Robbie Pecorari wins Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow Formula Dodge National Championship Scholarship Award for 2004.
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 12, 2003) - National ICA (100cc direct drive) point champion Robbie Pecorari has been named the winner of the annual Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow Scholarship Award for the 2004 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by Racer.
Pecorari, the 16-year-old karting phenom from Aston, Pa., was one of the nation's top performers in the Snap- on.com Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow national circuit after recording five ICA wins in nine races and made a spectacular come-from-behind drive in the Stars Karting Championships two week ago at Moran Raceway in Beaumont, Calif. In that event, Pecorari, driving a J & J Racing Biesse kart, started 26th in the 23-lap main event and finished third, less than a second behind the winner Ben Horstman.
The award is annually presented by Champ Car and the Stars of Tomorrow to a top driver from the Stars national karting series and is a result of the Champ Car partnerships with Stars of Tomorrow and Skip Barber Racing.
Pecorari, who also performed well in the ICC (125cc Shifter) division this year, has been awarded with a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship, a 13-race series that has produced many of the top young racers in North America including Ryan Hunter-Reay, A.J. Allmendinger and Leo Maia. Pecorari's award is worth more than $45,000 with the complete season. The award winner comes from the ICC or ICA category and is chosen from the season-long Stars participants.
"We are very excited to present Robbie with the Formula Dodge National Championship Scholarship for his impressive 2003 Stars season," said Robert Dole, manager of the Champ Car Ladder System for CART. "This award is an important step in the development of young drivers in North America and we believe Robbie has the talent to move up the Champ Car Ladder System. The Skip Barber program is a proven system to train top drivers and this scholarship for Stars of Tomorrow graduates will continue this legacy. I am pleased to see our partnerships with both Skip Barber and Stars of Tomorrow paying dividends for aspiring drivers."
Pecorari, a junior at Garnet Valley High School south of Philadelphia, began his karting career at age eight and won events on the national circuit in the Cadet category. He moved to the Yamaha Junior and 80cc Junior Shifter classes before moving to the ICA and ICC divisions in 2003. He also plans to represent TEAM USA in a Formula Ford event in New Zealand this January.
"I am very honored to win the Formula Dodge National Championship Scholarship Award through the Stars of Tomorrow," said Pecorari, who won the Eastern Division in the Stars series before claiming the national ICA title. "The Stars of Tomorrow karting series is one of the best ways for a young racer to get into cars. The competition was very strong this year and that race at Moran Raceway last week was one I'll always remember. I think with a couple of more laps I could have won. That would have really finished off a great season."
"Robbie Pecorari is a superb talent and we believe he is one of the future stars of motor racing from North American," said Paul Zalud, director of operations for Stars of Tomorrow. "Robbie enjoyed a tremendous season with Stars of Tomorrow and we hope he will continue his success in the Barber program and beyond. We are pleased to have Champ Car and Skip Barber's programs behind the Stars series. Presenting a national scholarship gives our Stars racers a goal to advance their racing careers."
"For our part, we are thrilled with this particular scholarship," said Rick Roso, motorsports marketing manager for Skip Barber Racing. "In a relatively short period of time, the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship has proved itself a superb talent finder for Champ Car. And a big reason for that is because Stars of Tomorrow and the World Karting Association send us stars-in-the-making such as Robbie Pecorari."
The Snapon.com 'Stars of Tomorrow' karting series is the official first level in CART's driver development system and an officially sanctioned series of WKA/SCCA Pro Racing. Founded by Herta and now owned in conjunction with a group of racing veterans, including Rahal, the Stars of Tomorrow serves as the first step for the CART driver development ladder. Stars focuses on recognizing the skills of the drivers rather than the technology development within the machines, using FIA/CIK International standards. More information can be found at www.cartstars.com.