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BBC Autos

Driving Schools

At Nismo Academy, school with a smoke-filled twist

About the author

Deputy editor of BBC Autos, Jonathan was formerly the editor of The New York Times' Wheels blog. His automotive writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Details, Surface, Intersection and Design Observer. He has an affinity for the Citroën DS and Toyota pickup trucks of the early 1990s.

The last thing on your mind is the speedometer.

With no highway patrol in sight, a racetrack makes gravity, friction and inertia the only laws that demand adherence. Such was the case at Lime Rock Park, in western Connecticut, where BBC Autos was invited to participate in the Nismo Performance Academy – a driving experience offered by Nissan to owners of its sports cars.

Nismo is the in-house performance division at Nissan, and much like Mercedes-Benz’s AMG and BMW’s M, it is being groomed into a full-blown sub-brand within the Japanese company. Nismo academies give owners of Nissan performance cars – the GT-R, Juke Nismo and 370Z, namely – a full day of instruction gratis, in either the customers’ own cars or vehicles supplied by Nissan specifically for the event.

Check here for news on upcoming academy dates.