WILL POWER TO RETURN TO HIS ROOTS FOR ALL-STARS KARTING CLASSIC AT PRI
Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia driver Will Power will return to his roots when the Australian competes in the 2008 Performance Racing Industry (PRI) All-Stars Karting Classic at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on 11 December 2008.
Power will drive for the FirstKart.com team in the Masters division, running as part of a three kart squad alongside fellow IndyCar driver Marco Andretti and leading NHRA Top Fuel drag racer Antron Brown.
Power's motorsport career began at a young age in the sport of karting, when he and his brothers raced at the Greer Park Kart Raceway in his hometown of Toowoomba in Queensland, Australia.
Power still drives karts regularly to help maintain a high level of fitness all year round and tune the sharp reflexes required to drive an IndyCar at speeds of over 370km/h at venues such as the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
"Karting is where it all began for me but it's one part of my driving that I've never completely stepped away from," said Power.
"I still drive karts regularly both here in Indianapolis in the US and back home in Toowoomba. The karts are so fast and the tracks are so demanding that it's the best way to keep your eye in between races or during the off-season.
"And on top of all those benefits, it's a huge amount of much fun and something you can do with your friends, whether it's other drivers or just your mates.
"So you can understand why so many drivers keep racing karts through their whole careers. Any training you do that's also fun is always great."
Power will drive a First Kart chassis powered by a 125cc IAME Leopard engine as he competes in a field full of well-known competitors including AJ Allmendinger, Max Papis, Cristiano Da Matta, Oswaldo Negri, Buddy Rice, Scott Speed, Townsend Bell, Jamie McMurray, Nelson Phillipe, Jan Heylan and Ryan Hunter-Reay. More driver announcements are expected in the lead-up to the event.
"I've really got to thank the FirstKart.com team for this opportunity and I'm hoping to give them a great result," said Power.
"We've got quite a team lined up for the event. I've heard a lot about this race and I've been really keen to get some kart races under my belt during this long off-season.
"It should be a lot of fun but in saying that I'm taking it quite seriously. I'm still very fit and I want to get a good result for the team."
For Power, this event caps a massive year. The 27-year-old won the Champ Car finale in Long Beach, California, made his Indianapolis 500 debut in May and scored his third consecutive pole position for his home event on the Gold Coast aboard the #8 Aussie Vineyards - Team Australia Honda/Dallara/Firestone.
This season Power scored three top five finishes and six top 10 finishes, ending the season with the eighth best qualifying average in the series, scoring 12th in the 2008 IndyCar Series standings and placing third in the Bombardier Rookie of the Year Standings.
The All-Stars Karting Classic is staged at night and is the season finale for the US-based Stars of Karting Series. The event is held in conjunction with the enormous PRI convention and is telecast on US television.
The FirstKart.com team will also run a three-kart team in the Karter division for Indy Lights drivers James Davison and Bobby Wilson and karting ace Spencer Pigot.
-credit: team australia