FRussell: Lorenzo Mandarino season preview

Canadian driver will begin competitive season with two weekends at Infineon Raceway BURNABY, BC -- Top Canadian karting star Lorenzo Mandarino will slip behind the wheel of an open-wheel formula car this week before heading into a season of...

Canadian driver will begin competitive season with two weekends at Infineon Raceway

BURNABY, BC -- Top Canadian karting star Lorenzo Mandarino will slip behind the wheel of an open-wheel formula car this week before heading into a season of national-level kart racing. The 19 year-old will compete in the opening round of the SCCA Formula Russell Championship Presented by Yokohama at Infineon Raceway this weekend (February 11-12), returning to the series in which he competed in 2003. After winning the Russell program's Graduate Runoffs at the end of '02, Mandarino ran for the title the following year and came up just short of the crown despite missing the opening round, winning a handful of races in the process.

This year's program with the series will be a two-weekend deal, awarded to the emerging young gun as a result of his big win at the Superkarts! USA SuperNationals in Las Vegas last September. As a prize for the winning the headline ICC 125cc class, Mandarino was to receive a birth in the Graduate Runoffs, but his previous victory in the year-end event prompted Jim Russell reps to offer up a pair of race weekends instead. Now more mature and more experienced than the young driver who starred in the series in '03, Mandarino will be looking to take as much for the outing as possible, focusing as much on the training aspects of the event as on adding yet another win to his growing resume.

In addition to these pre-season formula car events, Mandarino is also set to undertake an aggressive karting program, his primary focus in 2006. After spending a day lapping the Formula Russell on the big track on Thursday, the Canadian will walk up the hill to the nearby Russell Karting Center to spend a day testing his Italian-made GP chassis with KLS Racing, the team that he will run with this summer. Mandarino has a packed 18-race schedule planned with national level karting events in both North American and Europe set to continue his development as one of the continent's hottest young drivers.

-pmm-

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Series Kart
Drivers Lorenzo Mandarino