Skip Barber has been around for 40 years so it’d be a shame for the Racing School to belly-up

One of the most prominent racing schools in the U.S. is on the verge of collapse. We all know the Skip Barber Racing School for its long history of being a breeding ground for future racers. Unfortunately, the school is in terrible financial shape these days, bad enough to file for bankruptcy after accruing outstanding liabilities amounting anywhere from $10 million to $50 million.

Documents provided to The Drive indicate the school officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York earlier this week. Turns out, the school has a long line of creditors it owes a lot of money to, most prominently the Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. Documents show the school owing $1.225 million in rent for use of the park’s race track. In an incredibly strange twist of fate, Lime Rock is actually owned by Skip Barber himself, who somehow does not own the school that still uses his name after selling controlling interest in the company back in 1999. In addition to Lime Rock, the school also owes money to a number of other race tracks in the country, including Road Atlanta, Willow Springs, and the Palm Beach International Raceway. In all, the court filings declared the school’s value at around $5.3 million, but given the estimated liabilities it has, the school owes far more than the amount they’re indebted to all these race tracks.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Let’s hope that there’s a light at the end of this tunnel

I’ve never been to the Skip Barber Racing School, so I can’t provide a proper testimonial of the experience of being in any one of its programs. What I can say is that the school had a long and illustrious history of being a breeding ground for future racers. According to the school, racing luminaries like Marco Andretti, Conor Daly, Spencer Pigot, and Josef Newgarden all earned their stripes at the school. Andretti, in particular, is a IndyCar driver who also happens to be the grandson of the legendary Mario Andretti.

The school has had a long and illustrious history of being a breeding ground for future racers.

A lot of careers got off the ground at the Skip Barber Racing School, so you can imagine how tough it must be for the institution to be in this situation. Most of the blame rests on the school, of course, for not balancing its books properly. That’s not on anybody else but the people who run the outfit. They should have been careful with how funds were spent knowing they had large sums of past-due rent money to multiple race tracks. Remember, it’s not just Lime Rock that it owes money to. It also owes nearly $240,000 to Road Atlanta, $112,000 to Mid-Ohio, almost $106,000 to Palm Beach International Raceway, over $56,000 to Virginia International Raceway, close to $30,000 to Willow Springs, and almost $170,000 to Monterey County in California, which happens to own the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

One Of America's Most Well-Known Racing Schools Is On The Verge Of Collapse
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The same filing did add the school still has assets amounting to $5.3 million. Of that total, almost $1.5 million is attributed to the worth of the cars it has, while another $1.6 million is attached to auto parts. The remaining $2 million was deemed as the value of the school’s brand name and training techniques.

Regardless of how it fares in bankruptcy court, we can only hope for the best for the Skip Barber Racing School. It would be a shame if it ends up closing shop after 40 years. Let’s all hope it doesn’t. Perhaps new investors will buy the assets and help pay off the liabilities. Otherwise, we may have just seen the last of what once was considered one of the best racing schools in America.

Source: The Drive

Photo Credits: Skip Barber Racing School

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