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Skippy Racer & Race Track Websites
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Barber Motorsports Park

  There are a couple of interesting facts about Barber. For one, it is not related to Skip Barber, but named after George Barber, a Motorcycle collector. The story goes that he initially just wanted a little tar strip to be able to roll out his bike collection as a means to protect the engines from bearing damage.

Well, a few plans and discussions later, this tar strip has become to me one of the best race tracks ever. What does it have to qualify it among the best, you might wonder?

I do not know much about Mr. Barber, but you can tell by the attention to detail that he is a class act. The facilities are clean, modern and very accommodating. There is a spectator's lounge with TVs and chairs, changing rooms for the drivers and even installation art and flower beds that decorate the track. You simply do not want to run wide because you'd be ashamed to leave tire marks in the English lawn.

The track is laid out, so that you can see about 70% of it from the lounge - how cool.

And Birmingham is better than its reputation - on occassion of a recent visit we found great opportunities to drop serious coin on fine dining (try that at VIR!).

But this is just the peripherals. The track itself is great because it caters so well to the Skippy car. It is a momentum track without super fast nor super slow sections. You won't need 5th gear at all, but many of the corners can bear a serious clip. It has continuous elevation changes making the drive also a mental challenge.

The track is so green there is no wet line, making rain racing super exciting (however, the only caveat is that the water builds massive spray).

To me the key is turn 7 (small corkscrew). When I got there first no one knew how to approach it, but most people were braking for the ensuing rught hander no. 8. But to be fast you need to take the entry more like West Bend in LRP before massively braking (tip: use the left side curb to increase deceleration). It took my fellow racers the full qualifying session to figure it out, so I got lucky and was trailing greats like Milligan and Vinay only by 10ths.

A year later this very turn became the location of the most desperate "Montoyaesque" passing effort that has ever been witnessed. If you are not aware of this reference go and look in the video section....

The fact that I led Matt Franck and Johnny Edwards for 15 out of 17 laps there might undoubtedly have a little influence on my affection for the venue.

If you don't believe me check it out yourself.

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