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      04-04-2011, 03:31 PM   #1
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Skip Barber 3 day racing school

Hey guy my parents were nice enough to buy me a skip barber 3 day racing school at Lime Rock Park for my college graduation. I was wondering if any one has done it, and how their experience went? I and doing the mx-5 cup 3 day racing school because I figured I will probably never drive a sequential in my life. I am pretty excited about it, and I know that when I go to track days I can be put in the experienced group and not with the beginners which annoys me, because some of them never wave you by. Anyway please post your review of how you liked the school and the overall experience. Also any tips on what to bring etc.
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      04-04-2011, 05:06 PM   #2
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      04-04-2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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I've done the 3 day school at Sebring in the Formula car and it was one of the best learning environments I've ever been in. Easily got 10 DE days worth of learning in 3 days.

I opted for the Formula car and am glad I did, it's a well balanced car, that works with you and against you. If you make any sort of snappy movements of either the brake or the throttle it will let you know with rotation. It teaches you how to be very smooth and balanced, because in reality you have no other choice. The sequential shifter only took a few laps to get used to and overall the car was a blast to drive.

As my instructor said at the end of 3 days, we'd have absolutely no problem jumping over to the MX-5, however the learning curve for those guys to get into the formula car wouldn't be quite so simple. I definitely look forward to following up with the 2 day advanced school after I get a bit more track time under my belt and feel the desire to go wheel to wheel racing.

That being said I think you'll have no problem going Solo after attending if you go there with an open mind and are ready to learn.
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      04-04-2011, 10:34 PM   #4
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      04-04-2011, 11:43 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z4-Villalona View Post
how do i get there?
http://www.skipbarber.com/

3 Day schools run about 4K depending on the track, but includes 3 days worth of use on their car (limited liability insurance is available).
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      04-05-2011, 12:13 AM   #6
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That's what you could do with your tax return Z4-Villanova! Mod yourself instead of the car....
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      04-05-2011, 09:16 AM   #7
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That's what you could do with your tax return Z4-Villanova! Mod yourself instead of the car....
+1

I've been wanting to do the 3-day open wheel school for some time now. The price is actually not that bad once you figure in how much it costs to run a mildly modified street car on the track for a day including all the fees and wear and tear items...

Also, they are holding an open house at LRP on 4/21. You can register for free. The event description says folks will be able to drive their street cars on an autox course, and shotgun on the track with an instructor. More importantly, they mention a 20% discount for regular events if purchased there, but I am not sure if that applies to driving schools.
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      04-06-2011, 12:08 AM   #8
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      04-06-2011, 01:50 AM   #9
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Tomorrow, I'm going to the half-day formula car program that they have
Couldn't justify the $4k+ for the 3-day course. The only thing that really appealed to me was the fact that I could potentially get signed off for an SCCA race license.

But I figure I'm almost good enough anyway on my own to get one of those licenses, via a different route; namely NASA. Because my very first instructor from the first time I went out to track is a NASA instructor, and he says he can sign me off the next time we meet (provided that I've improved as much as I've been telling him of course )
Plus, this alternate way is much cheaper
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      04-06-2011, 09:09 AM   #10
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Thanks for the info guys. Skip Barber has a special going through a site where its 20% off. I do not know what site, but I mentioned carbon fiber club and how they have 10% off and he going I have a better discount for you and gave me another site with 20% off.
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      04-06-2011, 10:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Tomorrow, I'm going to the half-day formula car program that they have
Couldn't justify the $4k+ for the 3-day course. The only thing that really appealed to me was the fact that I could potentially get signed off for an SCCA race license.

