Casey Neal Red Bull Semi-Finals Report
Casey Neal 17, of Middletown, Ohio started the Red Bull Driver Search Semi-Finals very well. During Tuesday's driving exercises he completed the wet skid pad, the autocross, the shifting and braking sessions with no miscues. As the first day came to an end, all the competitors were put on the track for one session to familiarize themselves with the track configuration. Neal finished that session over 4 seconds a lap faster than his nearest competitor.
Wednesday morning, the Red Bull Semi-Finalist started on the pole as he took to the track for some very serious timed race sessions. The young driver immediately set the fastest laps with no other drivers very close on the timing charts. Six sessions later the young star had won all the morning races. For the afternoon races, Casey started off with the same results, winning the first two sessions by over six seconds. The Red Bull judges then decided to invert the field and with Casey starting last, he won both of those sessions by over 4 seconds. For the last few races the judges had the drivers change cars with Casey being assigned the slowest car from the earlier races. Casey then won that race from the pole and set the fastest lap time of the day yet again. With the field now inverted and Casey starting last for the final race, he was in the lead by lap two and set his fastest lap time of the entire event, winning by 8 seconds. Amazing would be an understatement for what the young driver had accomplished. Casey won every race session and was virtually unchallenged through the entire event. The decision was then made declaring Casey Neal the winner of the Red Bull Driver Search Semi-Finals.
Asked about what had just happened, Casey said "I came down here totally focused on what needed to be done. I wanted this more than anything else. I knew I could do it, if I was just given the chance. Dad and I have worked really hard for three years to get in the position we find ourselves now. The Red Bull Driver Search has been our true long term goal all along. I can't wait to get into the faster cars"
Now Casey is off to the Red Bull training facility in Austria where his physical strength and abilities will be evaluated. Then he will be off to Estoril, Portugal for a final test in a Formula Renault 2 liter and an F3 car. Scott Speed, Colin Fleming and John Edwards will be there to give their input and help ease the transition into the high down force cars.
Casey said afterwards "I would like to sincerely thank Red Bull, Danny Sullivan, Maxim Sports Management and Skip Barber for the chance to show what I have to offer the racing world. Without them, no one in America would have much of a chance to enter into the European racing scene. Thanks Red Bull."