MIKE SPEED WILL HEAD UP ICC PROGRAM; NICK HALEN JOINS THE SQUAD AS WELL Alex Speed Returns From Hiatus To Compete For MRP-Birel AMERICA Team THREE OAKS, MI -- MRP Motorsport announced today the return of Alex Speed to the MRP-Birel AMERICA...
MIKE SPEED WILL HEAD UP ICC PROGRAM; NICK HALEN JOINS THE SQUAD AS WELL
Alex Speed Returns From Hiatus To Compete For MRP-Birel AMERICA Team
THREE OAKS, MI -- MRP Motorsport announced today the return of Alex Speed to the MRP-Birel AMERICA squad after a one-year hiatus from kart racing. The 2004 & 2005 STARS of Karting ICC Champion will campaign the final round of the STARS championship in Las Vegas, NV as well as the SKUSA SuperNationals over the next several weeks. Award winning chassis tuner and father of America F1 and now NASCAR star, Mike Speed, will oversee the ICC program efforts for the team that will also include Nick Halen, who finished in 4th in the ICC Stars West points standing.
"I am very, very happy to be back working with MRP & Birel," said Mike Speed. "We chose the Birel when Alex won two years ago because we wanted to work with Birel. We had our best year ever then so returning was something we both wanted."
Alex tested the current model ICC chassis and was pleased with the results, logging .3-tenths better than current track record times within the first day.
"This has been an on-going effort to work with Mike and Alex to see them back with Birel," said Chris Lobaugh, Engineer for MRP-Birel AMERICA. "Our budget is modest in comparison to others, but we all worked hard to come to an agreement that works and we hope to continue to work together in 2008 as well."
"In the end, this was a very easy decision for both Alex and I," concurred Speed. "The quality of the Birel product & the overall spirit that both the MRP team and Birel management put forth played a large part in our decision. Alex really likes the kart and is looking forward to getting back to racing. We definitely see race wins in the future."
In addition to Alex and Mike, Nick Halen will also join the MRP-Birel AMERICA program for the STARS finale and the SKUSA SuperNats. Halen will be attempting to move up further in the overall ICC points standings. He currently ranks in 4th place in the West Division. Halen will be provided with additional support from Dave's Performance Karting, one of America's largest Birel dealers.
"I think it will be interesting going into the event with a new team," said Halen. "Working with Mike and Alex, however, should be very helpful in getting up to speed quickly. We were quicker in the Birel compared to my other kart the first time. The Birel has a lot of grip and is very stable so that is a confidence builder going into the finale."