IRL: SoK: Winter Cup - Italy summary

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL Drivers Have Mixed Fortunes in Italy Seattle, WA (February 21, 2006) : Six top racers from the Sanp-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL took on the world in one of the season's biggest ...

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL Drivers Have Mixed Fortunes in Italy

Seattle, WA (February 21, 2006) : Six top racers from the Sanp-on Stars of Karting presented by the IRL took on the world in one of the season's biggest international karting events, the Winter Cup, in Lonato, Italy this weekend with support from their respective manufacturers and PCH Motorsports.

The drivers representing the series were:

* Brendan Langlois, 13, Kamloops, B.C (Maranello): JICA Category

* Jacbo Neal, 14, Wildomar, CA (CRG): JICA Category

* James Kennedy, 15, Escondido, CA (Birel): JICA Category

* Chemill Mercado Melendez, 14, Puerto Rico (Intrepid): JICA Category

* Xavier Coupal, 15, St Jean Sur Richelieu, QC (Tony Kart): ICA Category

* Phil Giebler, 25, Oxnard, CA (Intrepid): Formula A Category

James Kennedy led the way for the group by progressing to the final of the JICA category which had 102 entrants. Although an off ended his day in the final he impressed his Birel factory team and tuner Giacomo Patrono. Brendan Langlois (Maranello) had his regular tuner Jon Nevoso alongside and had a strong run to qualify for Sunday's prefinal through his Saturday heat, although disappointed to not advance to the final on Sunday Brendan showed well in his first European outing. Chemill Mercado Melendez competed with regular tuner Rodney Berryhill helping out and made it to Sunday's competition. Also representing Intrepid was last year's ICA National Champion Phil Giebler who had father Everett and Brett Berryhill along for assistance. Giebler was racing in Formula A, the top level of international competition, and was battling to advance through Sunday's prefinal when a spin ended his day. Jacob Neal showed speed most of the weekend aboard his CRG with new tuner Mike Speed. Unfortunately an engine failure in Saturday's racing ended the day for the PCH Motorsports driver. Xavier Coupal made his debut in a senior class by racing in ICA with the Tony Kart squad. Tony Kart regular Joel Miller was also on hand to lend in his advice.

The entire trip was made possible by support from the individual manufacturers; CRG, Intrepid, Tony Kart, Birel, and Maranello as well as travel support from PCH Motorsports. "This program has really blossomed into something way bigger than we expected. Thanks to the support from all these manufacturers and PCH Motorsports these drivers got an experience that they will remember forever," said series President Paul Zalud.

The series was represented on site by President Paul Zalud and Marketing Director Jeff Swoboda.

The event acted as a warm-up for the MINI Cooper Race of the Americas series opener in Norman, OK March 17-19 which will see the East and West Divisions of the series square off in a race to be listed on the FIA-CIK World Calendar. Those with any promotional inquiries can contact jeff@starsofkarting.com.

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League is based out of Seattle, Washington, sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA) and owned and operated by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion and IRL IndyCar Series team owner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud. www.starsofkarting.com, www.worldkarting.com.

Snap-on Tools Company, LLC is a subsidiary of Snap-on Incorporated, a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of tool and equipment solutions for professional tool users. Product lines include hand and power tools, diagnostics and shop equipment, tool storage products, 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 franchised dealer van, company-direct sales and distributor channels, as well as over the Internet at snapon.com. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2 billion-plus, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wis., and employs approximately 11,500 people worldwide.

Formed in 1996 by Tony George, Stars' presenting sponsor Indy Racing League provides the ultimate in wheel-to-wheel racing excitement through the IndyCar Series and Menards Infiniti Pro Series. The 2005 season marks the 10th year of competition for the IndyCar Series, the pinnacle of open-wheel racing in America. The 17-race schedule, featuring 14 ovals, two road courses and a temporary street circuit, consists of the most events in season history. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series, an essential stepping-stone for drivers and teams striving to reach the IndyCar Series, will feature a series-high 14 races in 2005, including three events on road courses and one street course. www.indyracing.com.

-sok-

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Series Kart
Drivers Bobby Rahal , Bryan Herta , James Kennedy , Tony George , Phil Giebler , Joel Miller , Xavier Coupal