How I Became a Race Car Driver: Skip Barber Racing School and Fiat

I’ve given up trying to make sense of my days and what I’m finally going to be when I grow up. I once told my children that you have an entire lifetime to be all the things you want to be. Don’t give up your dreams just realize you don’t have to be everything at once. I think that’s what happens when you start making wishes and dreaming big dreams for yourself. You start to believe anything is possible, just like you did when you were a child.

If you gain anything at all from this story, I hope it is this: If you can visualize something for yourself, believe it’s possible, then you can begin to pursue it and become it. Nothing is out of reach. You may have to train or make modifications but nothing is impossible. Like the time I went to Skip Barber Racing School courtesy of Fiat, and became a racecar driver for a day.

Yes, you read that correctly. I WENT TO RACING SCHOOL. Spoiler alert: I got track certified thru Skip Barber Racing School at Cresson Motorsport Ranch this April. I’m officially the coolest parent in the 7th and 9th grades.

My decision to go to racing school was worth a good deal more than street cred I earned though. Leading up to this training, there had been a good deal of discussion about driver safety both with our teens and in my professional circles. My occupation is different than the average office worker in many ways. One is that my office is often on four wheels, with the goal to keep those wheels on the road. My colleagues and I often take turns behind the wheel during the drive programs. While I’ve always reminded my children about the importance of assessing the experience and abilities of the person driving them, I had been taking skill and experience as a given in my own circumstances.

After an article was published in my industry regarding a serious accident due to the inexperience of a driving partner, my attention was focused on improving my skills for myself and those that would be driving with me. I am a firm believer that we will only react to the point in which we have been trained. I was beyond thrilled when this opportunity was presented by Fiat hone my skills on the track.

I wasn’t completely new to racing but this would be my first time in the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth and Fiat 500 Abarth on the track. The school began with an in-depth classroom session going over the racing line and vehicle dynamics. Then we headed over to skid pad training and autocross course. After lunch, the program rapidly picked up the pace with the thrill of high-speed lead-follow laps on the race track!

I learned an immense amount that day both about the vehicles I drove and about myself. Not to mention how extremely grateful I am to Fiat for this experience. I left more confident, with sharpened skills and it allowed me to show my children how important it is to stay teachable. We always have new skills to learn or improve upon. I truly believe everyone could benefit from a day or two on the track- with proper training- and if you happen to be driving the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, you are certain to have a whole lot of fun!

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Interested in attending a driving course to sharpen your skills? Click here to learn more about the offerings of Skip Barber Racing School near you.

To learn more about Fiat/Abarth: click here

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