WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – Legendary track, legendary instructors, legendary school.
Bertil Roos Racing School, the nation’s leading school for high-quality, European-style road racing, will now conduct programs at historic Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Beginning in late April, the iconic school will hold both 3-Day Introductory, and 2-Day Advanced programs, and a Roos F-2000 Race Day event. The dates became available after the 2017 bankruptcy of the original Skip Barber Racing School.
“Once the primary home of the Skip Barber Racing School, dates and opportunities for other schools were hard to come by,” Bertil Roos President Dennis Macchio said. “Both the track and the school were owned by Skip Barber. Skip sold the school more than two decades ago. With the breakup of the school, the opportunity to run programs at Lime Rock Park was just too enticing.”
Lime Rock Park is 1.5 miles of up and down dale, a track that looks deceiving simple but is immensely challenging. Almost all of the sport’s greats have raced at Lime Rock from Parnelli Jones, Mark Donohue and Peter Gregg in the 1960’s and 70’s to current drivers like 2016 Indianapolis 500 champion Alexander Rossi and IndyCar series champion Simon Pagenaud.
Three of the top four finishers in this year’s Daytona 500 — Austin Dillon, Darrell Wallace Jr. and Joey Logano — have raced at Lime Rock, the nation’s oldest continually operating road racing venue.
Earlier in the year, Macchio met with Mr. Barber, still the principal owner of the track, about bringing Bertil Roos Racing School to the historic course.
“Skip welcomed the idea of Roos coming to Lime Rock,” Macchio said. “I’ve known Skip for close to 40 years. He used to rent dates from me when I operated the Bridgehampton Race Circuit. Seems like we’ve come full circle.”
BRRS Lime Rock Dates are as follows:
Bertil Roos Racing School features legendary instructors like Bruce MacInnes, formerly the senior instructor at the original Skip Barber Racing School where he worked with such figures as Tom Cruise and Paul Newman, who famously won the SCCA Trans-Am race at Lime Rock in 1986, and NASCAR drivers A.J. Allmendinger, Boris Said and Ken Schrader, all former Lime Rock winners.
To enroll in the 2018 programs at Lime Rock Park and check out other Bertil Roos programs, where you can receive the same legendary instruction, call 1-800-722-3669 or visit racenow.com.
Bertil Roos Racing School celebrates the accomplishment of female drivers on International Women’s Day.
Divina Galica, a Bertil Roos Racing School instructor, is a sporting legend, competing in three Winter Olympic Games as a downhill ski racer, before turning her attention to racing cars. She has competed at the highest level, only one of five female drivers to have entered a Formula One Grand Prix. She finished 12th in the 1977 Formula One Race of Champions, ahead of legendary drivers Mario Andretti and Clay Regazzoni.
Susan Ryan is a Bertil Roos Racing School alumni who has used her skill to win both on the road courses and short oval tracks around the Northeast. She has been an accomplished road racer at such venues as Watkins Glen, Mid-Ohio, Mosport and Lime Rock Park. She comes from a racing family with husband, Sam, a longtime Bertil Roos instructor, and daughter Emily, a successful go-kart racer.
Emilee Tominovich was an aspiring college soccer player when an injury ended her playing career. After receiving a high-school graduation gift to Bertil Roos Racing School, she found a new passion. She was named to the Mazda Road to Indy, an open-wheel championship series in 2012. Three years later, she showcased her skills in a sports car, named the Pirelli World Challenge Rookie of the Year. She has since gone back to her first sports love, serving as a soccer coach in Southern California.
Pat Enzman is a current instructor at Bertil Roos Racing School and a veteran Spec Racer. She also competed in the Women’s Global GT Series against such drivers as Divina Galica and future IndyCar driver Milka Duno. Off the race track, she is an emergency room doctor for St. Luke’s University Health Network.
