Viewing the field of competitors in this year’s Daytona 500 shows how difficult it still is for young women to enter into the top ranks of motorsports, despite the success of current drivers like Danica Patrick, Sarah Fisher, Kathryn Legge and Ashley Force Hood. It is particularly shocking when one realizes that in 2007, there were “more than 200 women drivers licensed to race in NASCAR sanctioned races; 41 women have earned NHRA national event victories, while 39 women have competed in pro racing in NHRA.” In addition, one wonders where all the women are this year, considering the fact that NASCAR’s own “mission” to develop Hispanic, Black and female drivers seemed to be “turning the heads of marketers who are eager to tap into a huge fan base that these drivers would bring” in recent years.
In fact, according to a report by the University of Indianapolis, in collaboration with the center for Research on Physical Activity “Women racers bring fans out to the races.”
While no one can predict what the future of racing will bring, many young women (as well as men) are now viewing it as a viable career choice. And for those who have their hearts on entering this world, there is no better place to learn than the Skip Barber racing School here in Lakeville, CT.
*The Skip Barber Racing Schoolhas been a global leader in automotive education for over 30 years offering both driving and racing schools fully integrated with racing championships, OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) events and corporate events across North America. In fact, Skip Barber Racing has trained more motorpsorts winners and champions than any other organization, with alumni including Mario Andretti, who have raced and won every major championship worldwide, from NASCAR Sprint to Formula One.
The Racing School is conducted at more than 30 of the biggest tracks in North America, with classes in either Mazda Speed Racing or Formula One, divided into 3 Day Racing Schools, Advanced 2-Day School, a One-Day Combo School, and Introductory and Advanced Car Control. The Driving Schools are sponsored by Mazda at five different locations.
In addition to the Schools, Skip Barber Racing conducts a Race Series made up of six separate open-wheel, equal car racing championships; four regional amateur series, a national championship for drivers over 40, and a prominent entry-level professional national series with $100,000 given to the season champ. Corporate events and OEM events also provide exciting educational and training programs to various companies.
John “Skip” Barber, founder of Skip Barber Racing, began his racing career in 1958, while studying English at Harvard University, and was one of the few Americans to compete in the Formula One Championship at the time. He then went on to win three SCCA National Championships in a row during the mid sixties, and finished third in the 1967 United States Road Racing Championship. In addition, Barber won the Formula Ford National Championship in 1969 and 1970.For more information about the Skip Barber schools, as well as the other events you can contact Skip Barber Racing at PO Box 1629, Lakeville, CT 06039, or call 800 221-1131/860 435-1300. [email protected]
*reprinted with permission by the authors of “Girls Go Racing: Driving to Esteems.” This book comes highly recommended for anyone who is interested in learning more about the world of auto racing and how to become part of it. Available at Authorhouse.com, Amazon.com and barnesandNoble.com