Eligibility for the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy is simple: graduate from one Skip Barber 3-Day Formula Car Racing School in 2012 . There is no age-limit to participate in the program, but individuals must meet the following criteria to be nominated for the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy:
- No Professional Racing Experience
- No Karting Experience
From there, the school’s acclaimed instructors nominate a select group of students. From the talented field, 33 individuals are chosen annually based purely on their talent and potential for acceptance into the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy, the Official Racing School of the MAZDA Road to Indy. The nominees then receive additional instruction and evaluation in an intense shoot-out elimination competition where the finalists square off for the grand prize, a fully sponsored entry in either the summer or winter Skip Barber Racing Series in 2013. Additionally, nominees will also receive financial incentive for advanced racing activities before the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy Shoot-out. Competing in the Skip Barber Racing Series makes it possible to have a shot at the year-end Skip Barber shoot-out and a chance for sponsored advancement down the MAZDA Road to Indy: USF2000, Star Mazda and Indy Lights.
In the Skip Barber Racing Series, competitors race for an opportunity to climb to the top of the motorsports ladder through a sponsored advancement up the MAZDA Road to Indy.
“Indy car racing is about attracting the best to compete against the best, with the world watching," says IZOD IndyCar President and CEO, Randy Bernard “Skip Barber Racing School, the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy and the MAZDA Road to Indy presents an incredibly accessible way for talented open wheel drivers to make their dreams come true based on pure talent not cubic dollars."
“The Skip Barber IndyCar Academy completes the MAZDA Road to Indy, helping make professional motorsports accessible," says John Doonan, Director of Motorsports at Mazda North American Operations. “MAZDA is excited to complete and enhance our motorsports ladder program with this announcement of the launch of the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy. This program will continue the tradition of The IZOD IndyCar Series being the place for the best drivers in the world to compete."
“Skip Barber Racing School is committed to continue to be the launching pad for many of the world’s top drivers, and the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy is another tremendous opportunity to discover those drivers who will be the next generation of the best of the best," says Skip Barber Racing School CEO Michael Culver. “IndyCar superstars like Marco and Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Bryan Herta, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Tony Kanaan and James Hinchliffe have all benefited from Skip Barber Racing School programs, and the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy is another chance for those who desire to race professionally to achieve their goals based on merit not money."
In addition to the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy, Skip Barber Racing School also provides two other paths for drivers to enter the MAZDA Road to Indy.
For karters, Skip Barber Racing School conducts the Skip Barber Racing School Karting Shootout currently scheduled for November, which allows karters to move from karts to Formula Skip Barber 2000 race cars. The winner of the Karting Shootout will win a fully sponsored entry in either the summer or winter Skip Barber Racing Series in 2013.
For individuals with prior racing experience, Skip Barber Racing School provides the regional race series. Each year, Skip Barber Racing conducts 12-14 Race Weekends; six or seven double-race events for each of the two seasonal championships. Competing in the Skip Barber Racing Series makes it possible to have a shot at the year-end Skip Barber Race Series Champion shoot-out scheduled in November and a chance for sponsored advancement down the MAZDA Road to Indy.
The 2012 Skip Barber IndyCar Academy kicks off in April 2012, with Skip Barber Racing School instructors handpicking numerous students per month from the Skip Barber 3-Day Formula Car Racing School for the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy. The last day of nominations will be on September 28, 2012. The winner will compete in the 2013 season in either the summer or winter Skip Barber Race Series.
03/23/12 Just to clarify the relationship of Skip Barber and the other series mentioned below. They are not an official rung on the Road to Indy ladder, but they may as well be. Think of it more like affiliated members. Each year Skip Barber will hold a shootout with 33 of the fastest drivers from their IndyCar Academy school. The winner will get a scholarship to the Skip Barber National Series. The winner of that series will get a ride in the USF2000 series, the first 'official' rung on the ladder.
03/23/12 Mazda and IndyCar today announced in St. Petersburg that the Skip Barber National Series (as well as British Formula Ford, the LaTam Series and Canadian F1600) has been added to the IndyCar Road to Indy ladder system as the new lowest rung. More to follow….
Skip Barber–>USF2000–>Star Mazda–>Indy Lights–>IndyCar