Visiting the Skip Barber Racing School

Whether you want to zoom around the track in a Formula One race car or just know what to do if your car slides on a rain-slicked road on the way home from the supermarket, the Skip Barber Racing School is the place for you.

The school was established by John Skip Barber in 1975. Barber is famous for being one of the couple of Americans who have competed in the Formula One World Championship, among other honors. In fact, it took only 10 years for the Skip Barber Racing School to become the largest racing and driving school in the world a feat that can be attributed, in no small part, to achievement in the racing world. The school has the distinction of having trained winners of every major automobile racing championship, including the Indy 500, the IndyCar Series, NASCAR’s Sprint Cup, the Nationwide Series, the American Le Mans and many Formula One races.

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But where to begin? First, the New Driver Program at the Skip Barber Racing School is intended to teach true protective driving. Participants learn about road etiquette, as well as enhanced street awareness. Parallel parking is practiced, along with crisis lane changing and crisis braking. Students also get the chance to learn to control their cars in additional crisis situations on the school’s built in slide pad.

In addition, drivers who want to further develop their skills might choose the One Day Mazda Driving School. In this class, professional instructors teach students about vehicle behavior and dynamics. They learn to avoid accidents, recuperate from slides, and practice threshold or panic braking and lane toss exercises. Students who choose the Two Day Class learn additional skills including heel-toe down shifting and have extra practice time on the track.

But beyond these driving classes, the Skip Barber Racing School also offers as the name suggests classes in racing. The school offers classes that are intended for drivers who want the experience of driving in a race car, for those who want to become professional racers, or for professional racers who want to advance their skills. The racing schools are separated into Mazda racing schools and Formula One racing schools. Both offer an Introduction to Racing, which combines classroom instruction and track time. The One Day Racing School allows students to take a spin behind the Skip Barber Formula One car or the Skip Barber Mazda MX-5 Cup car.

Other programs at the school include an Advanced Two Day Racing School, the Three Day Racing School and a Lapping and Lead/Follow course all of which include individual instruction and additional racing practice.