Leilani Munter, is both a Bertil Roos Racing School graduate and a former coaching client of BRRS President Dennis Macchio. She is a veteran of the Indy Lights Series and currently races in the ARCA stock car series, coming off an eighth-place finish at Daytona. Known for her passionate environmental stances, she was named by the Discovery Channel as the No. 1 Eco Athlete in the World in 2010. She is the sister-in-law of Bob Weir, one of the founding members of the Grateful Dead.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — When Cameron Das was introduced as a new driver for Carlin Racing’s Euroformula Open team on Wednesday, it came as no surprise to Bertil Roos Racing School President Dennis Macchio. After all, he sees many similarities with the talented teenager from Baltimore and a Formula One legend.
When Das attended Bertil Roos Racing School in the spring of 2015, Macchio saw a driver of diminutive stature, extremely quiet and shy. As someone who has trained a large number of drivers over the past 30 years, Macchio knew that talent, drive and ambition are not always apparent with that first glance. Once Das took to the track, Macchio immediately thought of four-time F1 World Champion Alain Prost.
“During the very early stages of his inaugural school, Cameron began to make an immediate impression,” Macchio said. “What I caught onto very early, was an inner drive to succeed, an absolute passion for racing, and above all an intense desire to learn. Cam was like a sponge. I couldn’t teach him enough, and he only needed to hear things once.
“While I am a believer that courage in our sport is sometimes overrated, and intellect often underrated, Cam almost immediately showed that he had both in spades. An incredibly quick learner, who could apply his new-found knowledge on track almost immediately. Honestly, it challenged me, as his instructor, to be on my game as well.”
By the second day of the school, Macchio realized he was working with someone special. The quiet exterior masked an incredible fire inside, an enormous ability to learn and apply, and a personality that Macchio knew would ultimately fulfill the out of car requirements for an aspiring professional.
Das, now 17, continued his journey by racing in the Bertil Roos Open Wheel Series where he earned a pole at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt course. The next year, Das absolutely dominated the inaugural F4 U.S. National Championship, winning nine of 15 races, including the last eight in a row, against some of the best young North American drivers, as well as drivers from Argentina, China and Denmark.
With a dream of becoming a Formula 1 World Champion, Das made the move to Carlin Motorsports to race in the BRDC British Formula 3 last year. Racing for the same team which boasts four-time F1 champion Sebsatian Vettel and IndyCar star Will Power as alumni, Das won one race and four pole positions. His quick success hasn’t come as a surprise to Macchio, who saw his skills first hand in the Bertil Roos Open Wheel Series.
“Many things can short circuit the development of a driver — confidence issues, outside distractions, normal adolescent growing pains,” Macchio said. “As the journey continued into our open wheel series, all of these potential roadblocks were quickly and easily negotiated. By early summer it was apparent that we were dealing with someone uniquely talented, and with the temperament and intelligence to succeed at this sport on a very high level.”
Macchio has been equally impressed with the guidance of those around him. While there are few sponsorship opportunities in the United States are few without a defined economic system to support aspiring drivers. But, Macchio said Das has an ace in the hole with his family behind him.
“Cam is blessed with a great support system, including a father that has been extremely intelligent in how he has guided his son’s career,” Macchio said. “Honestly, there were times when it appeared that they were moving too fast, and I expressed concern. But, they had a well-developed, long-term plan, and a very high level of commitment that proved to be right. It is what ultimately led them to Carlin Racing, one of many very sharp decisions that have followed their tenure with Roos Racing.
Macchio sees a tremendous upside for Das, and doesn’t discount out his dream of being the first American since Alexander Rossi in 2015 to race at the Formula One level, or the first to race a full season of F1 since Scott Speed in 2006.
“These are among the reasons that I believe there is a tremendous upside for Cam Das — right team, excellent training, great support system, and a passionate and very hungry driver, encased in a personality that is and will continue to be a very sellable brand,” Macchio said. “I am proud that I helped launch his career, and look forward to both his continued development and ultimate success as a driver at the highest level.”
