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Author Topic: Skip Barber vs. NASA Comp School
Apex to Apex
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Region: NASA Mid-West
Car #: 077
Year : 1995
Posts: 180
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I'm still about a year off from going wheel-wheel with you all. My goal is to work up the NASA DE ladder this season and be TT'ing by the end of this year/start of next year, and then TT for a full season (next season).

With that in mind, would it be worth the expense of doing a Skip Baber School? What all does Skip teach? Or should I just do the NASA Comp School and go racing the next day?

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"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
Pack Fodder

Region: NWR / Oregon
Car #: 88
Year : 95
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The Skip Barber 3-day intro to racing school teaches double clutching a car with a 6 foot long rickety gear linkage (not useful), the racing line (useful but it is an introduction school), trail brake rotation (very fun feeling in a formula car), passing on designated straights, starts and restarts (the reason it qualifies you for a SCCA license), cleaning bugs off your visor, and writing big checks. It is a lot of fun but you’d probably get more out of the NASA school.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

W. Bonsell
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Region: NWR/Oregon
Car #: #26
Year : 1991
Posts: 334
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While I have never been to a "Skippy" type school, I think they have their place if you are in a huge hurry to get into competitive W2W racing. I think any good sanctioning body such as NASA, SCCA etc, will have a very good 1 day intro for a whole lot less money that will provide a fair amount of needed direction.

If you are going to spend a year or two doing HPDE's or Time Trials, the seat time will be far more beneficial I would think then anything received during an intense 3 day school, UNLESS, you are going to race open wheel and then there is no question I would do a full on race school dedicated to insane open wheel racing.

I'd even do as much autocrossing as you can as well, since the car control skills learned in this rather safe environment is very valuable IMO.

Ultimately, nothing will thrill you like W2W, but if you're young, you have plenty of time...it also is a whole new level of financial commitment!

Have fun!!

Bill

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William Bonsell
SCCA/ICSCC #26
SM/ITA

Frank Todaro
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Region: Ohio Valley Region
Car #: 35
Year : 1999
Posts: 170
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I gained my track experience by doing PCA DE's then going to instructor. I did do a few NASA HPDE's before I did the NASA comp school to do my first race weekend.

To answer your question. I have not done the Skippy school either, to me the more important factor is seat time. Seat time in any form you can get it. before I took the step to go into racing i wanted to be totally comfortable with the car and my driving ability.

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Frank
Member: No Pain Racing

Ken Wilkinson Verified Driver
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Car #: 228
Year : 1999
Posts: 43
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I've done both the 3 day Skippy race school and the NASA comp school.

Skippy is more of a "school" where you learn all of the things Keith mentioned plus passing off line and other basic racing skills. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot.

Seat time is the important factor especially if you can get an instructor in the car with you who is a racer.

The NASA Comp school was more of a test of my experience. We did side by side and off line drills but nothing that I hadn't done before.

Given your plan for the next year, along with getting some racers to ride with you, and spending the $3k+ you would spend on Skippy on more track time, I think the NASA Comp school will be all you need.

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Ken

Vick Verified Driver
Do they sell spec training wheels?

Region: NYR
Car #: 12
Year : 1991
Posts: 620
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I did a sloppy three day school. It was before I picked up my sm, and I had no prior track experience.

Skip teaches you a lot about driving and theory. You get a bunch of track time over three days, with three dedicated coaches per 8 or so drivers. They put you through excercises to improve your threshold braking, passing, etc.

The thee day school teaches you nothing about wheel to wheel racing. A lot of theory is taught, nut you never go wheel to wheel through a corner.

All in all, though pricey I found skip to be worth it. Part of what helped was I walked in and said "I just bought a sm and want to be racing by summer next year". With that type of attitude I got lots of coaching, and even still if I see one of the instructors at limerock they'll give me advice and watch from the hill or the far aide of turn one.

That being said, I started racing after about six mos of hpde, did two or thee races at the end of the season. The next year I did the first scca school in my region and learned more about how to race.

If you already know how to drive, and have a car, skip may not be worth it. If you want to accelerate your learning curve, it's hard to beat three days of dedicated instruction.

