An oft under-reported aspect of special operations missions are the inherent dangers associated with simply driving from point A to point B. In the United States, we enjoy fairly safe driving conditions under most circumstances, with heavily enforced traffic laws and a driving populace that has to at least pass a basic exam in order to legally get behind the wheel. Despite our speed limits, working stop lights, and law enforcement community that devotes a great deal of time and effort to policing our streets, however, an estimated 40,000 Americans still died in auto accidents in 2016.
Now imagine a country with no such regulations or enforcement, and life or death situations that call for aggressive, defensive, or even destructive driving to get out alive.
That’s where tactical and performance driver training comes in. As some of you may have picked up on by now, I’ve held a whole lot of unusual jobs over the years, before, during, and after my service in the Marine Corps. Some of them make for good stories, like being backstage security for the Red Hot Chili Peppers at Coachella, some of them make for bad memories, like having 30 year old sewage rain down on me from burst pipes while working in interior demolition. Of all the gigs I’ve managed to talk my way into, however, working for Skip Barber Racing was among the more rewarding.
Skip Barber Racing, which sadly recently went under, had a long track record of training up and coming race car drivers to compete at the top echelons of the racing industry, but unbeknownst to many, it also served as a place for elite special operations war fighters to receive technical driving training from some of the best racers in the business. No, I wasn’t one of those elite driving experts… but my brother was.