VAN HOOSER WINS FORMULA BMW SCHOLARSHIP
(Tulare, CALIFORNIA--February 10, 2005) -- Open wheel driver Wade Van Hooser, 15, of Tulare, California returned from an intense two-day evaluation of driving and overall fitness at the Formula BMW USA Scholarship Championship, January 12-13, taking place on the 2.5-mile "Circuit de la Comunitat" road course in Valencia, Spain. BMW of North America announced the winners of the six 2005 Formula BMW USA Junior scholarships -- and Wade Van Hooser was among the list of impressive winners. The six 2005 Juniors will be awarded $40,000 each towards participation in Formula BMW's Education and Coaching Program--part of BMW's commitment to supporting young drivers. The 2001 SKI "Driver of the Year" was selected one of 28 drivers to participate in the Formula BMW USA Scholarship Qualifying Course held September 2004 -- then received an invitation with 17 other drivers for the finals held last month. Each participant drove a prepared BMW FB2 race car on the 9-turn road course, headquarters for the Formula BMW Racing Performance Center.
YOUNGEST DRIVER TO TEST IN A TOYOTA ATLANTIC CAR - LOGS OVER 200 LAPS AT BUTTONWILLOW
California standout, Wade Van Hooser took part in a recent two-day test session at Buttonwillow Raceway (Bakersfield, CA) January 26-27. Maneuvering the US Racetronics No. 31 Toyota Atlantic car was no problem for the 3-time go karting champion. Van Hooser logged over 200 miles on the fast 1.39-mile road course and is hoping to join the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2005. Van Hooser, soon to be 16, drove the 240-hp car for Team US Racetronics operated by Shane Seneviratne. What made the two-day off-season testing session special was that everyone who participated in the test either donated their time or money to aid the victim's of Asia's devastating December tsunami, which affected Seneviratne's hometown of Sri Lanka along with surrounding countries. Seneviratne's--Project Reverse Tide--raised over $10,000 over the course of the two-day test from funds donated for the test session. Buttonwillow Raceway donated the track, Toyota Atlantic drivers (Marco Andretti and Antoine Bessette of Team Sierra Sierra) testing the same days donated tires, and personnel from US Racetronics, Bobby Oergel's PR1 Motorsports, Burke Harrison (2004 Atlantic Champion Pacific Coast Team) and Mark Murano (Crew Chief last season for Brooks Associates Racing) and former US Racetronics driver, Roby Feazell all lent a hand for the cause. "I really want to be in an Atlantic car," said Van Hooser. "I bet my dad that I'd be on the starting grid in Long Beach and I want to win that bet."