Skip Barber Racing School Alumni Dominate Memorial Day Weekend
Thursday, June 02, 2011
Memorial Day weekend 2011 was another stand out weekend for Skip Barber Racing School alumni, taking wins and dominating the charts.
The win for the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 went to Dan Weldon with Bryan Herta Autosport. Bryan Herta is an alumnus of Skip Barber Racing School and also currently holds a partnership with the school, offering an Indy Lights test to the champion of the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda series. IndyCar rookie JR Hildebrand shocked race fans everywhere during the centennial running of the Indianapolis 500. The young rookie took the lead of the historic event in lap 100 and led again in lap 198. Unfortunately, in a last lap attempt at passing another vehicle, Hildebrand’s vehicle got caught in the marbles in the final turn of the event and he crashed into the wall at turn four. The 23 year old racer still managed to cross the finish line with an impressive second place finish. Skip Barber Racing School graduate Tony Kanaan also finished in the top five, taking home a fourth place finish in his 10th Indy 500 start.
In the Firestone Indy Lights Firestone Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Josef Newgarden avoided contact in the crash-filled race and claimed his second career Indy Lights victory. Newgarden competed in Skip Barber Racing School events from 2006-2008, and finished runner up in the 2008 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda series.
Going down the ladder, young SBRS alumni completely dominated the Star Mazda podium at Lucas Oil Raceway in “The Night Before the 500” race event in Indianapolis. 2009 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda champion Connor De Phillippi took home the win with 2009 Skip Barber Summer Series Champion and 2010 Skip Barber National competitor Nick Andries in second. Di Phillippi and Andries currently sit 2nd and 3rd in the championship standings. 2008 Skip Barber Karting Shootout winner and 2009 Skip Barber National competitor Sage Karam rounded out the podium, and holds the 7th spot in the standings. In USF2000, Juan Piedrahita and 2010 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National presented by Mazda champion Spencer Pigot both earned top five finishes, with Piedrahita landing third on the victory podium and Spencer close behind in fourth. Pigot is currently second in the championship points, and Piedrahita is seventh.
Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout winner Alexander Rossi once again turned heads racing in the World Series by Renault Championship at Monaco. Rossi battled hard with Albert Costa for position, charging his way up to 4th position, but suffered contact, retiring early from the race. Rossi currently is third in the championship standings, 17 points behind the leader, Jean-Eric Vergne.
In the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway, 21 year-old Joey Logano placed an impressive third place podium finish, his 11th top five finish in his career. 2000 Skip Barber Karting Shootout winner A.J. Allmendinger finished 5th, earning his career 4th top-five finish in the Sprint Cup Series. In the NASCAR Nationwide Series Top Gear 300, Ricky Stenhouse Jr. placed fourth, earning his 9th top-five finish in his 11 starts this season.
It was a busy race weekend at Lime Rock Park with the Skip Barber National series, Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge and Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series racing in conjunction at the historic track. Skip Barber National drivers Scott Anderson and Trent Hindman earned wins for Rounds 5 and 6 of the championship. The win marked Anderson’s second win and 4th top five finish of the season, and Hindman’s first win and 5th top five finish. In the Rolex Sports Car Series, SBRS alumni landed on each spot on the podium. In the DP class (and overall), the top three were: Ricky Taylor and teammate Max Angelelli, John Pew and teammate Ozz Negri, Mike Forest and teammate Ryan Dalziel. Finishing in fouth place were SBRS alum Jon Fogarty and Alex Gurney. In the GT class, Jordan Taylor and teammate Bill Lester finished in second, James Gue and teammate Dane Cameron came in 4th, and Boris Said and Eric Curran finished 5th. In the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge, eight of the top ten drivers were Skip Barber Racing School alumni, including Jade Buford, Brian Sellers Nick Longhi, Matt Plumb, Paul Lalla Lana, Billy Johnson, Matt Bell and John Edwards.
The Memorial Day weekend results underscore that the Skip Barber Racing School is the best place for racers to build a foundation for success. Skip Barber Racing School’s progressive approach, its “arrive and drive” model with equal equipment provided in the programs and its emphasis on continuous learning builds a strong foundation for aspiring racers. Boasting more champions than any other racing school, Skip Barber Racing School, continues to remain dedicated to the training of future race champions. For 36 years, Skip Barber Racing School has operated a fully integrated system of racing schools, driving schools, racing championships, corporate events and OEM events across North America producing more motorsports champions than any other organization of its kind; their alumni have gone on to win every major auto-racing championship in the United States.