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Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

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Title: Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum  
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Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum

Barber Motorsports Park
Location Birmingham, Alabama, USA
Owner Barber Motorsports
Operator ZOOM Motorsports
Opened 2003
Architect Alan Wilson
Major events IndyCar Series (from 2010)
Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series
AMA Superbike Championship
Road course
Surface Asphalt
Length 2.38 mi (3.83 km)
Turns 15
Lap record 1:07.0871 (Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andretti Autosport, 2013, IndyCar)

The Barber Motorsports Park is a 740 acres (300 ha) multi-purpose racing facility located on the eastern fringes of Birmingham, Alabama, USA near Leeds. It was built by George Barber, and includes the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum. It has been the site of the IndyCar Series Grand Prix of Alabama since 2010 season.[1][2] Barber is also the home of the North American Porsche Driving School and the Kevin Schwantz Motorcycle School.

Track

The park, which opened in 2003, has a 16-turn, 2.38-mile (3.83 km) road course, designed by Alan Wilson, viewable from several naturally wooded or grass-covered banks. During the 2012 off season, much of the track surface was ground using a diamond grinder. This will prolong the life of the track's surface as well as add grip for the cars and bikes who race there.

The track has hosted numerous motorsport races including Grand-Am, Vintage Racing Series events, and AMA Superbike. It serves as the home of the "Porsche Driving Experience" and the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School. It also hosts the Keith Code California Superbike School and the Jamie James Yamaha Champions Riding School.

The IndyCar Series had tests at Barber in 2007 and 2009.[3][4]

The track had also been nominated by the FIA as the official test track for the now closed down US F1 Team.[5]

Sculpture

The infield of the track has a number of large sculptures, including a series of large steel spiders and dragonflies, a pair of lions and a sisyphean figure pushing a boulder. HealthSouth Corporation, based in Birmingham donated its "Pulling the Wagon" statue to the park in 2009. The statue used to sit at the front of the HealthSouth's Corporate Headquarters on Highway 280. The statue served as symbol for HealthSouth's corporate slogan "Pulling the Wagon", which was created in 1984 under former founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard M. Scrushy. The statue was removed in March 2003 from HealthSouth Corporate Headquarters Campus. Today one of the statue's figures holds up a motorcycle.

Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum

George Barber had a serious interest in vintage motorcycles and recognized that there was no museum that reflects the history of motorcycles around the world.[6] He wanted to preserve motorcycle history in the United States in a way that represents an international aspect and to supply an example of motorcycles that until then could only have been seen in books and magazines. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum began in 1988 as Barber's private collection.[7] However, in 1994 it officially opened to the public in Birmingham, Alabama. The Museum was relocated to the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama in 2003.

The museum has over 1200 vintage and modern motorcycles and racing cars. It is considered[by whom?] the largest motorcycle museum in the world, as well as the largest collection of Lotus race cars.[8] The motorcycle collection includes bikes dating from 1904 to present production. About half of the 1200 motorcycles on display at any given time, from 16 countries that represent over 140 different marques from as far away as Australia, New Zealand, and Sweden.

Track records

  Driver Time Avg. Speed Date Vehicle
Car Ryan Hunter-Reay 1:07.0871 123.422 miles per hour (198.628 km/h) April 6, 2013 Dallara-Chevrolet
IndyCar[9]
Motorcycle Mat Mladin 1:23.664 115.474 miles per hour (185.837 km/h) April 2008 Suzuki GSX-R1000[9]

References

External links

Coordinates: 33°31′57″N 86°37′08″W / 33.532500°N 86.618889°W / 33.532500; -86.618889

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