Skip Barber National Championship
The BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda was an entry-level professional race series run by Skip Barber Racing School. Initially formed as the Formula Dodge National Championship, From 2006 to 2011 the Skip Barber National was the initial open-wheel race series in the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development ladder, which includes the Cooper Tires U.S. F2000 National Championship and the Indy Pro 2000 Championship. The Skip Barber National has run in support of the American Le Mans Series, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and A1GP and is designed to give young drivers transitioning from karting to race cars their first experience of professional level road racing.
|Category||Open Wheel Racing|
|Last Drivers' champion||Scott Anderson|
|Official website||The BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda Website|
Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACEREdit
The Skip Barber National was developed to fill the gap between the Skip Barber Regional Race Series and the Barber Dodge Pro Series. The first season was a one-race shootout for top drivers from the four regional race series. Held at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut, the race and the championship were won by 2012 IZOD IndyCar Series champion Ryan Hunter-Reay.
For the first several years of its existence, the Skip Barber National schedule was made up of what were deemed to be the best tracks scheduled for each of the four Skip Barber Regional Race Series. The Skip Barber National was run as a separate run group within each race weekend, with a separate fleet of cars. The National made its professional support series debut at the 2003 12 Hours of Sebring. The Skip Barber National champion during this era earned a $100,000 career enhancement award to help them pick up a ride in the next level of open-wheel racing.
BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by MazdaEdit
When Mazda replaced Dodge as automotive partner with Skip Barber Racing School at the end of 2006, the Skip Barber National was renamed, with BFGoodrich taking over title sponsorship of the series. As part of this new partnership with Mazda, the Skip Barber National joined the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development ladder, with the Skip Barber National Champion earning a fully funded season in the following year's Star Mazda Championship. The original ladder included the Skip Barber National, Star Mazda, and the Atlantic Championship. In 2010 this was changed with the replacement of the top of the ladder Atlantic Championship with the newly reformed U.S. F2000 Championship slotted between the Skip Barber National and the now top-level Star Mazda Championship. This overlaps with the Indy Racing League's new Road to Indy development ladder that includes U.S. F2000, Star Mazda, and Indy Lights.
Drivers in the Skip Barber National earned points in 14 races, held over seven double-race weekends, with their worst single result dropped. Drivers also received a point for earning a pole position.
The Skip Barber Cup Championship was a separate class running with the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda. Named in honor of company founder and former owner Skip Barber, the Skip Barber Cup Championship was open to drivers aged 26 and older who would like to race against the younger drivers at the marquee events offered in the 2010 National schedule, but were not eligible for the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development system. Skip Barber Cup drivers competed for a separate championship and prize fund.
Since 1998, every winter Skip Barber Racing School holds the Skip Barber Racing School Karting Scholarship Shootout, where karters gather to compete for scholarships for the upcoming season of racing, courtesy of Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development and FIA Motor Sport Safety Development Fund. Competitors learn everyday driving skills, attend media and motorsports seminars, practice interview skills and perform a series of sessions on track in Formula Skip Barber Race Cars. In the 2010 Shootout, the prizes consisted two scholarships for the entire 2011 race season of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda, becoming MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Scholarship Drivers. Other prizes typically include one half season in the Skip Barber National, one full season and three half seasons in the Skip Barber Regional Race Series.
|Shootout year||Scholarship winners|
|1997||Ryan Hunter-Reay, Phil Giebler, Eric Jones, Michael Valiante|
|1998||Ryan Howe, Jason LaPoint, Patrick Long, Bryan Sellars|
|1999||Kevin Christensen, Michael Rossi, Jonathan Strohm, Landon Yee|
|2000||A. J. Allmendinger, Tommy Contino, James Gue, Ben Moore|
|2001||David Jurca, Craig Baltzer, Colin Fleming|
|2003||Benny Moon, Jason Bowles, Mark Burt, Billy Johnson, Lorenzo Mandarino, Ron White|
|2004||Jordy Vorrath, Cole Nelson, Justin Moon, Chris Carmody, Chris Wehrheim,|
|2005||Alexander Rossi, Ricky Taylor, Marco Di Leo, Jonathan Goring, Joel Miller, Alex Ardoin|
|2006||Beau Debard, Gabby Chaves, Jordan Taylor, Timmy Megenbier, Kyle Longmore|
|2007||Connor De Phillippi, Brett Smrz, Fabio Orsolon, Michael Denino, Maverick Bartlett, Court Vernon|
|2008||Sage Karam, Court Vernon, Dennis Trebing, Nick Andries|
|2009||Spencer Pigot, Félix Serrallés, Nicolas Costa, Mukul Sud, Sebastian Ordonez, Jesus Rios|
|2010||Trent Hindman, Danilo Estrela, Scott Hargrove, Tristan Nunez, Stefan Rzadzinski, Kenton Koch, Kyle Kaiser|
|2011||Tristan DeGrand, Nick Neri, Adrian Starrantino, Aaron Telitz, Leonardo Jafet, Ayla Agren, Aiden Landuaer, Nicholas Silva, Nicolas Armien, Jack West|
|2012||Yago Cesario, Brennan Harrington, Bryson Schutte, Yuri Cesario, Olivier Cote|
The BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda ran its final season during the summer of 2011. The final race was at Lime Rock Park, Saturday, October 8, 2011.
Skip Barber National championsEdit
In addition to the Skip Barber National Champions, several drivers currently racing in higher levels of international motorsport have raced, and won, in the Skip Barber National:
- A. J. Allmendinger (Champ Car race winner, NASCAR Sprint Cup, IndyCar Series)
- Scott Speed (Formula One, NASCAR Sprint Cup)
- Alexander Rossi (GP3 Series, Formula Renault 3.5 Series, Indycar Series, 2016 Indianapolis 500 winner)
- Gabriel Chaves (Italian Formula Three Championship, GP3 Series, Indy Lights champion, IndyCar Series)
- E. J. Viso (Formula 3000, GP2 Series, IndyCar Series)
- Josef Newgarden (GP3 Series, 2011 Firestone Indy Lights champion, IndyCar Series race winner and champion)