How to make it to Indy, no experience necessary. Or allowed So you want to be a professional race car driver, but you don’t have actual racing experience, there are no billionaires in your family and a fracking company didn’t just knock on your door. I’ve got just the thing for you, and it’s not a psychiatric evaluation. It’s called the Skip Barber Racing School IndyCar Academy.
The SBRS IndyCar Academy is principally a talent search for people of any age without karting or racing experience. If this sounds more like a no-talent search, or if you’re wondering in what altered reality a Walter Mitty could become the next Sebastian Vettel, the answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. As of this writing the winner of last year’s inaugural IndyCar Academy, Andre Gomes, is in a close second place in the 2013 Skip Barber Summer Series with two weekends to go. So much for the 18 y/o kids with 16 years of karting experience.
However, more than proving that God has a sense of humor, it reinforces Bernie Ecclestone’s suggestion that the fastest driver in the world is probably an unknown kid in Siberia. Which is pretty much the same thing.
As with all talent searches, it’s not for nothing as the top prize is a full season in the Skip Barber Race Series worth in the neighborhood of $50K, with 2nd and 3rd place each earning enough ‘Skippy Bucks’ for a partial season.
The ‘IndyCar’ part of the Academy is what comes next. The top five finishers in the SBRS Winter and Summer Series receive invitations to the Championship Shootout at the end of the year where the winner receives a scholarship of $200,000.00 to compete in the USF2000 series. In turn, The USF2000 champion wins a Pro Mazda ride the next year, and the Pro Mazda champion receives an Indy Lights ride.
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