Take a state-of-the-art 2.2-mile road course, throw in great year-round weather and a location which is one of America’s premier vacation destinations and Palm Beach International Raceway (PBIR) is the perfect spot to attend Bertil Roos Racing School.
The acclaimed motorsports facility in Jupiter, Fla., boasts a FIA-certified, 10-turn circuit with some of the fastest and most challenging corners and offered by any track in North America. An approved IndyCar testing facility, it showcases a seamless table-top smooth finish, full lighting, soft barriers and run-off areas.
Bertil Roos Racing School has been training students in high-quality, European-style road racing for over four decades. Graduates of the school can be found from the hobbyist to the top levels of professional racing.
Andreas Bjorn is a 40-year-old software engineer from Norway who has spent the last six years living in Ft. Lauderdale. He attended the Bertil Roos Racing School’s 3-day program at PBIR in June with a goal of learning the fundamentals of track racing. He came away with so much more.
“I learned so many things I could have never imagined,” he said. “The entire thing was so much fun. I had a smile on my face for three days, practically. They put a lot of emphasis, not necessarily going for speed on day one, but to hit your marks and get your shifting, braking and all that down to progress naturally. I saw a significant increase in speed from my first day to my last. It was night and day.”
PBIR features a fleet of Formula 2000 cars which feature a 2.0-liter Dodge Neon RT, fuel-injected motor with a 5-speed sequential transmission and steering like an IndyCar. The Formula cars are the most valuable type of machine in teaching racing and driving techniques as Marlon Bailey, a 39-year-old from Coral Springs, Fla., attests.
“It was an awesome experience. To be in a Formula car driving around, it’s a lot and you feel the G-forces,” Bailey said. “I liked that the instructors all had different teaching styles. They deliver information on different things, but it didn’t go counter to anyone else’s information. It’s not like. ‘Do this,’ but it’s like they’re telling you why so you really know what’s going on with the car.”
Each part of PBIR’s unique layout provides a different experience. Merrill Quintrell, a North Carolina resident who attended Bertil Roos Racing School at PBIR, recalled being pointed towards the barrier in Turn 9 with the feeling that you’re carrying too much speed to make the turn.
“Off the brakes, it’s now or never. You crank in some steering and blip the throttle,” he said “The car is suddenly loose, and the front end starts rotating around the apex like its nose is tethered to a pole. As the exit swings into center vision, you push the throttle down hard and the rear of the car magically plants. You’re back on your line as you rocket toward the exit. You just survived Turn 9, for another lap. Now it’s time to pull out the playbook for Turn 10 and do it all over again.
“You are all by yourself. It’s just you and the car, and you’re in heaven.”
Upcoming dates include half-day sessions on Aug. 25 and Sept. 30. A one-day adventure is available on Sept. 30, with two, three and five-day sessions from Sept. 10-14.
Graduates of the five-day program are SCCA licensed and can participate in the Bertil Roos Winter Race Series with an eight-race schedule over four doubleheader weekends from Oct. 2018 through Feb. 2019.
For other available dates to experience your own slice of heaven visit Bertil Roos Racing School online at racenow.com or call 1-800-RACE-NOW.