The five winners of the inaugural Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow karting challenge have completed phase one of an unprecedented two-part award package, which will culminate in a test behind the wheel of a Team Rahal Champ Car.
Veteran Champ Car driver and Skip Barber alumnus Bryan Herta founded the successful event, held November 3, 4 and 5 at Las Vegas Karting Center in Las Vegas, Nev., to help bridge the gap between karting and CART, and showcase future stars of the FedEx Championship Series
The five Stars of Tomorrow -- Kevin Christensen, 20, of Castaic, Calif.; Jason Bowles, 18, of Ontario, Calif.; Jonathon Bomarito, 18, of Salinas, Calif.; AJ Allmendinger, 17, of Hollister, Calif.; and Brett Buckwalter, 18, of Novato, Calif. -- journeyed to Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, Calif., two weeks ago to participate in a Three Day Skip Barber Racing School.
"These young men displayed a lot of natural talent," said Barber Dodge Pro Series Director Rick Ratajczak who attended the Skip Barber Three Day Racing School where the Stars of Tomorrow received their training. "At the end of their Three Day School, they were smiling ear to ear, ready to jump into a Rahal ChampCar."
The young kart talents were originally scheduled to head to Fontana, Calif., today for the ultimate prize -- a two-day test in a Team Rahal Champ Car. The test has been rescheduled to immediately precede CART's Sneak Preview, a three-day media event at California Speedway beginning January 16.
"I am delighted that CART has allowed us to have our Stars of Tomorrow event become a small part of the Fontana Sneak Preview," said b>Herta. "I believe it is a tremendous show of support from CART for the winners, and an outstanding opportunity for our five Stars of Tomorrow to gain additional recognition. I am sure a lot of the media in attendance would be interested in these youngsters' first impressions of a Champ Car."
The Stars of Tomorrow will now get their first taste of driving a Champ Car on January 15. The two-day outing will be held on a temporary road course at California Speedway.