The Skip Barber Racing School has announced that it will not run its renowned Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2004, replacing it at several high-profile events with a boosted National Championship Series.

Barber confirmed plans to further elevate the profile of its highly successful Formula Dodge National Championship Series [FDNC] to provide even more visibility to one of the most important series for aspiring drivers. As part of its 2004 schedule, the National Series will be supporting both the 52nd running of the Mobil 12 Hours of Sebring and the Champ Car race at Road America. In addition to an announcement concerning increases in scholarship funding for FDNC competitors, its complete schedule will also be released shortly.

However, the company also revealed that it will not run the Pro Series [BDPS] in 2004 in order to update the series for the future. The move was precipitated by the widespread uncertainty in US open-wheel racing resulting from the ownership status of Champ Car.

"The delay settling the ownership status of Champ Car, our sanctioning body, prevented us, like many others, from adequately preparing for the 2004 season," said race school president and CEO Aaron Hollander, "We were unable to negotiate a mutually beneficial sanctioning relationship that would allow us to operate a viable series for our drivers and sponsors. Having said that, we look forward to the possibility of continuing to work with and support Champ Car in numerous ways this year and in the future. We wish them nothing but success.

"We are exploring all alternatives for 2005 that meet the requirements of a changing marketplace. Skip Barber Racing participates in nearly every facet of motorsports and we are afforded a large number of opportunities for continued growth. We are very optimistic about the future of racing in North America."

Former driver, now vice-president of racing in the Barber organisation, Davina Galica confirmed that further changes for 2005 were currently being evaluated.

"Skip Barber Racing School has a 28-year history of providing unique and innovative programmes to help up and coming racers achieve success," she commented, "We
will spend this year focusing on the Formula Dodge National Championship and evaluating all of our options for 2005. Those include the possibilities of a new car, and/or race team ownership, and/or race team sponsorship and management.

"The fact is, Skip Barber Racing has trained more of the world's racecar drivers than any other organisation. With all other Skip Barber businesses in a strong growth mode, it allows the company to offer positions to those currently associated with Barber Dodge."