Karting stars test for John Walko Racing

BeaveRun Karting Stars Shine in Star Mazda Test with JWR TRAFFORD, PA (November 13, 2006) -- John Walko continued a long running tradition he has had with the BeaveRun Karting community recently when he tested two young kart racers who ...

BeaveRun Karting Stars Shine in Star Mazda Test with JWR

TRAFFORD, PA (November 13, 2006) -- John Walko continued a long running tradition he has had with the BeaveRun Karting community recently when he tested two young kart racers who participated in the BeaveRun Championship Kart Series. Timmy Wilson and Matt Machiko were the lucky drivers who earned the chance of a lifetime to climb behind the wheel of one of the machines that powered JWR to the 2006 Star Mazda Team Championship.

Walko chooses the drivers not only based on results but how the drivers handle themselves on and off the track. Wilson, a competitor in the Briggs Animal class at BeaveRun earned his chance two seasons ago but was unable to participate in the previous testing programs while Machiko was chosen following the 2005 season when he won his first of two Yamaha Junior Can titles at BeaveRun.

For Wilson it was his first experience of any kind behind the wheel of a race car.

"It was awesome, just amazing how these cars handle at this speed. The closest I've ever driven to anything like this is a kart; this is just a totally different ball game. It was so much fun driving this car and working with everyone, they really know what they are doing."

Machiko, who recently scored his second BeaveRun Karting title in a row, also was experiencing the thrill of being behind the wheel of something as powerful as the 240 horsepower Star Mazda machine for the first time.

"It was a whole new experience, a thrill, completely amazing! It was the most fun thing I've done in my life. I just have to thank the whole crew from John to Scott to Russ; everyone there was great and helped me so much."

For Walko the test validated what he sees in the kart racers coming out of the BeaveRun Championship Kart Series.

"I was blown away by Matt and Tim both. Compared to when we started this program, the times are more competitive and the drivers are making fewer mistakes. I have to attribute that to how hard they pound on each other week in and week out at BeaveRun. Maybe our cars are developed more since then but these kids never even put a wheel off in the grass, never made any mistakes."

Walko also noted that the duo was very fast by standards, particularly for their first times ever in a race car.

"They were just a second or so off of Tim Megenbier's pace the day before and he has a lot of experience in Skip Barber and Bondurant cars. Matt ran a low 54 and handled himself very well, I was impressed. He did amazingly well. Tim ran WKA Gold Cup before but had never raced a car or ran a car school and he did extremely well running mid 53's. Again, not a mistake. He was very smooth, perfect downshifts, never put a wheel off."

Scot Silbaugh, Race Director for the BeaveRun Championship Kart Series, was thrilled to see his racers earn this opportunity.

"This is really exciting to see racers who started with us when they were just young kids earn this kind of opportunity. And to see them do so well right out of the gate just proves that the competition level at BeaveRun and the facility itself help to develop excellent skills. We are fortunate to have someone like John provide this opportunity. I don't think an aspiring kart racer could find a program like this at any other track; we are very lucky."

JWR will start their off season testing program in earnest at Road Atlanta. Charles Anti and Russell Walker, two key members of the 2006 Championship winning team, will be among those drivers testing for JWR at Road Atlanta.

Drivers interested in participating in the off season testing program are encouraged to contact the team soon. Also, drivers interested in discussing their 2007 racing programs should contact John Walko Racing at info@johnwalkoracing.com . Additional team information can be found at www.johnwalkoracing.com.

-credit: jwr

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Skip Barber , Russell Walker , Charles Anti