Skip Barber Scholarship winners will start their journey up the Mazda Road to Indy this weekend in the 2013 Skip Barber Summer Race Series opener at Virginia International Raceway.
Yago Cesario, 17 from Goiania, Brazil, is the 2012 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout winner. He joins a long line of champions that have progressed from the Karting Scholarship Shootout into IndyCar, NASCAR, Grand-Am and ALMS to name a few.
“I am feeling great because I know that racing in the Skip Barber Race Series will improve my driving skills because the cars are the same for everybody so the only thing that makes difference is the driver,” said Cesario after his Wednesday lapping session. “Also, because many great drivers passed through the Skip Barber system, it makes me feel that I am taking the right path to Indy.”
Andre Gomes, 25, from Nashua, New Hampshire, is the first Skip Barber IndyCar Academy winner. As the winner of the shootout for drivers without professional racing experience, Gomes is making history at every turn.
“I'm extremely excited to start my race series since I've never raced before. I know it is going to be very challenging, long season,” said Gomes. “I couldn't have done this without Skip Barber Racing School. Not only because of the scholarship but the instruction that the help they have given me to become a better racer.”
The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge will also race at VIR this weekend. The field will feature 2012-2013 Winter Series Master's Champion Felix Borodaty and 2012-2013 Winter Series Runner-Up Jim Wilby. All race groups will practice and qualify on Friday, April 26. Race 1 will be on Saturday, April 27. Race 2 will be on Sunday April 28.
Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout and IndyCar Academy. The shootouts will be held at Sebring Nov. 4-6 and 6-8, respectively. Qualification guidelines, applications and more information are available online at skipbarber.com or by calling (800) 221-1131.