But I figure I'm almost good enough anyway on my own to get one of those licenses, via a different route; namely NASA. Because my very first instructor from the first time I went out to track is a NASA instructor, and he says he can sign me off the next time we meet (provided that I've improved as much as I've been telling him of course )
Plus, this alternate way is much cheaper
An instructor can sign you off to Solo, however for the racing license you either have to attend one of the approved schools (Skip Barber, Bondurant,etc) or attend a SCCA club racing school. This will get you a regional racing license (after sending in the appropriate forms, physical, etc) then after 2 additional races you are eligible for a National license. I just received mine last week, but in order to maintain it you must continue racing, so for this aspect only the schools it's not 100% worth it, but combined with the learning experience and smooth driving style you can develop with the formula cars it's an added plus.
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      04-06-2011, 12:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelove View Post
An instructor can sign you off to Solo, however for the racing license you either have to attend one of the approved schools (Skip Barber, Bondurant,etc) or attend a SCCA club racing school. This will get you a regional racing license (after sending in the appropriate forms, physical, etc) then after 2 additional races you are eligible for a National license. I just received mine last week, but in order to maintain it you must continue racing, so for this aspect only the schools it's not 100% worth it, but combined with the learning experience and smooth driving style you can develop with the formula cars it's an added plus.
In the context of NASA, that depends on who the instructor is exactly within the organization and if the licensing instructor approves. My understanding is that you don't have to attend a competition school to get a provisional competition license, but it makes a lot of sense. One should be able to do SCCA and BMW CCA races with a NASA competition license (not sure about the provisional license though), but I guess that depends on the local regulations.

This is the relevant section from 2011 NASA CCR:

13.1.1 NASA licensing program:
1. Four days on track with an Instructor; the last two (2) days in a race car.
2. Pass a written test and a technical compliance demonstration.
3. Approval of the Licensing Instructor and the Event Chairman.
4. A NASA Inspector must certify the race car.
5. Driver.s Attire must meet the NASA minimum standards for racing [Ref (15.17)]
6. Submit a copy of their driver.s license.
7. Submit a copy of their Physical Examination form.
8. Submit the appropriate fee.
Note: The first weekend of licensing school may be waived with the approval of the Event Chairman for drivers with prior track experience.

http://www.nasaproracing.com/rules/ccr.pdf


Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Tomorrow, I'm going to the half-day formula car program that they have
Couldn't justify the $4k+ for the 3-day course. The only thing that really appealed to me was the fact that I could potentially get signed off for an SCCA race license.

But I figure I'm almost good enough anyway on my own to get one of those licenses, via a different route; namely NASA. Because my very first instructor from the first time I went out to track is a NASA instructor, and he says he can sign me off the next time we meet (provided that I've improved as much as I've been telling him of course )
Plus, this alternate way is much cheaper
Do you have a race car? The licence is not useful without a car to race in (and a ton of cash to run the car on race days).
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      04-06-2011, 06:05 PM   #13
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Hah I probably won't be doing seasonal races. I just want a license just so I can show it off LOL..
Well I figure if I'm spending so much time and money on track days, might as well get some kinda credential while I'm at it =P
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      04-06-2011, 06:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mfanatic325 View Post
Hah I probably won't be doing seasonal races. I just want a license just so I can show it off LOL..
Well I figure if I'm spending so much time and money on track days, might as well get some kinda credential while I'm at it =P
You're looking at probably another $400-500 to get a regional license, and if you don't race 2 times in a year you'll have to start over. Not really worth it IMO.
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      04-06-2011, 06:47 PM   #15
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onelove, what series are you racing in? Open wheel or production cars?
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      04-07-2011, 10:23 AM   #16
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Quote:
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onelove, what series are you racing in? Open wheel or production cars?
I can only wish to race open wheel, primarily now my focus is production / grand-am, but I'm not quite there yet I'm just a track junkie taking the slow road up the ladder but enjoying every stop along the way. Our company is actually heavily involved in professional drag racing, however I'm doing my best to steer the ship towards road racing in the near future.
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      04-07-2011, 10:42 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onelove View Post
I can only wish to race open wheel, primarily now my focus is production / grand-am, but I'm not quite there yet I'm just a track junkie taking the slow road up the ladder but enjoying every stop along the way. Our company is actually heavily involved in professional drag racing, however I'm doing my best to steer the ship towards road racing in the near future.
Cool. I have a friend who got into open wheel racing a little. Actually, the costs of running in entry level series sounded reasonable--cars are relatively cheap to aquire and maintain. What he didn't like was kids with ambition (moving up the ladder and trying to get noticed to get free rides or even pay) doing stupid things on the track. Less of an issue with production cars I would think. Most of us are just tooling around because this is what makes us tick, and not to eventually climb into an F1 seat.
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      04-07-2011, 12:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Cool. I have a friend who got into open wheel racing a little. Actually, the costs of running in entry level series sounded reasonable--cars are relatively cheap to aquire and maintain. What he didn't like was kids with ambition (moving up the ladder and trying to get noticed to get free rides or even pay) doing stupid things on the track. Less of an issue with production cars I would think. Most of us are just tooling around because this is what makes us tick, and not to eventually climb into an F1 seat.
I have a few friends who ran the Skip Barber Formula series, and they said similar. A lot of youngsters who came up through karting go the open wheel format, and with the right exposure and pocketbook to continue, it's a great way to get into the likes of Indy lites and Indy eventually, but there's only so many seats in those series so most go elsewhere. I'll likely go the Spec Miata route as it seems to offer a high level of competitive driving at an affordable rate, quite a few of my friends who drive in Grand-Am race these for fun cheap seat time in the off season.
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      04-07-2011, 12:23 PM   #19
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+ 1 on the Spec Miata affordable route.

