Skip Barber is the founder of the Skip Barber Racing School and the owner of Lime Rock Park in Connecticut. But that’s just what he’s been doing since he retired from a storied racing career. Petrolicious made a visit to Lime Rock Park to meet Skip and hear his incredible story.
“When it comes to what cars you like, I think that everyone wants the cars they coveted when they were growing up,” says Skip Barber. As for the Ferrari 275 GTB, it was the car that Barber loved since he was growing up. He can still remember a very special one, “a bright yellow one, with a woman with the best pair of blue jeans and high heels getting into to the car.” He pauses, and then gives a little grin. “I got the car.”
Active in post-Second World War races after earning enough in the Merchant Marine to buy his first race car, Skip Barber quickly made a name for himself as an ace driver, eventually contesting in Formula 1. One of the feats he’s most proud of was beating the legendary Jim Clark in identical cars at the Canadian Mosport track.
“That was a pretty big deal,” Skip says. “People would put me in cars they couldn’t sell; the theory would be that I’d do well and people would buy it.”
As his career as a professional racer started winding down, he decided to set a goal for himself: “To do absolutely the best job we could,” he says. Graduates of the Skip Barber Racing School have gone on to win championships around the world, but Barber’s heart and soul have gone into protecting and building the legacy of his home track, Lime Rock Park.
“We’ve tried to preserve the feel of it,” Skip says. “I think when you walk in, it’s the same…I hope.”
And the car Skip will be driving as he pulls through the gates at Lime Rock? His beloved Ferrari 275 GTB, of course.