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http://www.volko.com

Z-ville Racing Club Verified Driver
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Region: Indy Region
Car #: 28
Year : 1990/2000
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Do the NASA ladder program, then the Mid Ohio Comp School. You will get good instruction, lots of seat time, and will be prepared for wheel to wheel. Your fellow racers will appreciate you not rushing to race too soon.

Keith in WA Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: NWR / Oregon
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Year : 95
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quote:
Originally posted by Vick:
Part of what helped was I walked in and said "I just bought a sm and want to be racing by summer next year". With that type of attitude I got lots of coaching, and even still if I see one of the instructors at limerock they'll give me advice and watch from the hill or the far aide of turn one.


I found the same thing (3day and 2day advanced). They coached me on how to figure out a new track, diagnosed my offs, gave me plenty of pointers and privately told me that they'd love to have me race their series but since that wasn't my plan, there wasn't much point continuing learning in their cars... Go race my car and hire a coach when needed. Friends and family love the pics and in-car video though. It has a certain coolness factor.

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Keith Novak
(Will work for tires)

WHB
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If you don't plan to race open wheel, take the money you would have spend on Skippy school, and spend it on 3 days of coaching/testing with your car. More worthwhile, IMO.

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Charlie B

Gatoratty Verified Driver Made Donation to Website
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Region: Central Florida
Car #: 3
Year : 1992
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I would disagree with Charlie. I took both the skippy 3 day formula school and the three day MX-5 school a year later. The first was just to get on track and see if I wanted to pursue the sport. Decided I am too old for open wheel and at the suggestion of the Chief Instructor I took the MX-5 course at Sebring. You do some wheel to wheel on the final day, but more than anything the school teaches the basics in a well defined, controlled environment with lots of track time. You don't worry about the car as the mechanics do everything. Even better is that you can go straight to a regional license in SCCA after the school. HPDE's and SCCA schools don't really teach wheel to wheel either. Your first race will do that very quickly. Candidly if you have the money.....take skippy and then do an SCCA school for additional experience, watch several races to see car craft in traffic, and then get on track.

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Paul McLester

old65 Verified Driver
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Region: Chicago
Car #: 6
Year : 1992
Posts: 63
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There is a third option and that is the Midwestern Council W2W school.
Those that have attended it, especially those that have attended other schools over the years, will tell you that it is the best bang for the buck in the Midwest.
A very intense Saturday on the track with an instructor, critiquing by the twenty or thirty other students instructors, practice starts, a practice five lap race and then a full day of actual racing on Sunday.
A lot of seat time and if you are running an SM you can enter in two groups for Sunday, SM & ITA, for even more experience.
Go to their web site, http://www.mcscc.org, and see what fun you are missing.
They run two schools a year, one at the first race weekend in April and a mid year school in June/July, on July 17th this year that you can still make if oyu want to.
In addition one of the Council clubs, North Suburban, http://www.nsscc.org, holds an indoor Introduction to Racing school in March at Autobahn that has helped a lot of new drivers get started and answered whatever questions that they had.
There was a thread a couple of months ago about the first school and the guys that attended it posted their comments.
I any case, which ever way you decide to go, you are picking a fun car, a good class and a lot of good people to race with.
Ray

Apex to Apex
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Region: NASA Mid-West
Car #: 077
Year : 1995
Posts: 180
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Plenty to chew on guys. Thanks.

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"Driving is a serious business" - John Milner, 'American Graffiti'

Brandon F. Verified Driver
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Region: NNJR
Car #: 48
Year : 1996
Posts: 191
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Now, if someone wants to start pimping SCCA drivers schools, then I'd have to give two very big thumbs up to the NER school.

[thumbsup] [thumbsup]

Did their 2-day (single for licensing purposes) school at NHMS the tail-end of April and couldn't have been happier.

Had some serious track time both days (8x 20 minutes first day, 2x "practice, qualifying, race" on second) and they had enough instructors to not only provide off-track analysis/opinions but even put a number of them on-track with the students to see how they would behave.

I gave one instructor a bit of heart attack when I didn't see him on my inside of turn 1/2 (NASCAR turns @NHMS - riding right in my blind spot) and then got schooled by another entering turn 3. He pulled a "Houdini" on my with a fake left then getting my be on the inside.

Gave me a "How the hell did he get there?!" moment! That of course threw me entirely out of sorts and I lost it on the exit of 6.

Ask me how much dust a Miata can hold from NHMS...
[laughing]

   

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