Aspiring IndyCar drivers learn to race on New Orleans track

AVONDALE, LA (WVUE) - Aspiring IndyCar drivers burned rubber at New Orleans Motorsports Park on Wednesday.

The Skip Barber Racing School is known for turning amateurs into professional drivers by training them all the way to top races such as the IndyCar Series, which is scheduled to take place in Avondale, LA in 2015.

"I just started go-karting with a friend in Boston, and they weren't fast enough," said driver Ryan Summe.

With a few classes under their harnesses, Summe and friend George Wetterau prepared for their first real race scheduled for Sunday.

"My aspiration is to become an IndyCar driver," said Wetterau.

He came to the right place.

"A big thing with most of the top drivers is that they've raced in our series," said Jason Holehouse, a Skip Barber Racing School Instructor.

According to the school's spokesperson, two-thirds of all the drivers in last year's Indianapolis 500 started with Skip Barber classes.

However, Summe, Wetterau, and the others who were in their class on Wednesday will likely not be ready for next year's race.

"We have a couple kids that would probably be quick enough, but would not have enough experience to make all the right judgement calls," said Holehouse.

"A single mistake, you can end up flying off the track or crashing. Luckily here, there's not a lot of walls you can crash into. It's mostly open field that you can go skidding out into unless someone's sitting out there like what happened to me," said Wetterau.

Wetterau made a $2,100 mistake, and luckily no one was hurt.

"Someone had spun out in front of me and was sitting in the field, I ended up just spinning out and flying right into the side of them," said Wetterau.

Summe explained why slowing down for turns by what's called heal-toe downshifting is one of the most technical aspects to learn.

"You're using both feet, and all three pedals at the same time when you're downshifting," said Summe.

It's a feat he's learning to master as he hits top speeds of 130mph.

The Skip Barber Racing School is a traveling school, and it comes to New Orleans about twice a year.

By Wednesday, no official date had been set for the IndyCar Series set to take place at New Orleans Motorsports Park in 2015.

Copyright 2014 WVUE. All rights reserved.