Technical Analysis – Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Racing Schools

< Back 02/21/2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008 In Part One of the three-part story on Skip Barber Racing’s two new programs involving the Mazda MX-5 Miata – Racing School and Challenge – we covered the design-and-build of the cars themselves. This is Part Two, a look at the Three Day Racing School using the MX-5 car.


First of all, the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Racing School is the first and only school in North America in which students – no experience needed – learn the art and science of racecar driving in a car substantially the same as used in a professional racing series, the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup.

Based on the same proven curriculum as Skip Barber’s open-wheel formula-car school, this new program takes advantage of the unique capabilities of the MX-5 Cup racecar and the vast experience of Skip Barber instructors, many of whom currently race closed-wheel sports cars.

Like the successful formula-car three day school, the MAZDASPEED Racing School emphasizes track time combined with the best, most experienced instructor corps in the industry. Each day begins with a short classroom chalk talk, then you’re on the race track.

Instructor Terry Earwood, a renowned sports car and showroom-stock driver, says ‘‘We know there are lot of people out there who have always wanted to graduate from a true, sanctioning-body accredited racing school, but whose real preference was to do it in a race car with fenders. Using the MX-5 race car, based on one of the world’s best sports cars, was a no-brainer decision for us.’’

The students who have already taken the MAZDASPEED school praise its drivability. A grad who recently did his Three Day at Road Atlanta said, ‘‘Oh, man, the Miata is so much fun… I knew about ‘trailbraking,’ but didn’t know how to do it. The instructors taught us the technique in these cars and it’s awesome. They told us the MX-5 ‘rotates’ really, really well – and they were absolutely right. Huge fun…’’

Another MX-5 graduate (who did it at Sebring) said, ‘‘Racing sports cars has always been my dream. I’m not kidding when I say this school exceeded all my expectations… Now I want to try Barber’s MAZDASPEED Challenge…’’ [Ed. Note: MAZDASPEED Challenge schedule below]

MAZDASPEED Racing Schools are held at some of the best tracks in America: Sebring and Moroso in Florida, Road America in Wisconsin, Road Atlanta in Georgia and of course, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California.

Next time: Part Three: What the MAZDASPEED Challenge is all about.

The testing is about over, and we’re getting ready to start the inaugural season of the MX-5 Cup Race Series. Take our over 30 years of “arrive and drive” race series experience, combine it with the most popular form of spec racing today, and bring it to some of North America’s great roadcourses.

April 4-6 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

May 2-4 Virginia International (Full Course)

June 6-8 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca

July 10-12 Road Atlanta

August Date and location TBD

Sep 26-28 Road America (Full Course)

Seats are filling now for these race dates. Go online or speak to a School & Series Advisor by calling 866.280.7237 Monday through Thursday, 8:30AM – 7:00PM ET (Friday to 5:30PM).

Part 1 – The making of an MX-5 Cup racecar

Part 3 – The Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge

School & Series Staff

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