BESNARD NAMED FIRST TEAM ALL-AMERICAN BY MOTORSPORTS PRESS
FAIRFIELD, N.J. (December 14, 1998) -- Reigning U.S. F2000 National Champion David Besnard has been named to the prestigious American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association All-American First Team, joining such American racing superstars as Jeff Gordon, Mark Martin, Alex Zanardi and John Force.
The AARWBA All-American team is split into six categories of American racing voted on by the motorsports press. Besnard, the first U.S. F2000 driver to ever be nominated to the ballot, received enough votes to make the First Team in the At Large category. Second Team and Honorable Mention honors were also awarded.
Other First Teamers include: Open Wheel - Zanardi (FedEx CART Champion) and Kenny Brack (Pep Boys IRL Champion); Stock Car - Gordon (Winston Cup Champion) and Martin (Winston Cup Runner-Up); Road Racing - Butch Leitzinger (PSCR WSC Champion and USRRC Can-Am Runner-Up) and Paul Gentilozzi (BFGoodrich Tires Trans-Am Champion); Drag Racing - Force and Gary Scelzi (both NHRA Champions); Short Track - Dale Earnhardt Jr. (Busch Grand National Champion) and Ron Hornaday Jr. (Craftsman Trucks Champion); and At Large - Cristiano da Matta (Indy Lights Champion) and Besnard.
The top vote-getter on the First Team will be awarded the Jerry Titus Award -- the equivalent of College Football's Heisman Award for American motor sports. The Titus Award will be kept secret until the AARWBA All-American banquet, January 16.
"I'm learning more and more about the All-American team and I have to say this is quite an honor," said Besnard. "That's some pretty good company to be with on the First Team. It would be unbelievable to be honored with the Jerry Titus award, but I'd have to say my money is on Zanardi. I really like some of the passes he pulled off this year."
Besnard re-wrote the U.S. F2000 record book this season, recording eight wins and eight poles, earning the most money and highest point total ever. He is currently weighing options for 1999, which include opportunities in the KOOL Toyota/Atlantic Championship, PPG-Dayton Indy Lights and Japanese Formula 3. The 21-year old Australian visited Texas Motor Speedway last Thursday, where his test with A.J. Foyt Enterprises' Indy Racing League team was rained out. The test will be rescheduled for a later date.
Besnard also plans to drive in the 1999 Rolex 24 At Daytona, but has yet to finalize any details.