Barber Motorsports Park - Modern racing venue with a museum
The Barber Motorsports Park is a racing circuit located near the city of Birmingham, Alabama. This multi-purpose racing facility was built by George W. Barber, a businessman, a real estate developer and a philanthropist. The operator of the track is ZOOM Motorsports.
Track follows the good natural terrain configuration
The track was opened in 2003 and hosts various racing series. It is a 3.83 km long asphalt track with 17 corners: 6 left-hand and 11 right-hand, with a number of elevation changes following the natural terrain configuration. The track designed to be run clockwise is the work of Alan Wilson, a well-known designer of motorsports road course race tracks from South Africa.
The pitlane is to the outside of the track whilst the pit wall is on the driver’s left side. There are also two cutoff turns which allow the track to be shortened for testing sessions or club events. Another interesting fact about this track is that the surface was grounded with the diamond grinder to prolong the life of the track and to add grip to vehicles.
Viewing the recurring weekend story from the camping area
An interesting set-up including a building between start/finish line and turn 1 houses a race control, media center, garages, track offices and a couple of VIP viewing areas, making Barber Motorsports Park different from most of racing circuits with the main stand located on the front stretch.
The area for the spectators spreads between turns 8 and 11, along the back stretch. From there, the visitors can watch from embankments or from the temporary grandstands erected for race weekends. Almost the whole track is visible from that point, except the turns 2,3 and 13. Another spectators area is located outside the turns 2 and 3, as well outside the turn 14. Spectators can’t access the infield of the track because the camping is on the hill behind the paddock.
Video – IndyCar lap around Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, Alabama
Sculptures around the track
One of the reasons why spectators are not allowed access to the infield is that there is a number of large, and a bit scary sculptures of spiders, dragonflies, lions and Sisyphus who is, as always, rolling his boulder. There is also a statue called ’Pulling the wagon’, donated by HealthSouth Corporation, and many other sculptures made by various artists.
Barber Motorsports Park is used for various racing events, but the main one is the IndyCar race called Indy Grand Prix of Alabama, the first one of which was held in 2010. Pirelli World Challenge is also one of the main events, Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series was also held there for 10 years, and so were various motorbikes series. Lap record time was set in 2013 by Chip Ganassi Racing team driver Scott Dixon – 1:06.7750.
Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum
Another interesting place at Barber Motorsports Park is Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum. The track founder is a serious vintage motorcycle enthusiast and his idea was to create the first museum dedicated to the history of motorbikes. George Barber donated his own collection to the museum which was opened to the public in 1994 and was relocated to Barber Motorsports Park in 2003. Today, it has examples of almost 1.500 motorcycles, including bikes dating from 1904 to present production from 16 countries and 140 different brands. The facility houses the largest collection of Lotus race cars in the world, from a replica of the rare Mark 1 all the way through to Formula 1 cars.
Circuit as an intriguing place to see
Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum near Birmingham, Alabama, was named as one of 16 intriguing places to see in 2015/2016 by CNN.
Barber Motorsports Park – home of various driving schools
Barber Motorsports Park also serves as the home of the Porsche Driving Experience, Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School, Keith Code California Superbike School, and Jamie James Yamaha Champions Riding School.
Address: 6030 Barber Motorsports Pkwy, Leeds, AL 35094, United States
Phone: +1 205-699-7275