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Skip Barber Racing School

Discussion in 'Tracking & Driver Education' started by Dopplemax, Feb 2, 2004.

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  1. Dopplemax

    Dopplemax Formula 3

    Anyone here been to their 3 day course, what did you think of it and where did you go (I'm looking at the VIR class)?
  2. TOM B

    TOM B Formula 3

    Jul 24, 2003
    Orange County, NY
    Full Name:
    Thomas Buckley
    I went 20 years ago. Took it at Lime Rock. It's probably much different now. Oh---never mind.
  3. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Took it a few years back at Road America, WI. I thought it was very professional. We even got lucky and had one day of rain. Definitely worth it, but if possible I would make sure you get one on a cool track. Like Road America.
  4. Ira Schwartz

    Ira Schwartz Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    May 20, 2003
    Brooklandville, MD
    Full Name:
    Ira Schwartz
    Took it in February, 1979 at what was then called Palm Beach International Raceway (!), now Moroso Motorsports Park. Good experience back then, and somewhat humbling, but I can't speak to the current curriculum.
  5. rexrcr

    rexrcr Formula 3

    Nov 27, 2002
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Full Name:
    Rob Schermerhorn
    Do it. You'll learn alot. Always a good idea. No substitute for seat time. I have many friends who are instructors, very talented bunch. Listen, drive, learn.

    Best regards,

    Rob Schermerhorn
  6. Tom S

    Tom S Formula Junior

    Jan 2, 2003
    Full Name:
    Thomas Saupe
    I'll be taking it in May at Limerock. Check the New England Section for some more info and a film.


    Aug 20, 2001
    East Coast
    Full Name:
    Jon K.
    Took it a few years ago at Lime Rock. It's a great school but it depends on your level of track experience as to what you get out of it.

    If you are completely new and have never driven anything on the track then it's one of the best schools in the country.

    If you are a track rat you may get a bit bored for the first day and half where things you already know are being taught.

    I took both an SCCA race school and SB. You learn many of the basics and the theory at SB but you don't really learn how to race. SCCA is the exact opposite as there is little done to teach basics and you are thrown into full race conditions from the very first session.

    Both are good but are geared toward different people.


    Jon P. Kofod
  8. dinodude

    dinodude Rookie

    Jan 19, 2004
    Atlanta, GA
    Full Name:
    Glenn Stephens
    I took it in August of 2000 at Road America, a track I always wanted to visit. The instructors were very professional and I met some really great people. Expensive, but highly recommended.

    If you are going to spend the bucks, definitely go to a great historic track since the place is half the experience. I would recommend Road America (WI), Laguna Seca (Monterey), VIR (VA), Watkins Glen (NY).

    Honorable mention goes to Lime Rock (Skippy home track), and Sebring (sheer history value).
  9. Dopplemax

    Dopplemax Formula 3

    Thanks alot for your responses. I have signed up for the May session at VIR. I'm glad others have had experience with their program for such an extended period of time. It will be a brand new experience for me, so it sounds like I've found the right place!

    Thanks again.
  10. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    If you want to get into the swing of things, order their book "Going faster". A great book and tells you all the theoritical stuff in advance.
  11. Dopplemax

    Dopplemax Formula 3

    Is that Skip Barbers own book? If so, would I need to contact them forit, or could I get it from Amazon?
  12. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    It is their own book and you could get it from their website. However I have seen it through other sources available as well (e.g.

    It really is good as it covers all the basics and goes even into differences in racing classes etc. IMHO if you only buy one book about how to race, this one would be a good one.

    Problem is, once you get hooked on racing, you won't stop at one book and one class...
  13. 720

    720 F1 Rookie

    Jul 14, 2003
    So. Cal and No. Utah
    Full Name:
    i took the class at laguna seca about three years ago. it's a great experience. much more involved than i would have guessed. the instructors are located all around the track so they can give you feedback on how to improve. i remember the instructor talking to me saying something like "ramage, we're not sure what you're doing at turn 6 but your'e scaring the hell out of us". LOL.
  14. tifosi12

    tifosi12 Four Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Oct 3, 2002
    @ the wheel
    Full Name:
    Yeah, I had also a less than stellar moment: After crashing in a turn and bending my front suspension they checked it out and told me to slowly go back to the pits.

    Somewhere in my enthusiasm I forgot 'slowly' and gave it a solid right foot. With no front cover btw. The folks that watched me braking hard for the Canada corner skipped a heart beat or two.

