When the Skip Barber Racing School hosted its 2012 Championship Shootout last week at Road Atlanta, offering the top prize of a funded ride in next year’s Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda worth in excess of $200,000, SPEED television announcer Bob Varsha and PitFit Training’s Jim Leo were among the industry experts on hand to tender advice on how to optimize the candidates’ capabilities. This week, both Varsha and Leo will continue to give back to the sport that has enriched their livelihoods by contributing to the Road Racing Drivers Club’s ground-breaking SAFEisFAST.com initiative.
Varsha will serve as the latest online Instructor, fielding questions especially pertaining to interaction with the media, while Leo will feature in the latest video tutorial, demonstrating how a driver can improve his or her hand-eye coordination in order to gain an advantage on the racetrack.
Best known as the lead announcer for SPEED’s Formula 1 coverage, a position he took over when he joined the network from ESPN in 1999, Varsha holds a degree in law and was an accomplished long-distance runner. The native New Yorker twice attended the U.S. Olympic Trials as a marathoner while undertaking his law studies at the Emory University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1977. He looked set for a bright career as a corporate litigator until fate intervened in 1980 and he was invited by TBS to cover a renowned foot race in Atlanta. Before long he had found a new profession.
In addition to announcing virtually every form of motorsport in the world, Varsha’s wealth of knowledge includes the experience of supporting his son Matt as he attempted to follow his dream of becoming a professional racecar driver in the middle 1990s. While F1 is moving to NBC for 2013, Varsha will continue with SPEED, commencing his season by leading coverage of the 51st annual Rolex 24 at Daytona.