This weeks interview is with Bruce MacInnes, Senior Driving Instructor at the world famous Skip Barber Racing School. I ran into Bruce at the one place you wouldn’t expect to find an auto racer: at an air show!
I’ve known of the Skip Barber school for years, and it’s a place I’ve always wanted to go to….but wasn’t quite sure what all it was that they actually taught. After a brief chat with Bruce, things cleared up quickly and I thought it would make a great interview. (FYI: Bruce said that many racers are also very good students of flying, so that’s why Skip Barber maintains a booth at some air shows.)
Bruce is a former racer and a lifetime professional race instructor. Bruce has taught many famous people include Nascar drivers, Movie Stars and anyone who wants to learn to drive. He has also written many books, articles, and has been the featured interview well known magazines. He has been teaching people to go faster since the mid 70’s and loves what he does.
Skip Barber was a three time national champion, racing Formula B cars. Skip decided to see if he could make some extra money, and some sponsorships by teaching wealthy guys to drive fast. After awhile he figured out that it would be a good business to get into and in 1975 he started the Skip Barber Driving school.
Today the schools are held at numerous different tracks utilizing three different kinds of cars to teach different driving techniques. Bruce mentioned classes available at Road Atlanta, Limerock Park, and Sebring Florida and there are almost twenty more locations where classes are offered.
You can choose from various lengths and costs of driving schools depending on what you expect to learn and what kind of racing you plan to do. The big skills taught involve understanding why corners work (i.e. braking, turning, exiting, heel-toe down shifting, avoiding spins, etc.). Learning how to “go fast by going slow” is also taught!
1 and 3 days schools are common, and the 3 day school can culminate in achieving a racing license. The cars used are Mazda MX-5’s (Miatas), Formula cars, Hyundai’s, and others. Students drive in school cars, not their own.
Thanks for the great interview Bruce, see you at the next air show.
This interview sponsored by our pals at National Parts Depot – your premier source for muscle car restoration parts!