GT Drivers Edwards and Nelson are Red Bull finalists

SPEED World Challenge drivers Edwards and Nelson among the four finalists for Red Bull F1 Driver search. LE BEAUSSET, France (October 18, 2002)-- SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship drivers Paul Edwards and Joel Nelson have ...

SPEED World Challenge drivers Edwards and Nelson among the four finalists for Red Bull F1 Driver search.

LE BEAUSSET, France (October 18, 2002)-- SCCA Pro Racing SPEED World Challenge GT Championship drivers Paul Edwards and Joel Nelson have been named finalists in the highly-publicized Red Bull F1 Driver Search. The two, who each piloted a Champion Audi S4 in two events this year, are joined by Grant Maiman and Scott Speed. Finalists of the 14 initial candidates were selected by a panel after being judged the most likely Americans to quickly ascend to the world's most prestigious racing category, Formula 1.

Edwards, of Santa Maria, Calif., has been a highly-touted commodity in the racing business, but his climb up the racing ladder in Europe appeared to stall after the 2001 season. The 24-year old former Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series Champion received a call from Audi North America's Rod Bymaster late this summer and an offer to drive the third Champion Audi (alongside defending series Champion Michael Galati and racing legend Derek Bell) for two races. Edwards excelled, out-qualifying Galati at Road Atlanta and leading the race before finishing fifth. At the previous race, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, he finished 18th after running as high as fourth.

Twenty-one year-old Nelson, of Reno, Nev., has only been racing cars for one year. A standout in the Formula Palmer Audi series this year (finishing Runner-Up by a single point), Nelson was awarded a ride in the third Champion Audi for two races early in the season, with a best finish of eighth at Mid-Ohio. His second run, at Road America, was cut short by a mechanical failure after running as high as fifth.

"Paul and Joel are two outstanding drivers, and we were thrilled when Rod Bymaster and Champion brought such young, American talent into the series," said Mitch Wright, SCCA Pro Racing Vice President and General Manager."While we would love to have them back in the SPEED World Challenge, it appears that they might be busy next year as they continue their progression to Formula 1."

At Road Atlanta last week, Edwards was quick to tout both his experience with Champion Racing and the SPEED World Challenge series.

"Right now, the Red Bull Driver Search is a tremendous opportunity, but if that doesn't work out, I'd love to come back to this series with Champion Racing," said Edwards.

It appears that Champion Racing, and the series, might have to wait.

For information on the Red Bull F1 Driver Search, go to www.redbulldriversearch.com.

-scca pro racing-

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About this article
Series Formula 1 , PWC
Drivers Paul Edwards , Scott Speed , Derek Bell , Grant Maiman , Joel Nelson