Rookie Formula Ford pilot scores victory at Celebration '99 event

BOWMANVILLE, ON -- (October 5, 1999) - Former karting star Marc Miller stood atop the victory podium during Mosport Park's Celebration '99 festivities this past weekend after winning the competitive Formula Ford segment of the annual season-ending event. The Zeeland, MI driver started Sunday's final from the outside of the front row and dominated every lap enroute to his first FF1600 victory in only his third experience in the class. FF1600 is regarded as an important career stepping stone for aspiring racers.

"I really needed this win," offered an enthusiastic Miller. "It has been a rough season for me to be watching so many great races and not out there competing. I haven't had much seat time this season so it was a relief to be able to do so well after a long lay-off."

After sitting out most of the season due to budget restraints, Miller was back in the seat of his KGB Kart Racing '98 Van Diemen after being reunited with Britain West Motorsports, the long-time Canadian FF specialists that gave Miller his first Formula Ford opportunity at last year's Celebration weekend. A disappointing DNF at the Toronto Molson Indy was Miller's only other formula car outing this year and despite the lull in action, Miller's reunion with Britain West's Clubine family was smooth from the very start.

"It was great to have Marc back in the seat for this race. We have always worked well together in the past and it didn't take long for him to get up to speed," remarked David Clubine, Britain West Team Manager. "We were confident that Marc could come away with a victory this year as he almost did last year and we are very interested in continuing a relationship with him for next season."

Saturday's qualifying and heat race were both conducted in the rain, making aggression a treacherous but necessary approach. Miller was driving a Formula Ford in the wet for the very first time and managed to qualify ninth out of the 23 teams that were on hand for the prestigious event. Miller overcame an early-race spin to take an impressive second in the 15-minute sprint, keeping his cool throughout the race while using it as a warm-up for Sunday's final.

"After it's all said and done, I was actually happy to get some seat time in the rain," Miller said. "Although it was uncomfortable at first, I settled down and ran my own smooth and consistent race and I now look forward to be able to race in these conditions again."

Since last year's Rookie of the Year and runner-up points position in Canada 's Pro F1200 championship, Miller's only training has been in his six-speed gearbox KGB shifter kart during the summer. As Chief Test Driver with karting's premier publication, Shifter Kart Illustrated, Miller has logged many laps in the 120 mph machines to stay focused. As is becoming more popular with CART's top competitors, this shifter kart experience has allowed Miller to keep his skills fine-tuned and sharp. This shifter program will continue during the off-season as a number of Florida winter events are planned, while Miller and his team re-focus their marketing attention on the 2000 season and a possible full season open wheel program.