USA Olympic Gold Medalist Swimmer Tyler Clary, who admitted during a visit to the IndyCar race weekend at Sonoma this summer that he is eager to embark on a career in motor racing, is taking the initial step in that direction by enrolling in a Skip Barber Three-Day Racing School at Lime Rock Park. He hopes to demonstrate enough potential to earn a slot in the inaugural Skip Barber IndyCar Academy shootout.
At the end of the year, Skip Barber Racing School's instructors will nominate 33 graduates of its racing school programs to compete in a final shootout. The winner will receive a fully funded ride into the Skip Barber Racing School Race Series, which is the first step in the Mazda Road to Indy.
“I am more than excited to start training at the Skip Barber Racing School. Lime Rock is Park one of America's premiere racetracks. It is an honor to learn the same course curriculum used to train Jeff Gordon and Michael Andretti,” says Clary, who hopes to master the fundamentals not only in the classroom, but also through driving sessions in the Formula Skip Barber racecar (ABOVE).
At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, Clary set the fastest Olympic time ever in the 200m backstroke. Upon his return to the U.S., Clary learned more about how to become a professional racecar driver – a pursuit he intends to take on full time once he decides to retire from swimming.
Clary's training will begin with an introduction to the cars, discussion of the track, and an intense series of exercises. Next, he will get drive time on the track in a series of lapping sessions at high speeds. He will also learn advanced techniques such as “trail-brake rotation”. His final day will include classroom instruction in drafting, passing, and racing in the rain. The majority of the day is spent lapping at speed. Part of the day includes being gridded in race formation behind a pace car, which peels off as Clary practices starts and restarts.