'Stars Of Tomorrow' test washed out in California

Five young karters looking forward to their first ride in a Champ Car were disappointed when localized showers on the Fontana circuit postponed a scheduled day behind the wheel of a Team Rahal race car. After delays and efforts by track...

Five young karters looking forward to their first ride in a Champ Car were disappointed when localized showers on the Fontana circuit postponed a scheduled day behind the wheel of a Team Rahal race car. After delays and efforts by track personnel to dry the surface, the test was rescheduled. This was the second time the scheduled test had been washed out since the drivers earned the chance to test the car by winning the event at the Las Vegas Karting Center in November.

The rain may have dampened the track, but not the spirits of the five drivers. Jonathan Bomarito, A.J. Allmendinger, Jason Bowles, Brett Buckwalter, and Kevin Christensen were all understandably eager to get behind the wheel of the Champ Car that sported a special "Stars of Tomorrow" paint livery.

The Stars of Tomorrow are race winners from the three senior karting classes -- Pro Superbox, Pro 80cc Gearbox and Pro 125 Gearbox -- and two "at-large" picks chosen by Skip Barber Racing School instructors and drivers Casey Mears, Richie Hearn, Claude Bourbonnais, Memo Gidley, Alex Barron, Paul Tracy, Alex Tagliani and Bryan Herta, plus Champ Car Editor Jeremy Shaw.

Towards late afternoon, as a light drizzle continued to fall, Skip Barber trained Bryan Herta took the car out on rain tires to insure that the motor and chassis were functioning properly for the test. It was Herta, a veteran CART driver, who was the impetus behind the Stars of Tomorrow project, putting the event together at the track that he co-owns with Hollis and Carol Brown, as well as securing CART's, Skip Barber's and Team Rahal's participation.

-Andrew Torres

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