    ...the welcome at the pits was not the usual casual and friendly Skip Barber way...
  15. cairns

    cairns Formula Junior

    Nov 13, 2003
    Potomac MD
    Full Name:
    George Williams
    VIR is my favorite race track (at least of the ones I've driven).

    If you are doing the full course (or even the North course) you will have a lot of fun. It is a challenging track that rewards technical proficiency and smoothness as much as power- you'll always have plenty to do. The climbing esses followed by the Oak Tree are just a hoot and a half. As is the downhill section to the Hog Pen.

    We do two three day events a year and always look forward to them. It's a beautiful place, very clean and quite forgiving for a race track (certainly if compared to say, Watkins Glen or Road Atlanta).
  16. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    I was thinking about signing up for the May session at VIR too. That'll be pretty cool if we see each other there. It depends on my trip plans for this summer, but there's a pretty good chance I'll be able to make it.

    I've read the Skip Barber book as preparation for the course. From what people have told me it's one of the better books out there and I really think it is too. There was good detail for the novice and even went through the technical stuff for the more experienced guys.
  17. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
    Hi everyone,
    For those who have done it, I'm trying to decide between the road car courses and the race car course. Which is the one to do? I want to learn how to drive a car (rather than an open-wheel race car) more effectively, but many seem to indicate that the race car course will teach skills that are direclty useful in road cars. Is this true? Which course should I take?
  18. Racerboy

    Racerboy Formula Junior

    Feb 3, 2004
    Bay Area
    Zach- If you really want to learn about the cars dynamics and how to feel comfortable with the limits of the car the take one of the defensive driving courses (the 2 day if you want to spend the money). The racing course is great but I am a firm believer that anyone who wants to take the 3 day race school should have a 2 day defensive under their belts first. The speeds in the DD school are much lower but you still push the car to its limits in every respect. This gives you the opportunity to learn about the handling characteristics of the car and feel comfortable in acceleration, braking manuevers, oversteer and understeer, etc. etc. All of these skills, at speeds under about 60 mph are extremely valuable in your road car on a daily basis.

    The other thing about going right into the racing school is that most people think they are a superbly gifted driver and when they try to push the car at speeds in excess of 100mph they are often overwhelmed because they really don't know what they are supposed to be doing from a technical perspective. This is when spinning and crashing happens. Take the 2 day Defensive and if you really enjoy it and want to take things to the next level and experience what a race car at highspeeds is like then move on to the race school. Trust me you will be much more prepared and have a better time. Good luck
  19. poleposition

    poleposition Karting

    Dec 10, 2003
    I went to their 5 day race school at Laguna Seca a few years ago and I must say, it was the best 5 days I've ever had. It was so much fun, so humbling, not a day goes by where I don't think about it. I definitely learned alot. Just when you think you're a good driver, go for a ride in a dodge neon with one of the instructors and you're like, "WHAT THE????". Laguna Seca was great, I had 2 days of rain which was just awesome. The last day was dry and we were so much faster than any other class. The instructors all said it was because of the rain and we just had a good bunch. It's expensive but well worth it. Good luck.
  20. abarre

    abarre Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2003
    How much do these courses cost?
  21. zjpj

    zjpj F1 Veteran

    Nov 4, 2003
  22. AnotherDunneDeal

    AnotherDunneDeal F1 Veteran

    Jun 2, 2003
    N.Richland Hills, Tx
    Full Name:
    James Dunne
    Took it at TWS way back in the mid 80's. Dorsey Schrader was my first driving coach. Learned a lot and had a ball doing it. Definitely recommend it.
  23. richard

    richard Formula 3

    Nov 3, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Full Name:
    Richard Thompson III
  24. Smiles

    Smiles F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Nov 20, 2003
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Full Name:
    Matt F
    I'd suggest going all the way: also do the 2-day Advanced Racing course. You get to drive their more powerful, sequential gearbox car, complete with wings. Do it a year or so after the three day intro. And then you'll be a few short days from participating in real formula racing!
  25. ApeGen

    ApeGen Formula 3

    Jun 3, 2004
    Hong Kong
    Full Name:
    I am aiming to improve my overall driving skills and especially on defensive driving. Has anyone taken the One Day Driving/Racing school combo?? If I am really taking it this summer, it will be at Lime Rock. Any feedbacks are appreciated. Thanks.

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