LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Oct.1) This year's "Sweet 16," the elite group of karters vying for four 2005 racing scholarships worth a total of close to $100,000, were announced today by Skip Barber Racing. By being selected as automatic invitees to the Skip...
LAKEVILLE, Conn. (Oct.1) This year's "Sweet 16," the elite group of karters vying for four 2005 racing scholarships worth a total of close to $100,000, were announced today by Skip Barber Racing. By being selected as automatic invitees to the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out (Jan.7-8-9, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca), they've each already earned a scholarship: $3,495 for a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School, at a track and date of their choice (prior to the Shoot-out). The 16 karters -- most of whom are drivers from the Stars of Karting and WKA circuits -- are, in alphabetical order:
Alan Adams, 18, Middletown, N.Y.; Jonathan Branam, 18, Miami, Fla.; Chris Carmody, 20, Valencia, Calif.; Tyler Dueck, 17, Abbotsford, B.C., Canada; Mike Giessen, 17, Deer Park, N.Y.; Kevin Glover, 23, Burnaby, B.C., Canada; Seth Ingham, 20, Moxee, Wash.; Colby Jenn, 17, Vancouver, B.C., Canada; Joey King, 16, Silvis, Ill.; Justin Larson, 16, Safety Harbor, Fla.; Joel Miller, 16, Hesperia, Calif.; Jordon Musser, 23, College Station, Texas; Jordy Vorrath, 23, White Rock, B.C., Canada; Chris Wehrheim, 18, Norcross, Ga.; Kyle Wiegand, 18, Bargersville, Ind.; John Zartarian, 17, Carlsbad, Calif.
In addition to these 16 elite picks, the January Shoot-out will include other WKA, Stars of Karting, SKUSA and IKF karters who meet certain eligibility requirements. This group will be identified by mid-December. Including the "Sweet 16," the expected total field size will be something on the order of 40 to 50 top-flight karters.
Four scholarships totaling approximately $100,000 will be awarded at the Shoot-out: One driver will win a full-paid season (approximately $40,000) in the 2005 Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER; one driver will win a half-season in the Skip Barber National (approximately $20,000); one driver will win a full-paid season (approximately $24,000) in any of the four Skip Barber Regional Series (West, East, Midwest and South); and one driver will win a half-season (approximately $12,000) in one of the Regionals.
"We truly feel there is no better opportunity for the serious young karter than the Skip Barber system, if the desire is to get into open-wheel racing's topmost ranks," says Rick Ratajczak, a Skip Barber series director. "The equal-car premise behind every Skip Barber auto racing championship, along with the coaching, the huge amounts of seat time, the furious competition, the simple stark value of our racing -- all that has been attracting the best karters for a number of years."
This Skip Barber Racing "karting star search" system has over the past eight years unearthed, rewarded then developed such talents as A.J. Allmendinger, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Scott Speed, Colin Fleming, Michael Valiante, Patrick Long and a host of others.
On a related note, in another element of the Skip Barber/Stars of Karting allegiance, yesterday the Stars series announced this year's winner of the annual Snap-On Stars of Karting - Skip Barber National Championship Scholarship; Alan Sciuto, 16, of Orange, Calif., earned the fully funded ($40,000) scholarship to compete in the Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER Magazine in 2005.