IRL: Rookie driver - Tomas Scheckter biography

Biography: Tomas Scheckter Birthdate: Sept. 21, 1980 (Monte Carlo) Nationality: South African Residence: Cape Town, South Africa, Indy Ht./Wt.: 5'11"/160lbs Team: Red Bull Cheever Racing Car: No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing ...

Biography: Tomas Scheckter

Birthdate:  Sept. 21, 1980 (Monte Carlo)
Nationality:  South African
Residence:  Cape Town, South Africa, Indy
Ht./Wt.:  5'11"/160lbs
Team:  Red Bull Cheever Racing
Car:  No. 52 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara/Infiniti/Firestone
First IRL Race:  2002 Grand Prix of Miami at Homestead-Miami Speedway
IRL Status:  Rookie

Career Highlights

* Completed Indy Racing League Rookie test on Jan. 22, 2002 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

* Fastest of 24 drivers at the IRL's Test in the West at California Speedway on Feb. 5, 2002, with an average speed of 221.952 mph. It was his second day to drive on an oval.

* Runner up in the 2001 Formula Nissan Championship

* Runner up in the 2000 British Formula 3 series.

* Won the 1999 Formula Opel Euroseries championship.

* Won South African karting championship at age 15.

Career

2001 -- Runner-up in the Open Telefonica Formula Nissan Championship with four wins and eight poles... Was a test driver for Jaguar Racing Formula One team until May.

2000 -- Runner-up in the British Formula 3 series with two wins and two poles, including a third place at the Marlboro Masters in Zanvoort... Competed in final four races of the FIA Formula 3000 series. Finished second after leading at Hockenheim, Germany and Monza, Spain events.

1999 -- Won the Formula Opel Euroseries with record-breaking eight victories, and eight poles. Competed in last two races of the Formula Nissan Championship, winning one race and two poles.

1998 -- Finished third in the British Formula Vauxhall Junior series, with one win and one pole. Won Rookie of the year title

1997 -- Scored two victories in the South African Formula Ford series.

1992-96 -- Raced karts, starting in 60cc GP Juniors and progressing to 100cc Stock. Won Western Cape Championship (South Africa) in 1995.

Personal Highlights

Full name: Tomas Scheckter

Family: Son of 1979 Formula One World Champion Jody Scheckter. Nephew of former F1 driver Ian Scheckter. Cousin of former Barber Dodge champion Jaki Scheckter.

Most Memorable Racing Moment: Winning my European Opel Euroseries title.

Racing Hero: Eddie Cheever Jr., is the politically correct answer.

Favorite Part of Race Day: Starting the race, and spraying champagne on the podium.

Hobbies: Racing radio control cars, sports (basketball, tennis, squash, golf)

Fitness Regime: A bit of everything. I mix it up with sports. Running, biking, swimming, weights.

Philosophy on Life: Do your best, and #!*& the rest. My dad taught me this one.

Favorite Movie: Happy Gilmore

Favorite Television Show: Jerry Springer

Current Books I am Reading: Mechanical Engineering Book on Racing

Favorite Magazine: Autosport

Favorite Actor/Actress: Samuel L Jackson/Julia Roberts

Favorite Sports Personality: Mike Tyson

CDs in My Car: Creed, Collective Soul, Ja Rule, Eninem, Cypress Hill

Favorite Food: Steak

Favorite Indulgences: Ben and Jerry's Cookie's and Cream Ice Cream

Dream Vehicle: McLaren F1 Road Car

Greatest Influence on Life: My parents

What You Admire Most In Others: Patience

First Job: Worked on a farm.

First Race: I was 12 years old and I finished second in a 60cc karting race. That was back when racing was just about having fun.

-cir/hh-

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