Team USA Young Guns Out of Luck but Thankful Following UK Charity Kart Race Birmingham, England (January 15, 201) -- Team USA Young Guns, comprising four recent Team USA Scholarship winners, was out of luck in this evening's charity karting...
Team USA Young Guns Out of Luck but Thankful Following UK Charity Kart Race
Birmingham, England (January 15, 201) -- Team USA Young Guns, comprising four recent Team USA Scholarship winners, was out of luck in this evening's charity karting event at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre) Birmingham. The event was hosted by American Le Mans Series LMP1 Champion driver David Brabham, of Patron Highcroft Racing, as part of the Autosport International Show in support of the Malaria No More charity.
The team was eventually classified in 21st place, out of 26 starters, in a race that was blighted by red flag interruptions. Nevertheless, the American youngsters were proud to participate in such a high profile event. In addition to Brabham, the field included fellow Le Mans 24 Hours winners Allan McNish, Emanuele Pirro, Guy Smith and Alex Wurz, as well as three-time FIA World Touring Car Champion Andy Priaulx, and was broadcast live by veteran announcer John Hindhaugh and his team at Radio Le Mans (http://www.radiolemans.com).
"It definitely wasn't the greatest result," said Connor De Phillippi, from San Clemente, Calif. "The track was extremely slick and the karts not the highest in technology. It was great, though, to have the chance to be on the track with so many drivers that I look up to. Throughout the whole race our bumper kept getting caught under the front end and would disable our turning capabilities, so we had a lot of unscheduled pit stops. Even though we didn't win, we helped a wonderful cause and had a great time doing it!"
De Phillippi, who won last year's Walter Hayes Trophy Formula Ford race at Silverstone after being granted a Team USA Scholarship, was joined by fellow Team USA Scholarship alumni Patrick Barrett (2007), Conor Daly and Josef Newgarden (both 2008), as well as enthusiastic amateur drivers Charlie Burt and Nick Hill (each of whom contributed almost $500 to the charity cause) for the scheduled 90-minute contest. Unfortunately, the team struck trouble virtually from the moment the green flag flew.
"It was pretty crazy," said Daly, from Noblesville, Ind. "I started the race but we didn't actually get a green flag! As soon as the karts rolled off the grid it seemed like the race was on and immediately people were flying into the barriers, destroying the track. I enjoyed the event overall. It was great to see a lot of celebrity drivers taking part and having a good time. I'm really thankful I got the opportunity to come over and drive."
"Representing the USA during the Malaria No More karting event today was a real honor and a complete blast," added Newgarden, from Hendersonville, Tenn "The tight twisty track promoted lots of carnage and red flags during the race, and nobody gave a single inch of room. Still, it was great to race alongside such established names in the racing community and help promote awareness for such a great cause. I want to thank Doug Mockett, David Brabham, Duncan Dayton, Jeremy Shaw and everyone else for helping us make the journey to the UK for this event and to have the chance to once again represent the United States."
The Team USA Scholarship, now in its 20th year, is supported by Mockett & Company, Road Racing Drivers Club, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Robo-Pong, Highcroft Racing, Firestone Indy Lights, American Honda, Silicon Salvage, McMurry Inc., Dyson Racing, Metalore, The Gorsline Company, Integrated Performance Technology, Robertson Racing, PitFit Training, Sparco USA, Cruden America, iRacing.com, OnCars.com, eFormulaCarNews.com, Speedstar Management and Manifest Group. Past Team USA Scholarship winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Memo Gidley, Buddy Rice, Andy Lally, Paul Edwards, A.J. Allmendinger and J.R. Hildebrand.
For more information, please visit www.TeamUSAScholarship.org or www.racing4charity.com.
-source: jeremy shaw