Skip Barber Racing School filed for bankruptcy on Monday with over $10 million owed to its creditors and $50 million in liabilities. The largest creditor of the lot is Lime Rock Park in Connecticut which is owed $1.225 million in rent, but they’re not the only track owed money.
According to The Drive, the school owes $239,617 to Road Atlanta, $169,568 to Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca owner Monterey County, and $112,000 to Mid-Ohio along with additional track rent owed to other raceways around the country. Its biggest creditor, in an interesting twist, happens to be owned by the school’s founder, Skip Barber.
Barber started the school back in 1975 after he retired from the professional racing circuit. His goal was to build a school to teach high performance driving to anyone who wanted to learn. It counts among its graduates professional drivers like Marco Andretti, Scott Speed, and A.J. Allmendinger along with celebrities like Tim Allen, Tom Cruise, Drew Carey, and Patrick Dempsey. There are also plenty of everyday folks who attended the school to refine their driving skills and enjoy the thrill of driving on a track.
It’s been quite a while since Barber had anything to do with the school he founded. He sold it back in 1999, so although it bears his name he isn’t involved in the day-to-day operations of the business. Barber decided to keep his controlling interest in Lime Rock Park when the school was sold, leaving his old school owing his current track a hefty chunk of change.
The bankruptcy filing lists the school’s assets at $5.3 million, which includes nearly $1.5 million in cars and $1.6 million in car parts. It also assigns the Skip Barber Racing School name and expertise a value of $2 million. No matter how you cut up those numbers, people are not getting all their cash out of the deal.
The Skip Barber Racing School site is still up and running with no mention of the bankruptcy proceedings. It’s not unusual for businesses to continue operating after bankruptcy with deals made to keep things going while select assets are sold and new investors are sought out to stave off complete closure.
The school has yet to make an official statement on how long it plans to continue operations or prospects for the Skip Barber Driving School to continue under new ownership.