CSOT: Road America preview

Legendary Road America circuit hosts Next Young Racing Stars With Snap-On Champ Car "Stars Of Tomorrow" karting series. Briggs & Stratton MOTORPLEX action joins SCCA June Sprints Classic on June 20-22. ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 17, 2003) --...

Legendary Road America circuit hosts Next Young Racing Stars With Snap-On Champ Car "Stars Of Tomorrow" karting series.

Briggs & Stratton MOTORPLEX action joins SCCA June Sprints Classic on June 20-22.

ELKHART LAKE, Wis. (June 17, 2003) -- Road America has been called one of the world's finest road racing facilities as many of the greatest drivers ever have raced on the four-mile legendary circuit.

But now the 15-turn, eight-tenths of a mile Briggs & Stratton MOTORPLEX karting track at Road America is becoming one of the top karting facilities too. This weekend (June 20-22), many of the North America's top karting racers will compete with the SCCA June Sprints when the Snap-On Champ Car "Stars of Tomorrow" presented by RACER come to Road America.

Drivers from around the United States and Canada will flock to the impressive karting circuit near the renowned "Carousel" portion of the four-mile road racing track.

The second race of the Stars Eastern Division competition will have six classes including the new international categories ICC (125cc Shifters) and ICA (100cc direct drive). In addition, the other categories include the Senor Class of Rotax (125cc Clutch), 80cc Junior Shifter, Junior Super Can (100cc Clutch) and the Grand Products Cadet class for youngster 8-12 years of age).

"The opening Eastern race at BeaveRun, Pa., produced some of very exciting and competitive karting racing," said Bobby Rahal, the three-time Champ Car champion and one of the principals of the Stars series. "The new categories of ICC and ICA had great fields and we expect another strong lineup at Road America. I know coming to Road America as a kid that I watched the races. Now these young racers can actually compete at one of the world's greatest race tracks. That has to be exciting for them."

The Road America race, with practice on Friday and qualifying and races set for Saturday and Sunday, is the fourth in the nine-race national Stars of Tomorrow series that will conclude on Nov. 1-2 at California Speedway in Fontana, Calif., in conjunction with the California 500 Champ Car race.

A special "Daily Double" payoff will be offered at the MOTORPLEX starting this weekend as racers battle for national points this weekend and a large purse next weekend (June 27-29) in the Dodge Freedom Grand Prix of Windsor. The drivers with the most points during the two weekends will receive $1,000 in the ICC and ICA classes.

"This is a fun way to carry the energy over from one event to another that are scheduled so closely," said Stars founder and Champ Car driver Bryan Herta. "We like to award great performances, and the drivers that will take the $1,000 home in each class will have to run consistently at the front three races in a row. It will be one more reason to keep that pedal mashed."

Bobby Wilson, from nearby Dousman, Wisconsin, is expected to lead an outstanding field in the ICC division. The 21-year-old is considered one of this country's finest young karting stars and must be one of the favorites at Road America. He'll be battling the likes of Jonathan Braman of Miami, Fla., Phillipe Gelinas of Grande-Mere, Que., Can., Troy Hottman of Cottage Grove, Wis., and Kyle Wharff of Miramar, Fla., in his Advance Karting Fittipaldi kart. Female star Juliana Chiovitti of Sutton, Ont., Can., also be a contender in the ICC class.

Young phenom Robbie Pecorari of Aston, Pa.,rides atop the Stars Eastern Division points standings in the direct drive ICA class and will be the top contender this weekend. Pecorari won both main events at BeaveRun, Pa., last month. Taking him on will be host of top racers including Johnny Johnson of Marshalltown, Ia., Tony Loniewski of Springfield, Ill., and local drivers Steve Welk and Tom Mayr both of nearby Franklin, Wis.

Rahal's son, Graham, the 14-year-old from New Albany, Ohio, and his 16-year-old cousin Kyle of Glen Ellyn, Ill., will continue the 46-year Rahal racing tradition at Road America that dates back to Graham's grandfather Mike in 1957 when the third generation drivers competed this weekend in the Stars of Tomorrow event.

The Briggs & Stratton MOTORPLEX is expected to produce some of the most outstanding karting action of the years this weekend. Last year's Stars event at the MOTORPLEX witnessed one of the best ICC races seen in years when Matt Jaskol and Kyle Martin raced nose-to-tail for 25 laps.

The Stars of Tomorrow series continues on June 27-29 in one of the most prestigious races of the year at Windsor, Canada as part of the 45th annual Bell International Freedom Festival when the karting community competes in the Dodge Freedom Grand Prix of Windsor.

The Champ Car 'Stars of Tomorrow' presenting by RACER 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 racing star Bryan Herta and now owned in conjunction with a group of racing veterans, including three-time CART champion and Indy 500 winner Bobby 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.

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Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Tony Loniewski , Kyle Wharff , Juliana Chiovitti , Steve Welk , Robbie Pecorari , Bobby Wilson , Matt Jaskol
Teams HART