In December 2010, 44 aspiring race car drivers competed in Formula Skip Barber Race cars at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for racing scholarships for the 2011 season. This winter, Skip Barber Racing School will offer this opportunity once again to karters hoping to work their way up the motorsport ranks. Nov. 3-6, 2011, the 15th annual Skip Barber Racing School Karting Scholarship Shootout will return to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Previously open to karters as well as entry-level race car drivers, this event will now be exclusively for karters with no professional auto racing experience and no Skip Barber Racing School race event experience. By limiting the field to strictly karters, Skip Barber Racing School returns to the core commitment of providing scholarship opportunities for karters to work their way up through the levels of motorsport through the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder.
Judged by a panel of motorsports experts, these karters will go through a series of tests both on and off the race track. The expert panel will evaluate each driver on their on-track performance as well as how they present themselves and effectively listen to and apply feedback. The winners of the Karting Scholarship Shootout will receive scholarship funds to compete in future Skip Barber Racing School race series events. An integral part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder, Skip Barber Racing School allows racers to advance through the system of race schools and race series with the possibility of earning scholarships at the conclusion of each championship.
About the Karting Scholarship Shootout:
In 1998, 17 year old Ryan Hunter-Reay became one of the first winners of the Skip Barber Racing School Karting Shootout Scholarship."It was an easy choice, really," said Hunter-Reay when discussing his choice to participate in the Karting Shootout."You're able to compete against the best drivers in equal equipment. Then when you added in all the coaching, and track time it's a no brainer." Other Scholarship Shootout winners include A.J. Allmendinger (NASCAR Sprint Cup), Connor De Phillippi (Star Mazda), Alexander Rossi (GP3), Sage Karam (USF2000), and Spencer Pigot (USF2000). Skip Barber Racing School has also launched the careers of Marco Andretti (IndyCar Series), Joel Miller (Indy Lights), and Conor Daly (Indy Lights, GP3).