After four days of intense training, seminars, on-track sessions and constant evaluations, the winners of the Skip Barber Racing School 15th Annual Karting Scholarship Shootout and the Race Series Champion Shootout have been chosen by the expert panel of judges, after almost three hours of deliberation. Danilo Estrela and Tristan DeGrand were the top winners of the event; each winning a full season in the Skip Barber presents the Mazda Winter or Summer Race Series. (Scroll down for a full table of winners.)
“This is what we live for: turning racers into champions in the most effective fashion,” said Skip Barber Racing School CEO Michael Culver. “Our model developed over 36 years continues to develop drivers that compete at world class levels. We have a history like no one else, and the resumes of our alumni underscore the success of our system. We continue to learn and improve and that dedication is what drives our employees and instructors.”
In addition to expert coaching from staff, the participants of the 2011 Skip Barber Shootouts were able to learn from from motorsports figures including Bob Varsha and Jeremy Shaw, IZOD IndyCar Series driver Townsend Bell, Skip Barber Racing School alumni Gerardo Bonilla, MAZDASPEED Communications Officer Dean Case, former Formula 1 and Indy car driver Derek Daly.
“I'm absolutely amazed at this program,” said JoAnn, mother of Nick Neri, before the award announcements. “I think it's the best. I'm so happy that we did it. I've learned so much and Nick has learned so much. Now coming here, we see you don't jump the ladder system. It's not going to work.”
“Building a foundation for a motorsports career means more than just being fast, said SPEED broadcaster Varsha. “The beauty of this program is that in addition to track time and instruction, young drivers get that ‘off track' education about media, marketing, sponsorship, attitude and all the other things that go into being a successful professional. I'm happy to help in that process.”
After 36 years, Skip Barber Racing School remains dedicated to providing aspiring racers with the tools necessary to advance up the motorsports ladder and be successful. “This is a wonderful opportunity for anybody at this stage in his or her career,” said racing journalist and Team USA Scholarship founder Shaw. “The standard has been high as usual, and I'm delighted to be able to play a small part in the program.”