SBRS: Rio Big Scholarship Finalists Announced

Skip Barber Announces Rio Big Scholarship Field LAKEVILLE, Conn. - The Skip Barber Racing School is pleased to announce the 11 invitees for the 1998 Rio Big Scholarship Shootout. The drivers where chosen based on their ...

Skip Barber Announces Rio Big Scholarship Field

LAKEVILLE, Conn. - The Skip Barber Racing School is pleased to announce the 11 invitees for the 1998 Rio Big Scholarship Shootout.

The drivers where chosen based on their performance this season in one of the four Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series championships. The winner of the Rio Big Scholarship Shootout, which will be held on Dec. 7-9, will receive a full season (valued at $175,000) in the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

The Rio Big Scholarship Shootout nominees are: Tim Enoch of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Kip Gulseth of Manitowoc, Wis.; Eric Jones of Granger, Iowa; Matt Plumb of Unionville, Pa.; Randy Puro of Emeryville, Calif.; Ryan Hunter-Reay of Boca Raton, Florida; Joshua Rehm of Plymouth, Mass.; Chris Sullivan of Canton, Mich.; Michael Topp of Englishtown, N.J.; Michael Valiante of Vancouver, B.C., Canada; and Roger Yasukawa of Santa Monica, Calif.

The 1998 Rio Big Scholarship Shootout will begin on Dec. 7 at the Physical & Mental Readiness and Auto Racing Performance program at Human Performance International (HPI) in Daytona Beach, Fla. In the seminar, the drivers will learn more about the interaction of physical and mental abilities in high-performance driving.

The next two days will test the drivers’ racing and qualifying skills in the 240-horsepower Dodge-powered Reynard 98E car used in the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Personal interviews and media relations will also be part of the judging process, as well as the ability of the drivers to analyze and evaluate data acquistion.

The Rio Big Scholarship, which is sponsored by the Rio All-Suite Casino Resort in Las Vegas, is one of the top prizes in the $1 million Skip Barber Ladder System. The scholarship program provides financial and coaching assistance, helping young, talented drivers progress from Karting to the CART FedEx Championship Series.

The Barber Dodge Pro Series, televised on ESPN2, is recognized internationally as the premier development series for up-and-coming racing drivers. The Pro Series has produced such talents as CART FedEx star Bryan Herta, Indy Racing League champion Kenny Bräck, and Juan Pablo Montoya, the newest member of the Target/Chip Ganassi Racing Team,

An acclaimed panel of judges will evaluate the candidates' abilities. The 1998 team of judges includes professional drivers Robbie Buhl, Dorsey Schroeder, Kelly Collins, Jim Pace, Barry Waddell, and Peter Argetsinger, ESPN2 commentator and former professional driver Jeremy Dale, and auto racing journalists Jeremy Shaw and Gordon Kirby.

The winners of the four regional Skip Barber Formula Dodge Race Series (Eastern, Southern, Midwestern and Western) received an automatic invitation to the Rio Big Scholarship Shootout. The remainder of the field was chosen by Formula Dodge Race Series instructors.

The Rio Big Scholarship Shootout Finalists

Tim Enoch, 26, of Mission Viejo, Calif. - Finished 5th in Formula Dodge Midwestern Series

Kip Gulseth, 26, of Manitowac, Wis. - Finished 3rd in Formula Dodge Midwestern Series

Eric Jones, 21, of Granger, Iowa - Skip Barber Karting Scholarship winner; finished 8th in Formula Dodge Midwestern Series

Matt Plumb, 24, of Unionville, Pa. - Formula Dodge Southern Series champion

Randy Puro, 26, of Emeryville, Calif. - Finished 2nd in Formula Dodge Western Series

Ryan Hunter-Reay, 17, of Boca Raton, Fla. - Skip Barber Karting Scholarship winner; finished 6th in Formula Dodge Southern Series

Josh Rehm, 20, of Plymouth Mass. - Formula Dodge Eastern Series champion

Chris Sullivan, 34, of Canton, Mich. - Finished 4th in Formula Dodge Midwestern Series

Michael Topp, 23, of Englishtown, N. J. - Finished 2nd in Formula Dodge Eastern Series

Michael Valiante, 19, of Vancouver, British Columbia - Formula Dodge Midwestern Series champion; Skip Barber Karting Scholarship winner

Roger Yasukawa, 21, of Santa Monica, Calif. - Formula Dodge Western Series champion

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Series OTHER OPEN WHEEL
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya , Kenny Brack , Michael Valiante , Kelly Collins , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Dorsey Schroeder , Joshua Rehm , Roger Yasukawa , Skip Barber , Eric Jones , Jeremy Shaw , Jim Pace , Chip Ganassi , Matt Plumb , Barry Waddell
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing