WKA: CSOT: Stars of Tomorrow, SCCA/WKA Constructors merger announced

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CART Stars of Tomorrow and SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship to merge. INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (December 20, 2002) -- Officials from the CART Stars of Tomorrow and WKA/SCCA Pro Racing Constructors Championship announced today that the...

CART Stars of Tomorrow and SCCA Pro Racing/WKA Constructors Championship to merge.

INDIANAPOLIS, IN. (December 20, 2002) -- Officials from the CART Stars of Tomorrow and WKA/SCCA Pro Racing Constructors Championship announced today that the two groups will merge, effective immediately, into one organization. The national karting championship will be known as the CART Stars of Tomorrow and will be in association with WKA and SCCA Pro Racing.

CART Stars of Tomorrow will run the previously announced 2003 Constructors Championship class structure, including ICC, ICA, CIK World Formula, 80cc Shifter Junior, Yamaha Supercan and Cadet.

The 2003 schedule will be a combination of the two organizations' previously announced schedules, utilizing an East and West division format. Changes to the schedule include moving the fourth Eastern race from August 8-10 to September 19-21 at a venue to be announced later and the first Western event in February at Willow Springs has been rescheduled to now be the second event on June 6-8.

"I am simply thrilled at this announcement," said Stars founder Bryan Herta. "This consolidation of two of the major national karting organizations represent months of hard work on both sides. Stars has long wished to have this sort of cooperative arrangement in order to provide unity and stability in American karting, and now we have it."

"For once, major karting organizations are doing something about reducing the fragmentation in the industry," said Randy Kugler, World Karting Association President. "Two good organizations are now forming one terrific organization and keeping the focus on our customer -- the karter."

"This merger, and Stars recent association with SPEED Channel, is going to take karting to new heights, and we're glad to be a part of it," said Mitch Wright, SCCA Pro Racing Vice President and General Manager. "After some hard work by both sides, we were able to put together a tremendous new program."

As the leader of the "Rahal Group" which assumed ownership of Stars alongside Herta, racing luminary Bobby Rahal recognizes the potential of this affiliation.

"A strategic partnership such as this is long overdue in American karting," said Rahal. "Young open-wheel racers must have a clear and competitive path to success. That path just became clearer."

Stars and WKA will also co-operate a full regional program, providing the needed support series for the national series. Details on the regions and schedules will be soon forthcoming.

Licensing and membership will be administrated by Stars with national participants receiving a CART Stars Superlicense in association with the WKA and SCCA. "The Superlicense program as well as our regional membership programs give participants unrivaled access and benefits" said Paul Zalud, Stars Operations Director. "From the best insurance programs to rulebooks and magazine subscriptions, Stars, WKA, and SCCA present a rewarding and unified group of benefits to the karter."

CART and Stars will soon release their 2003 driver development awards program. WKA/SCCA Pro Racing will continue offering its Driver Scholarship Program, rewarding drivers with opportunities to participate in SCCA competition as a separate arrangement.

Further details about the merger, as well as the series rulebook, membership and licensing details, will be announced in the coming weeks.

The CART 'Stars of Tomorrow' karting series is the official first level in CART's driver development system and an officially sanctioned series of WKA/SCCA Pro Racing. Founded by racing star Bryan Herta and now owned in conjunction with a group of racing veterans, including three-time CART champion and Indy 500 winner Bobby Rahal, the Stars of Tomorrow serves as the first step for the CART driver development ladder. Stars focuses on recognizing the skills of the drivers rather than the technology development within the machines, using FIA/CIK International standards. More information can be found at www.cartstars.com.

-csot-

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