Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

Skip Barber Scholarship Programs Announced

by Ryan Stringfield
Posted June 23, 2011 at 7:47 pm Karting Scholarship, Skip Barber

The Skip Barber Racing School announced the date of its 2011 Karting Scholarship Shootout today, as well as a few important changes to the program.

The Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shootout will take place Nov. 4-6, 2011, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Here’s where things get interesting.

I’ve been saying for years that the karting shootout should be limited to “karters.” In years past, several of the award winners and finalists had a significant advantage due to seat time in cars (mostly from Skip Barber Regional Programs). This year, drivers cannot compete if they have professional racing experience and/or previous Skip Barber racing experience. The program will also limit the number of advanced activity participation within the school to 12 events (between last year’s shootout and the 2011 edition). For 2012, that number will be cut to six which is probably what it should be at now, although I understand why they went with 12 for the first year.

The age range will remain the same, requiring drivers under the age of 25, which is probably about right.

In theory, the changes should level the playing field significantly. The karting program will be limited to just 30 drivers.

For those who have¬† car experience, …don’t fret. There is a program for you as well in 2011.

A new Race Series Champion Shootout for drivers with limited car experience will be run on the same day at the Karting Shootout. The new program is designed to help drivers competing in the regional programs (Western, Southern and Summer Championships) advance.

Contestants will be required to compete in a minimum of three Skip Barber race weekends during the 2011 calendar year. The eligibility requirements are a little less transparent than the karting shootout. The release from Skip Barber currently states that contestants cannot have race experience above equivalent junior series. That’s a little vague, but when you hold this type of program it’s pretty tough to lock down specifics.

So what’s the prize for 2011? Here’s how things are shaped right now.

2011 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Prize

  • 1st place: Full 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Season
    2nd place: $30,000 Race Series Scholarship
    3rd place: $26,000 Race Series Scholarship
    4th place: $20,000 Race Series Scholarship
    5th place: $15,200 Race Series Scholarship
    6th place: $10,000 Race Series Scholarship
    7th place: $10,000 Race Series Scholarship
    8th place: $8,000 Race Series Scholarship
    9th place: $8,000 Race Series Scholarship
    10th place: $8,000 Race Series Scholarship

Skip Barber Race Series Champion Shootout

  • 2011: 1st place: Full 2012 Skip Barber Race Series Season
    2012: 1st place: Full 2013 USF2000 Scholarship
    2nd place: $30,000 Race Series Scholarship
    3rd place: $26,000 Race Series Scholarship
    4th place: $20,000 Race Series Scholarship
    5th place: $15,200 Race Series Scholarship
    6th place: $10,000 Race Series Scholarship
    7th place: $10,000 Race Series Scholarship

*All scholarships funds are spread out over each race event throughout the course of the 2012 season, and cannot be applied to only a few select events.

Final Thoughts

The changes look pretty good, especially for up-and-coming karters. I really like the fact that the scholarship shootout will truly become a contest among karters. At the same time, it’s nice to see an additional program put in place so those who have car experience aren’t penalized. As usual drivers will be evaluated on-and-off the track and will once again be challenged by an incredible venue; Laguna Seca.

For official information, read the Skip Barber release on each shootout:

What are your thoughts?  Do you like the new program and the changes that have been made for 2011?

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