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News release from Governor's Office
RICHMOND, VA — Governor Glenn Youngkin today announced Skip Barber Racing School, the world's largest automotive education and entertainment company offering driving and racing schools at the finest tracks in America, will invest $8.9 million to relocate its headquarters from Lakeville, Connecticut, and establish a performance driving school at the VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) in Halifax County. VIR will construct a 25,000-square-foot facility within the Motorsport Technology Park to lease to Skip Barber Racing School for the operation. Virginia successfully competed with California and Texas for the project, which will create 24 new jobs.
“We are proud to welcome Skip Barber Racing School to the Commonwealth, adding another corporate headquarters operation to our growing roster,” said Governor Glenn Youngkin. “VIRginia International Raceway is an invaluable employer in Halifax County, a tourism and economic development driver in Southern Virginia, and a top road course in the nation. These assets helped attract Skip Barber, and we look forward to supporting the company as it boosts the Commonwealth’s growing auto racing industry and creates new, high-paying jobs.”
“VIRginia International Raceway is a perfect fit for Skip Barber Racing School, offering a world-class racing facility that attracts the best in the industry and higher education partnerships to supply a skilled workforce pipeline for the future,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Caren Merrick. “Leading companies are taking note of the Commonwealth’s advantages and joining the ranks, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome Skip Barber to Halifax County and Southern Virginia.”
“Our relationship with Virginia started with VIRginia International Raceway. The more our team worked with Connie Nyholm and VIR, the more apparent it was that Virginia and Halifax Country would be the ideal location for our new headquarters,” said Anthony DeMonte, CEO of Skip Barber. “The support the Governor’s office and Halifax County provide to motorsports businesses and the automotive industry is second to none.”
“This is an exciting addition to the VIRginia Motorsport Technology Park located on property at Virginia International Raceway,” said Scott Simpson, Halifax County Administrator. “The Skip Barber Racing School’s decision to locate here and create 24 new jobs is tremendous. Halifax County and the IDA have been working very closely with VIR to add complementary business resources to the VIRginia Motorsport Technology Park; and Skip Barber will be an asset to the continued growth and expansion of our automotive and tourism sector in Halifax County and at VIR.”
“We want to thank both the Governor’s office and Halifax County for working so diligently with us to secure an opportunity for the Skip Barber Racing School to relocate their home to the VIRginia Motorsport Technology Park,” said Connie Nyholm, CEO and Co-Owner of VIR. “Motorsport runs deep in Southern Virginia and this will add further depth to our already robust network of motorsport businesses here on-site and in Halifax County.”
“Skip Barber Racing School operates at the intersection of technology and motorsports, driving a high-quality experience for training and entertainment,” said Linda Green, Executive Director of the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance. “VIRginia International Raceway has expanded the impacts of racing and tourism by constantly implementing automotive technology – advancing innovative solutions for industry while taking racing to a level that impacts the economic vitality of the region and maintains VIR’s ranking as one of the best tracks in the nation. This partnership will be a winning combination for Halifax County and the Skip Barber team that is known around the world.”
Tobacco Commission Chairman, Senator Frank Ruff said, “The Tobacco Commission is always working to bring top employers to Southern Virginia and we are proud to play a part in bringing Skip Barber Racing School to VIRginia International Raceway. Skip Barber Racing School already has a sterling reputation as the world's largest automotive education and entertainment company and this move to VIR will only enhance that reputation in the years to come. I am pleased to welcome Skip Barber to their new home here at VIR and to our community here in Southern Virginia.”
“It is my pleasure to welcome the Skip Barber Racing School’s headquarters to Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. I am grateful to Governor Youngkin, Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance for working together to bring 24 additional job opportunities to Halifax,” said Congressman Bob Good.
“Southside Virginia is the birthplace of racing, so it is both meaningful and impactful to have the Skip Barber Racing School relocate its operations to the VIRginia International Raceway,” said Senator Bill M. Stanley. “There is no better fit than Skip Barber and VIR, and this new venture will benefit racing enthusiasts, fans, and the citizens in our region for many years to come.”
“I am so pleased that the Skip Barber Racing School has chosen to relocate in Halifax County at VIR! I remember well when VIR first reclaimed the track and listened intently to their plans of growth,” said Delegate James E. Edmunds. “They have kept their word to expand the VIR campus into a world-class racing/economic development facility. I want to personally thank the Skip Barber Racing School for their commitment to Southside Virginia and for the jobs they will be creating at this world-class location.”
With international racing experience, celebrated skill, and the firm belief that competitive race car driving was teachable, Skip Barber founded his legendary racing school in 1975. Since that first class, over 400,000 students have become racers and champions. Today, the company has become the world’s largest automotive education and entertainment company and operates the Skip Barber Formula Race Series, field championship race teams in TC and TC America, creates innovative OEM programs that elevate the finest automotive marques, and produces corporate programs that build teamwork and recognize outstanding achievement.
The Virginia Economic Development Partnership worked with Halifax County, the Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, and the Southern Virginia Regional Alliance to secure the project for Virginia. Governor Youngkin approved a $100,000 grant from the Commonwealth’s Opportunity Fund to assist Halifax County with the project. The Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission has approved a grant for $32,500 from the Tobacco Region Opportunity Fund for the project. The company is eligible to receive state benefits from the Virginia Enterprise Zone Program, administered by the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development. Funding and services to support the company’s employee training activities will be provided through the Virginia Jobs Investment Program.