Braun wins Gorsline Scholarship

Braun Wins Gorsline Scholarship OVALO, Texas, Dec. 13 - Sixteen-year-old Colin Braun, who has won the driver championships in the formula car series he's competed in for the last two years, received another laurel on Sunday, Dec. 5 when he ...

Braun Wins Gorsline Scholarship

OVALO, Texas, Dec. 13 - Sixteen-year-old Colin Braun, who has won the driver championships in the formula car series he's competed in for the last two years, received another laurel on Sunday, Dec. 5 when he accepted the prestigious Gorsline Scholarship for 2005 before Autosport magazine's awards banquet at the Grosvenor Hotel in London, England.

The award was presented by its founder, John Gorsline, founder and chairman of The Gorsline Company, and Formula 1 legend Sir Sterling Moss.

The scholarship was created to improve the sport by promoting talented, rising young stars and supporting them in their efforts to reach the top ranks of motorsports. It recognizes both performance and potential.

Gorsline, who helped pioneer motorsports insurance underwriting over 30 years ago, is known internationally for providing insurance and financial services for his corporate and professional clients.

Past recipients of the scholarship include Ryan Lewis (2004), Rocky Moran Jr. (2003), Danica Patrick (2002), Patrick Long (2001), Bryan Sellers (2000), David Besnard (1999), this year's Indy 500 winner, Buddy Rice (1998), Butch Leitzinger (1997), Jerry Nadeau (1996), Anthony Lazzaro (1995) and Bryan Herta (1994).

The award comes with a year of driver coaching and career counseling in 2005 from Ross Bentley's Speed Secrets program.

"I'm really honored to have been chosen for the Gorsline scholarship," Braun said. "It will definitely help me, and when I look at the list of previous recipients, I'm in really good company. John Gorsline knows everyone in motorsports, and I'm very grateful to be chosen by him for this scholarship."

While at the banquet, which Autosport magazine uses to honor racers chosen by a poll of its readership, Braun met all sorts of famous racers from the states and abroad.

"I really want to thank John Gorsline and Ross Bentley for the scholarship," Braun emphasized. "Just getting to go to the banquet was cool. I met all sorts of famous drivers and team owners - people like Tony Kanaan, Dan Wheldon, Jenson Button, Allan McNish, Sebastien Bourdais, A.J. Allmendinger, Damon Hill, David Richards, Martin Brundell and Paul Stoddard."

Braun was especially impressed by motorcycle and F1 legend John Surtees. "He was really nice," Braun said. "I talked to him awhile about karting."

Immediately upon his return to the states, Braun went to a test session at Texas Motor Speedway where he drove The Racers Group Team 16 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup No. 16 that he'll share with two other 16-year-olds -- Brad Coleman and Adrian Carrio -- in the Rolex 24 endurance sports car race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla. Feb. 5-6.

The announcement of that effort was made recently by The Racers Group, a top Rolex Series team which won that race in 2003.

"I know all my teammates through karting; Adrian [Carrio] even bought one of my old formula cars," Braun said. "Ross [Bentley] is helping with that effort too, and we're all learning a lot. I'm especially looking forward to it because I hope it will show my versatility so that team owners don't think of me as just an open-wheel driver. I hope it opens some doors."

That race will be broadcast live on the SPEED cable TV channel.

Bran is the youngest American driver to ever win a professional open-wheel championship, as he topped the point standings in the Fran-Am 1600 Pro Series last year when he was 14. He won the Formula TR 2000 Pro championship this year. He turned 16 on Sept. 22.

Braun's plans for the 2005 season after the Rolex 24 aren't set yet as he continues to explore possibilities and pursue sponsorship. His current sponsors include Speed Secrets, Latus Motors/Harley Davidson, Blueacre Motorsports, Stand 21, Bell Helmets, Silkolene and Performance Friction.

For more information see www.tracc5.com, www.gorsline.com, www.speed-secrets.com, www.theracersgroup.com, www.grandamerican.com, www.speedtv.com and www.restartcommunications.com.

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Series FRENAULT , OPENWHEEL