To learn more about Bertil Roos Racing School and the Macchio Driver Coaching which Das and others have received, visit racenow.com or call 1-800 RACE NOW.
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Bertil Roos Racing School has merged the best assets of the original Skip Barber Racing School with the hiring of top-rated driving instructor Divina Galica and the purchase and meticulous restoration of their fleet of formula cars.
Divina Galica MBE is a true sporting legend in her native Great Britain. She competed in three Winter Olympic Games as downhill ski racer and captained the British Women’s Olympic Ski Team twice. She represented Great Britain at a fourth Olympics in 1992 in the demonstration sport of speed skiing.
In 1973, Galica received the MBE (Member of the Most Excellence Order of the British Empire) from Queen Elizabeth II for services to sport. She joined such British icons as The Beatles on the list of MBE recipients.
A chance invitation to a celebrity race in 1974 led to a second career in motor racing. Since then, Galica has competed in a variety of race cars and series including Sports 2000, Formula 1, endurance racing and European Truck Racing.
One of five female drivers to have entered a Formula One Grand Prix, she finished 12th in the 1977 Formula One Race of Champions, ahead of legendary drivers Mario Andretti and Clay Regazzoni. She started the 1978 BRDC International Trophy race where she finished ahead of Formula One champions Andretti and James Hunt on the legendary Silverstone circuit.
She moved to the United States in 1994 where she raced against drivers like two-time Indianapolis 500 champion Juan Pablo Montoya and started working as an instructor at the original Skip Barber Racing School.
In 2017, she joined the Bertil Roos Racing School. Fueled with a passion for racing, Galica is never happier than when she is instructing drivers or getting behind the wheel of one of the Bertil Roos cars.
To get the high-quality driving instruction offered by Galica and others, and to check out Bertil Roos Racing School programs, visit www.racenow.com or call 1-800-RACE NOW.
JUPITER, Fla. — Mechanics and engineers at the Bertil Roos Racing School have spent over four months re-designing, re-engineering and rebuilding the former Skip Barber fleet of open-wheel cars which will only be available at Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR).
The first round of testing and shakedown of those cars began last Wednesday with Bertil Roos Racing School’s expert instructors behind the wheel on PBIR’s 2.2-mile road course. The cars, which were rebuilt and upgraded to meet the highest performance and safety standards, will become the in-house formula car fleet for the new Palm Beach Performance Driving Education Center, presented by Bertil Roos.
With more than 70 dates and a dozen different driving and racing programs being held at Palm Beach International Raceway, the cars will see a substantial amount of track time during the 2018 season.
As a result, a rigorous testing program has been put together towards developing the safest, most durable, and most effective training tools in the industry.
“When the Skip Barber Racing School declared bankruptcy in 2017, we and many others attended the auctions that ensued,” Bertil Roos Racing School President Dennis Macchio said. “What stood out as a positive to us was the fleet of formula cars. We saw a great opportunity to rehabilitate those cars and rebuild them to the highest industry standards.
“Our thinking was confirmed by many former Barber employees and we now feature an impressive inventory of top-of-the-line vehicles to best learn the art of high-quality, European-style road racing.”
Testing of the cars to make sure each passes Bertil Roos’ high standard of excellence, will continue throughout the month of February and into early March. The newly rebuilt cars will make their debut at the Roos 3-Day beginning March 12.
For the complete list of programs available this year Palm Beach International Raceway and for more info on the Bertil Roos Racing School, call 1-800-722-3669, or visit racenow.com.
The Bertil Roos Racing School announced today that it has terminated its relationship with DeMonte Motorsports, effective immediately.
DeMonte Motorsports had been providing the school with a fleet of Ford Mustangs over the past two years.
