BRASELTON — Skip Barber Racing in Braselton soon will be the main headquarters for the nationally recognized racing school, and on Thursday it got to show off what that means.
It was the second straight year the school allowed driving and racing enthusiasts from around the area to experience aspects of racing firsthand at Road Atlanta.
Come the end of September, the Braselton location will include much more than instruction.
Accounting, marketing, sales and information technology departments should begin moving in June and be completed by Sept. 30, according to Kyle Morham, director of sales and marketing. The main offices are moving from Connecticut.
The office move follows a move of the company's logistics, fabrication and maintenance operation to Road Atlanta, which occurred last November.
Morham said 20 administrative positions will be moved from Connecticut; half are filled and the others are open for new hires. In addition to new openings, Morham said the move will benefit Georgia's tourism industry.
"We plan to put a much bigger focus on the state of Georgia and try to build a fun and recreational thing to do here, as well as boost tourism," Morham said.
He also said the company plans to partner with local businesses, including Chateau Elan and Lake Lanier Islands and Resort.
Gov. Nathan Deal made the official announcement of the move earlier this week.
"Skip Barber Racing School's decision to raise its profile in Georgia will help boost tourism in the state and draw other automotive companies associated with racing," Deal said in a statement.
"The racing school has been a great partner in helping us promote Georgia, and we appreciate its interest in growing along with the state."
The open house event allowed drivers of all skill levels to get free instruction. Two activities let attendees get behind the wheel and drive under the supervision of school instructors on a skid pad and an autocross course. The other two included a ride-along with trained professionals in an autocross course and a hot lap around the Road Atlanta track in a Mazda MX-5 Cup Car.
Brendon Blake of Flowery Branch has participated in two Skip Barber schools and used the open house as an opportunity to pique the interest of his friends.
"After your first event, it just hooks you," Blake said.
Daniel Clark and Kevin Henderson, both racing enthusiasts, made the journey to Braselton from Birmingham, Ala.
"I just love all the cars and getting to experience racing firsthand," Clark said.
It was Henderson's second trip to Road Atlanta.
"The turnout today has been great and I'm hoping to get some people interested in coming back to participate in a school here," Henderson said.