has a great team of instructors and staff.

What I like best about instructing: I like seeing people absorb instruction, apply it, and feel successful.

Best driving tip: Everywhere on the track be continuously asking yourself if you can go faster.

Tell students about yourself: I’m a regular guy who loves to drive and ride and who has been fortunate to be in the right place at the right time to make a career of it. Of all things, I started racing a Yugo in college and hired on with Michelin as a test driver in 1995. I’ve been fortunate to drive many great vehicles over the years, my favorites being big horsepower, rear-drive, American iron. A 1500hp Lingenfelter standing mile Corvette which ran 226 mph on street tires and pump gas has been the fastest so far. Away from cars, I am Dad/Husband/Handiman with considerable interest in the construction and reclamation of old farm properties and structures.

Steve Phillips

Hometown: Sullivan’s Island, SC

Interests & Hobbies: Sports Car, Racing, F1, Cycling

Most Interesting Thing About You: B-52 Crew Chief 1969-1973 (5 Combat Sorties Vietnam)

What I like best about FPRS: Well defined instructional programs designed to meet or exceed students’ expectations.

What I like best about instructing: Being part of a professional team of FPRS instructors that are dedicated to giving each student a superior experience that they will share with friends and associates.

Best driving tip: “The Line is The Line”

Tell students about yourself: Starting racing 2007, SCCA, and NASA. and began competition in the Ford Racing Mustang Challenge 2008-2010. I moved up to Grand Sport in 2010 in the Grand-Am series and currently driving in IMSA Continental Tire Sports Challenge Series in a GT4. I Also race historic in HSR and SVRA.

Steve Swinnerton

Hometown: Originally from Red Wing MN but live in Chandler AZ

Interests & Hobbies: Mountain biking, skiing, hockey and photography

Most Interesting Thing About You: Having dual citizenship between the US and the UK

What I like best about FPRS: The instructors

What I like best about instructing: Seeing a student’s driving ability progress throughout the day

Best driving tip: Minimize distractions, elevate your vision

Tell students about yourself: Steve Swinnerton hails from Minnesota where he spent his formative years playing ice hockey and racing karts. When Steve graduated high school he decided to pursue his dream of racing open-wheel cars and started racing Formula Fords and Formula Mazda’s. His high-performance driving experience spans over 20 years and includes many different racing platforms. Steve has been instructing at High-Performance Driving Schools around the country for over 13 years and has been an instructor at the Ford Performance Racing School going on 3 years now. As a veteran instructor, Steve enjoys teaching the entire curriculum from ownership classes to the Advanced Road Racing classes to aspiring racers. When his busy schedule allows he’s also a member of the IMSA Weather-Tech SportsCar Championship Safety Car and Hot Lap program as well as a Test Driver/Tire Evaluator for Cooper Tire. Steve lives in Chandler, AZ., where he enjoys riding his mountain bike on the local trails, playing ice hockey, skiing, and photography when his schedule permits.

Todd Hanson

Hometown: Gainesville, GA

Interests & Hobbies: motorcycles, skiing, boating, hiking, outdoors

Most Interesting Thing About You: I’m a really good carpenter.

What I like best about FPRS: co-workers

What I like best about instructing: When the student gets it.

Best driving tip: Eyes up!

Tell students about yourself: I started doing track days in my personal car in 2003. That got me hooked so I took an open-wheel racing school and started racing the same open-wheel formula cars. That led me to sports car racing in what was the GrandAm Cup, Koni Challenge, and is now CTSCC. The highlight of my racing career is competing twice in the 24 Hours of Daytona.

Todd Wittman

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Interests & Hobbies: Paramotoring, Restorations, BBQ

Most Interesting Thing About You: I can cook pro-level BBQ

What I like best about FPRS: Top Notch School Cars

What I like best about instructing: Sharing my knowledge.

Best driving tip: Look Ahead

Tell students about yourself: Over 35 years in Motorsports, 25 years as a high-performance driving instructor. My background is Off-Road truck racing, desert, and short course. I’m also a mechanic, welder, and fabricator.

Tom Long

Hometown: Fort Mill, SC

Interests & Hobbies: Motorsports, Running, Mountain Biking, Tennis, Kayaking, craft food/drinks

Most Interesting Thing About You: Been fortunate enough to call Motorsports my career for the last 15 years.

What I like best about FPRS: The opportunity to meet passionate driving enthusiasts and car owners alike who are so genuinely excited to be a part of the event program. 

What I like best about instructing: The chance to meet new people who share the same passion of driving and getting a chance to teach them new skills.

Best driving tip: Smoothness counts!

Tell students about yourself:  Tom Long is a professional sportscar racer, development driver, private driving coach, and performance driving instructor.  Once a factory driver at the top level of the IMSA Sportscar Series competition in the Prototype division, Tom continues to enjoy competing in the IMSA Michelin Pilot series while acting as a development test driver and private driving coach/instructor.  Tom’s career highlights include countless number of wins in IMSA competition, while being IMSA Series Champion in 2018, and a podium finish at the Rolex 24 hours of Daytona.

Travis Wyman

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Interests & Hobbies: Cycling, Hiking, Golfing

Most Interesting Thing About You: My other passion is Scuba Diving

What I like best about FPRS: The fast-paced fun work environment

What I like best about instructing: Seeing the students make solid improvements in their driving ability

Best driving tip: Look where you want to go!

Tell students about yourself:  I am a professional motorcycle racer. Been riding and racing motorcycles since the age of 5. I moved to Las Vegas in 2012 and transitioned my passion for racing and coaching to the 4 wheel side of things and never looked back! I joined the FPRS in 2017 and am grateful for the opportunity to work with such amazing vehicles and staff.

Ty Hamill

Hometown: Crestwood, KY

Interests & Hobbies: Cycling, Family

Most Interesting Thing About You: My sons

What I like best about FPRS: The people; Students and Staff

What I like best about instructing: Seeing students have fun and hopefully learning a little something useful too

Best driving tip: Eyes up and scan

Tell students about yourself:  Father of two teenage boys, Andrew and Jake. Inherited my love of cars and racing from my father, Maury. I started racing after receiving a Biology degree from Radford University in 1986. Have raced open-wheel and production-based sports cars in IMSA, SCCA, PCA, and NASA. Coaching and teaching high-performance driving for 30 plus years for various race schools and automotive manufacture has allowed me to travel all over the US as well as tracks in Canada, Central, and South America.

Tyler Dahl

Hometown: Spanish Fork, UT

Interests & Hobbies: Racing, fishing, hunting, golf

Most Interesting Thing About You: I’m single 😉

What I like best about FPRS: The people and the cars

What I like best about instructing: Helping others experience the track

Best driving tip: When in doubt go flat out

Tell students about yourself:  I’ve been racing since 2006. Participating in NASA and SCCA club races. Instructing at the track since 2010 and have enjoyed being a part of the group.