“We are moving in a different direction, with respect to our closed-wheel program,” Bertil Roos President, Dennis Macchio said. “To that end, we are exploring other options that will better fit our long-term strategies of providing cost-effective, and high-quality performance driving education. The tools with which we teach are an integral part of the teaching process. Handling and braking are more important components than horsepower.”
Bertil Roos Racing School does not charge for crash damage in its introductory programs. There are emphasis on costs and keeping the programs reasonably priced which narrow the field on what is a viable teaching car.
The school has evolved its formula car fleet over several years to accommodate its goals, and will now turn its attention to developing an alternative closed-wheel option.
For information on the school or its recent expansion, please contact us at 1-800-RACE NOW or 570-646-7227. Check out our website www.racenow.com and the Bertil Roos Racing School Facebook page.
On occasion, we get asked, “why do you use formula cars?” or, “how will they help, if I intend to drive other types of cars?”
So, here’s our answer.
When learning the art of performance driving and road racing, there is no better classroom than a formula car. Every professional driver of note and most amateurs have spent time in formula cars, especially at the early stages of learning.
“Techniques important to racing and driving are more effective when taught in a formula car. For example, visual training, what we refer to as ocular driving techniques,” said Bertil Roos President Dennis Macchio. “They are best taught in the cockpit of a car that has no A pillars, no windshield, no rearview mirror, and no forward blind spot.
“Car control, line correction, important advanced skills, are much easier to learn in nimble, lightweight formula cars. The low center of gravity and the minimum body roll lend themselves to be much more predictable and responsive corrections. Even spinning, a skill that one hopes is not often employed, is more effectively taught in formula cars. The learning curve is accelerated in a formula car. High grip, and modest power is the ‘formula’ for learning, and just a hell of a lot more fun.”
Formula cars are also noted for giving maximum feedback to the driver. Every subtle nuance, both car and track, are more obvious in the open wheel car, creating a heightened level of sensitivity for the new driver. This provides a much higher level of preparation for any type of performance vehicle that might follow.
“We have, at times, tried open and closed wheel programs simultaneously. The f-car programs unsold the closed wheel by a margin of 9 to 1. It is one of the reasons that the top pro schools rely so heavily on formula cars as the “ultimate” driver classroom.”
For more information on Bertil Roos Racing School programs visit our website www.racenow.com or call 1-800-RACENOW. (570-646-7227).
In May of 2017, Dennis Macchio sat down with Ross Bently to record a podcast episode devoted to driver mentors. Click the below link to have a listen…
Due to the overwhelming number of responses, the Bertil Roos Racing School is extending a special offer to customers who lost their deposits in the Skip Barber bankruptcy.
Last September, it was announced that any customer who had an outstanding deposit with the Skip Barber Racing School could apply a portion of that deposit towards any Bertil Roos Racing School program.
“We’ve had so many aspiring drivers take advantage of this incredible offer,” Bertil Roos President Dennis Macchio said. “It has rebuilt credibility for our industry, and has given so many people the opportunity to pursue their passion through working with our staff of experienced racing instructors.”
A leader in the industry, the Bertil Roos Racing School has been training drivers in high-quality, European-style road racing for over 40 years.
Through the special offer, up to 25 percent of the value of Skip Barber Racing School deposits can be applied towards Bertil Roos Racing School programs. This can be repeated until the customer’s entire deposit has been used up. More specific information can be found here.
“We are proud that we got ahead of the curve on this, and that we have helped a lot of people reconnect with their driving and racing aspirations,” Macchio said. “With an established school such as ours providing this opportunity, it does wonders for the industry. Simply said, we are giving people the opportunity to receive Bertil Roos Racing School’s unparalleled level of driving instruction whether they are hobbyists or aspiring racers.”
The Bertil Roos Racing School encourages individuals who lost deposits to contact them directly. Proof of loss will be needed. The school can be reached at 1-800 RACE NOW, or (570) 646-7227.
For more information on Bertil Roos Racing School programs, etc. visit our website www.racenow.com.