Since opening in 2003, Barber Motorsports Park has become one of the premier racing circuits in the world and a favorite of HPDE enthusiasts in the southeastern United States. The 880-acre park is located just east of Birmingham, Alabama, right next door to the Barber Vintage Motorsport Museum. The 2.38-mile, 16-turn, clockwise course is challenging and compact, with a number of elevation changes through the park’s picturesque greenery. The park has played host to numerous top racing and motorsport events, product debuts, vehicle testing and commercial filming activities.
History of Barber Motorsports Park
The story of Barber Motorsports Park begins years before the track first opened, with park founder George Barber’s love of racing Porsches. In the 1960s, Barber amassed an impressive track record of 63 first-place wins. Barber went on to become a successful business executive, eventually developing a hobby of collecting and restoring classic cars and motorcycles.
In 1995, Barber took his hobby to the next level, opening the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum and launching a racing program to promote the collection as part of a living museum of restored and competition-ready motorcycles. Over the next few years, the racing team won seven national championships, creating a buzz in the vintage motorcycle community. In 1998, the Guggenheim Museum invited Barber to send 21 of his bikes to be exhibited in “The Art of the Motorcycle” in New York. The exhibition was such a hit that it toured internationally and gave Barber the idea to expand his Birmingham motorcycle museum into a one-of-a-kind, world-class facility.
The current Barber Motorsports Park campus opened to the public in 2003. The track itself was designed by famed course designer Alan Wilson. It features several wooded and grass-covered banks for spectator viewing with no permanent grandstands. A multi-level paddock building next to the track houses a media center, race control area, offices, garages and VIP viewing areas. An RV park, camping area and food and souvenir area are also onsite. The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum sits next door.
In 2014, the park added the Barber Proving Grounds, a facility used for vehicle testing, exhibitions and driver instruction purposes. The park has hosted numerous motorsports events, including Grand-Am, Pirelli World Challenge, Vintage Racing Series, AMA SuperBike and IndyCar Series races, and is the home of the North American Porsche Driving School and the Mercedes Brand Immersion Experience.
Fun Facts About Barber Motorsports Park
- A longtime friend, business associate and motorcycle enthusiast, Dave Hooper, gave Barber the idea for a motorcycle collection, after pointing out they were lagging behind car collections.
- Thanks to its lush natural landscape of grassy hills and trees, the track at Barber has been referred to as “The Augusta National of Motorsports.”
- The track infield features a number of large sculptures, including a series of steel spiders and dragonflies, a pair of lions, a Greek statue, a kinetic sculpture and modern art pieces.
- Two optional cutoff turns give added flexibility to the track design and can be opened to allow the track to be shortened for club events or vehicle testing sessions.
- The motorcycle collection at Barber is certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest, with 1,600 motorcycles representing more than 100 years of production.
- Barber Motorsports Park has attracted more than 368,000 visitors a year, including more than 3,000 visitors from other countries.
Events at Barber Motorsports Park are always exciting. Find a complete schedule of upcoming events at Barber Motorsports Park. And as always, make sure you and your car are protected during track day events with insurance from Lockton Motorsports. Find the policy that fits your needs and explore more track resources.