Skip Barber Racing School relocating to Halifax County
Corporation to invest $8.9M, create 24 jobs
Skip Barber Racing School will relocate from Connecticut to Halifax County, building an $8.9 million performance driving school at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) that’s expected to create 24 jobs, Gov. Glenn Youngkin announced Tuesday. VIR will build a 25,000-square-foot facility to be leased to Skip Barber Racing School for the operation at VIR’s onsite Motorsport Technology Park.
According to the governor’s office, Virginia competed with California and Texas for the project. Based in Lakeville, Connecticut, Skip Barber Racing School was founded in 1975 in California by retired racer John “Skip” Barber III, a Harvard grad who won several Sports Car Club of America championships and two consecutive Formula Ford National Championships in 1969 and 1970. Barber, 86, no longer owns his namesake racing school, but more than 400,000 students have completed the program since 1975, some of whom have competed in NASCAR and Formula 1 racing. Today the corporation operates the Skip Barber Formula Race Series and fields teams in touring car (TC) races, along with teaching classes.
“Our relationship with Virginia started with Virginia International Raceway. The more our team worked with [VIR CEO] Connie Nyholm and VIR, the more apparent it was that Virginia and Halifax Country would be the ideal location for our new headquarters,” Skip Barber CEO Anthony DeMonte said in a statement. “The support the governor’s office and Halifax County provide to motorsports businesses and the automotive industry is second to none.”
Southern Virginia has a long history in motorsports, with the 75-year-old NASCAR track Martinsville Speedway and other racetracks in the region, including South Boston Speedway and VIR. Patrick & Henry Community College’s Virginia Racing College, which teaches hands-on motorsports skills, recently turned 20.
“We are proud to welcome Skip Barber Racing School to the commonwealth, adding another corporate headquarters operation to our growing roster,” Youngkin said. “Virginia International Raceway is an invaluable employer in Halifax County, a tourism and economic development driver in Southern Virginia, and a top road course in the nation. These assets helped attract Skip Barber, and we look forward to supporting the company as it boosts the commonwealth’s growing auto racing industry and creates new, high-paying jobs.”