Skip Barber Racing School

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Skip Barber Racing School
Founded 1975
Founder(s) Skip Barber
Headquarters Braselton, Georgia, United States
Number of locations Five Base Locations
Website Skip Barber Racing Official Website

The Skip Barber Racing School is one of the largest racing schools in the world. It conducts racing schools, defensive and high performance driving schools, amateur and professional racing championships and corporate entertainment schools. Skip Barber started the school in 1975 with two borrowed Formula Ford race cars and four students. The school visits up to 30 race tracks across the United States and Canada and owns 120 race cars. As of 2007 the school is affiliated with Mazda, who provide many vehicles for the school.[1]

Overview[edit]

A Mazda RX8 on the Skidpad in a Skip Barber Driving School

Since 1975, Skip Barber Racing School has operated a fully integrated system of racing schools, driving schools, racing championships, corporate events and OEM events across North America, teaching emergency braking, skid and slide control, proper cornering techniques, an understanding of vehicle dynamics, and a variety of other car-control skills.

Since its founding in 1975, Skip Barber Racing School has trained more motorsports winners and champions than any other organization of its kind. Skip Barber alumni race and win in every major event and championship, from NASCAR's Sprint Cup and Nationwide Series to Formula One, the Indy 500, American Le Mans, and the IndyCar Series. Since 1983, the Skip Barber Racing School has trained over one-third of all Indy 500 competitors and one-quarter of the NASCAR Sprint Cup competitors. Skip Barber Racing alumni have won every major U.S. auto racing championship.

History[edit]

Main article: Skip Barber

John "Skip" Barber started racing in 1958 while studying at Harvard University, where he earned a degree in English. When his racing career ended, Barber's belief that auto racing was "coachable" in the same manner as any other sport—at the time, a distinctly minority position—led him to create the eponymously named Racing School, and a year later, the equal-car Race Series.

In 1975, with two borrowed Lola Formula Fords and four eager students, Barber started the Skip Barber School of High Performance Driving. In 1976, it was renamed the Skip Barber Racing School and that same year, he created the Skip Barber Race Series. Within a decade of its founding, Skip Barber Racing became the largest racing and driving school in the world. Barber remains active in motorsports today as the owner and operator of Lime Rock Park, the famous road racing venue in the northwest hills of Connecticut. He lives in the nearby town of Sharon, with wife Judy.

On May 9, 2011, the racing school announced it would move its corporate headquarters to its Road Atlanta facility in Braselton, Georgia.

The Offerings[edit]

The Skip Barber Racing Schools are held at more than 20 race tracks in North America and feature a series of autocross, braking & downshifting exercises with special attention on heel-and-toe downshifting, high-speed lapping sessions combined with racing theory & advanced braking techniques and Track drills in drafting, passing & racing in the rain; double-file race starts & single-file restarts.

The Skip Barber Driving Schools teach emergency braking, skid and slide control, proper cornering techniques and a variety of other car-control skills. The purpose of the programs is to raise awareness of all the elements that together constitute good driving through understanding of vehicle dynamics and practicing the skills in a controlled environment. The Driving Schools can be found at five base locations: Lime Rock Park (Located in Lakeville, Connecticut), Road Atlanta (Braselton, Georgia), Road America (Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Monterey, California) and Sebring International Raceway (Sebring, Florida).

BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda is an entry-level professional racing series that takes drivers to several venues each season, and exposes them to bigger racing markets, while receiving feedback each session from Skip Barber Racing instructors. Each season's champion earns a scholarship to compete in the next level of racing and help advance their racing career.

The Skip Barber Regional Race Series is collectively three separate open-wheel, spec racing championships — a summer race series and two winter race series based out of the Southeast and California.

The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge is a race series using Mazda MX-5 cup cars with specifications closely matched to those of the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy MX-5 Cup series. The MAZDASPEED Challenge runs alongside the Skip Barber Regional Race Series.

The Skip Barber Cup is a racing series for drivers aged 26 and older who are looking to race in a professional-level series without becoming full-time professional racers.

Corporate Events unit creates custom Racing and Driving programs for companies of any size that desire special events to train, entertain, educate and reward. Each one is unique and tailored specifically to the client’s needs and can include almost any criteria including catering, photography and apparel.

OEM Events provides specialized automotive-related training, analysis, evaluation, logistics and consultation.

The Vehicles[edit]

A Skip Barber High Performance Driving School Lotus

The skip barber school owns 60 Formula Skip Barber open-wheel school cars and race-prepped Mazda MX-5 Cup cars for the Racing School, Racing Series and Corporate Events and 60 Skip Barber Formula 2000 race cars for the six racing championships. They also utilize more than 75 passenger/street cars including Porsche 911s, Boxsters, Caymans, Lexus IS-F sedans, Lotus Exiges, Lotus Evora, BMW M3s, Mazda3's, Mazda MX-5s, and Mazda RX-8s for use in the High Performance Driving School, Driving Schools, and Corporate Events.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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