Skip Barber

Full Name:
John Barber III
Born:
16th November 1936 (Age 82)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Nationality:
American
Most recent race (in database):
Biography

This American raced in five Grands Prix but it is the racing school that bears his name that is his living legacy. The Skip Barber Racing School claims Michael Andretti, Hélio Castroneves, Bill Elliott, Jeff Gordon, Tony Kanaan, Juan Pablo Montoya and even Paul Newman among its graduates. Add interests in the Lime Rock circuit and the Barber-Saab Pro-Series and you have a major player in North American motor racing.

Education and early career

Skip Barber’s career in the sport began in 1958 while studying English at Havard University. He soon made his mark in the SCCA’s amateur road racing ranks and was a three-time national champion. Barber was influential as Formula Ford 1600 was introduced to North America and he won back-to-back championships in 1969 and 1970.

Formula 1 and the end of his racing career

Barber travelled to Europe to buy a March 711-Ford which he planned to race in the 1971 North American Formula A Championship (the forerunner to F5000). Before returning home, Barber entered it in a couple of GPs – failing to qualify in Monaco and still running but not classified at Zandvoort.

He also finished sixth in a non-championship race at Hockenheim and raced in the North American GPs that year and again in 1972. 16th at Watkins Glen that second year was his only classified finish from five GP starts.

Barber retired from racing soon afterwards and set about establishing a new business in 1975 with a couple of borrowed Lola FF1600s. Within a decade the Skip Barber Racing School was the largest in America. Its founder may be a mere footnote of Formula 1 history but his influence remains far reaching.

Championship seasons

Season Name Starts Poles Podiums Wins Position Points
1974 USAC National Championship
Crower Engineering
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1974 SCCA/USAC F5000 Championship
McCormack Racing
0 (1) 0 0 0 0
1973 SCCA L&M F5000 Championship
Gene Mason Racing
3 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
28th 2
1972 F1 World Championship
Gene Mason Racing
2 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1972 SCCA L&M Continental F5000 Championship
Gene Mason Racing
6 (1) 1 2 0
0% win rate
6th 44
1971 F1 World Championship
Gene Mason Racing
3 (1) 0 0 0
0% win rate
0
1971 SCCA L&M Continental F5000 Championship
Gene Mason Racing
3 (1) 0 1 0
0% win rate
13th 18