CSOT: Western Division Colorado preview

Young racing stars ready for Rocky Mountain High in second Western Division race in 2003 CALHAN, Colo. (June 3, 2003) -- Led by many of America's future racing stars, the 2003 Snap-on.com Champ Car "Stars of Tomorrow" presented by...

Young racing stars ready for Rocky Mountain High in second Western Division race in 2003

CALHAN, Colo. (June 3, 2003) -- Led by many of America's future racing stars, the 2003 Snap-on.com Champ Car "Stars of Tomorrow" presented by RACER Magazine national karting series moves to the Colorado Rockies this weekend (June 6-8) at the CRE Motorsports Park near Colorado Springs.

The Colorado contest marks the second Stars of Tomorrow event for the Western Division this year and brings a host of top national karting drivers including former national champions Alan Sciuto, Jason Bowles, Michael Abbate and Kelsey Nash, the 17-year-old female racer from Upland, Calif.

The second race of the Western Division competition will have six separate 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 races in the Western (Buttonwillow, Calif.) and Eastern (BeaveRun, Pa.) Divisions produced some of the most exciting and competitive karting racing seen in a long time," 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 superb fields and the young drivers coming through our series are some of the most talented we've ever seen. With the international classes, we hope these young racers will have the potential to race against the world's best karting racers in the future. They are learning how the rest of the karting world competes. I expect the Colorado race to produce some more outstanding racing."

The Colorado race, set on the CRE Motorsports Park half-mile, 11-turn course, is the third 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. Practice for the Stars Colorado event will be on Friday with two full programs (qualifying, heats and finals) set for Saturday and Sunday.

          "The talent in all six divisions has been tremendous as well as the side-by-side racing," said Bryan Herta,
founder of the Stars of Tomorrow program and a two-time Champ Car race winner.  "I can say that the Stars racing
is as good as any racing in North America right now.  Auto racing fans will love this kind of action."

Sciuto, the 15-year-old future star from Orange, Calif., comes to Colorado this weekend after a successful Western Division opener that saw him finish first and second in the two ICC main events. Sciuto has been tabbed by Rahal and Herta as one of the U.S. hopes for a Formula One ride in this decade.

"This kid has all of the abilities to get to the top level in the world," said Rahal. "He is one to watch."

Bowles, Sciuto's teammate from Ontario, Calif., is another contender in the ICC class and was already been one of the finalist for the initial Stars Development Series. Abbate, the 17-year-old from Las Vegas, has been chosen to compete in the Red Bull driver search program and will be a top challenger for Sciuto and Bowles. Sixteen-year-old Billy Johnson of San Clemente, Calif., will have a new Alex Barron-designed JM Racing kart for the Colorado race and Dustin Courter of Englewood, Colo., leads the lineup of Colorado drivers this weekend.

In the ICA division, Buttonwillow winners Chris Giumarra of Mahwah, N.J., and Andrew Alfonso of Danville, Calif., tops the entry list along with young Clark Sanchez-Figueras, a double Rotax winner at Buttonwillow, who will do double duty in Colorado with ICA and Rotax karts. Other ICA contenders will include Skip Barber regular Landon Yee of San Rafael, Calif., and David Thompson of Temecula, Calif.

Nash, a former Grand National champion, will take on Sanchez-Figueras and others in the Rotax division.

Following the Colorado race, the Snap-On Champ Car Stars of Tomorrow presented by RACER heads to famed Road America in Wisconsin for the second Eastern Division event on June 20-22 followed by one of the biggest North American karting competitions on June 27-29 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.

Snap-on Incorporated is a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of tool and equipment solutions for professional tool users. Product lines include hand tools, power tools, automotive diagnostics and shop equipment, tool storage products, automotive diagnostics software and other solutions for the transportation service, industrial, government, education, agricultural, and other commercial applications, including construction and electrical. Products are sold through its franchise dealer van, company direct sales and distributor and internet channels. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2+ billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wisconsin and employs approximately 14,000 worldwide. More information can be found at www.snap-on.com.

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Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , Alex Barron , Skip Barber , Andrew Alfonso , Billy Johnson , Jason Bowles , Alan Sciuto