Indianapolis Motor Speedway welcomed the Schwantz School on August 21-22 for its inaugural event at the "Racing Capital of the World." Twenty-three students spent two days lapping IMS’s 16-turn, 2.621-mile road course, the same track that Valentino Rossi, Nicky Hayden and the rest of the world’s best roadracers will tackle August 28-30 during the second running of the Red Bull Indianapolis GP.
"Driving into the Speedway for our first school was a great moment for me," said Schwantz, the 1993 500cc world champion. "I looked at those huge grandstands and remembered all of the Indy 500s that I watched on television as a kid. I’ve seen a lot of great racetracks, but bringing my school to IMS for the first time was really special."
Hosting a school at IMS presented a unique logistical challenge for Schwantz, who moved the school’s base of operations earlier this year from Road Atlanta to Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Michelin-shod Honda and Suzuki motorcycles, Arai helmets and Dainese riding gear, plus boxes of classroom materials and even safety cones were trucked by Schwantz and his team of instructors from Birmingham to Indianapolis.
Among the off-track highlights of the school was a barbecue on Friday evening prepared by Schwantz’s parents, Jim and Shirley. "We had threat of rain on Friday night, but we were able to get in both the track walk and our family barbecue," said Schwantz. Charles Jacobi, a local farmer, provided freshly picked corn for the cookout.
Showers late on the second day of the school failed to dampen student enthusiasm. "Rain affected the final session, but I think, overall, everybody involved–me included–had an awesome experience at the school. As usual, my instructors did a great job, especially considering they had never before ridden the Speedway’s road course."
Immediately following the school, Schwantz and his team repacked the school’s semi-truck and drove back to Alabama to prepare for the next school, the August 25-26 "GP Experience," which includes a hospitality package at the Red Bull Indianapolis GP. "The inaugural Schwantz School at Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an amazing experience," said Schwantz. "I sure hope the opportunity presents itself to us again."
For more information about the Schwantz School or to sign up for one of its two-day schools, log on to
www.schwantzschool.com or call 866.223-5649.