Motorsports To Go! November 6, 2020

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Jack Baruth

Welcome to Motorsports To Go! Each week, we will take a look at an upcoming event on MotorsportReg.com. We will tell you everything you need to know in order to participate. It’s the easiest way to get out of your recliner and into the driver’s seat. We’ll be covering everything from $25 autocrosses to million-dollar “gentlemen racer” opportunities, all of them explained in simple English via the same basic set of questions. Let’s get started!

What is it? Skip Barber’s One Day Racing School — register at MotorsportReg.

Well, what is it? The organization known to many old hands as “Skippy” has put together a single-day, arrive-and-drive program to teach you some racetrack fundamentals in the classroom and behind the wheel of a Skip Barber Mustang. This is a good way to dip your toes in open-track driving in a totally controlled environment.

Where is it? Laguna Seca, a track that every human being in the world should visit at least once, if only to walk over to the bottom of the famous Corkscrew turn.

What’s it cost? $2,195.

What kind of car do I need? Whatever car will get you to the front gate — because after that you’ll be driving a Skip Barber car.

What kind of personal equipment do I need? A set of closed-toe shoes. Everything else, including helmet and drivers suit, is provided by Skip Barber.

How long will it take? All day!

Will there be someone to answer my questions at the event? The current Skip Barber team understands rookie racetrack drivers better than almost anyone else. Most of your questions will be answered before you know you have them.

Can I damage my car or get hurt? You can’t hurt your car unless you back into a light pole in the parking lot. Skip Barber’s safety record, particularly in these big, roomy Mustangs, is first-rate.

Why would I bother to do it? If you want to drive one of the world’s most important racetracks with the support of a first-rate organization and no uncertainty, this is the way to go. Skip Barber graduates have been everywhere from the top of the Indy 500 podium to — in the case of your humble author’s wife — a 2020 NASA Regional championship.

What’s the hot setup, if I have time and money to prepare? Get plenty of sleep and wear thin-soled shoes.

Give me two tips or tricks to really shine. Knowing the layout of Laguna Seca’s racetrack ahead of time will really reduce your confusion factor in the first on-track session. You can watch any number of YouTube videos — this one is shot from a motorcycle but it really gives you a sense of what the track looks like in real life. Or you can fire up your XBox and run the track in Forza. Just don’t expect to turn the same laptime in real life that you did on the television!

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