My instructor last weekend races spec--and amongst other affordable things rotors for a Miata cost 12-15 dollars. Yes, 12-15 dollars! Contrast that with the cost of rotors on our cars and gap is Grand Canyon sized. Other parts, even engines, are much more affordable (long discussion I won't go into, but it was very a very interesting discussion). In fact, he's selling his race-prepped Miata for a little over 9K (he wants to move to a more powerful class after doing this for the past 10 years or so and racing motorcycles professionally for 30+ years).

The spec guys were having quite a great battle out there during the day too--no contact but definetelly some intense and exciting competition.
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      04-07-2011, 01:15 PM   #20
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For full contact racing, check out the Australian V8 Supercars series. Those guys really go at each other within the rules in high powered machinery. Not like the whimpy fragile German V8 racing in DTM.

I've been in a few spec SMs. They are surely fast in tight tracks. Operating costs look good but also depend on how silly you want to be I guess. Some of those guys shell out lots of cash for 3-5 more hp. Not saying one would have to do that, but it seems it is possible to spend money if you think that'll get you the 1/10ths you need...
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      04-07-2011, 01:24 PM   #21
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I found the more I like cars and am around them the more the possibilities grow to spend money! (Well, you did warn me and 'Kitty about going to the track and the expense my friend.) Competition just adds fuel to the fire of $$$. But it's hard to deny the thrill and the fun of driving on the track (hey, again, you did warn me)!

Yes, the costs could get out of hand with SM to, but at some point if you find yourself doing this a lot some kind of track specific car with lower operating costs (and greater safety) starts making more and more sense. I think you've recommended thinking along those lines to others from time to time. I no where near considering that, but it's something I will keep in mind for down the road (or track as the case may be).

I was watching that Australian V8 Supercars series last weekend. Man, what a totally Aussie take on racing. Tight tracks, contact allowed even out of the pits! Kind of like Rubgy Racing IMO. Very exciting stuff and I plan to watch more.
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      04-07-2011, 01:43 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Yes, the costs could get out of hand with SM to, but at some point if you find yourself doing this a lot some kind of track specific car with lower operating costs (and greater safety) starts making more and more sense. I think you've recommended thinking along those lines to others from time to time. I no where near considering that, but it's something I will keep in mind for down the road (or track as the case may be).
Right, I warned you!

And, yes, a track specific car makes a lot of sense for safety and piece of mind reasons. And IF you can control your urges around mods and do a lot of track days, it can make financial sense.

However, I am just in the process of learning what it takes to turn a DE car into a race car. OMFG! I did grossly underestimate the financial commitment and the level of effort required!

I'm not bitter or anything, and in a really strange sense, it is been worth every penny so far (as long as you can afford it and keep yourself out of debt, etc).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
I was watching that Australian V8 Supercars series last weekend. Man, what a totally Aussie take on racing. Tight tracks, contact allowed even out of the pits! Kind of like Rubgy Racing IMO. Very exciting stuff and I plan to watch more.
Best series to watch IMO. These guys really go at it and remain cool about it for the most part. You don't see NASCAR style fist fights, etc in general. I guess that is the Aussie sprit?
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