WKA: CSOT: Barber and Stars of Karting agreement announced

Snap-On Stars of Karting, Skip Barber Racing Announce Significantly Expanded Relationship HILLIARD, Ohio (July 19) - The Snap-On Stars of Karting and Skip Barber Racing have agreed to expand their existing relationship as part of an ongoing...

Snap-On Stars of Karting, Skip Barber Racing Announce Significantly Expanded Relationship

HILLIARD, Ohio (July 19) - The Snap-On Stars of Karting and Skip Barber Racing have agreed to expand their existing relationship as part of an ongoing effort that will continue to build their respective racing series, significantly reward top competitors, and provide leadership and growth for the sport of karting as a whole. The new agreements are through 2006, with options for further extensions.

Of particular note in the new agreement is a guarantee that for each year's Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Run-off (first conducted in 1997), at least half the field of nominated karters will be Stars of Karting drivers. At the annual Run-off, more than $100,000 in cash racing-scholarships are awarded to karters to compete in various Formula Dodge racing series, including the professional Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER.

For the January 2005 Karting Run-off, 16 karters will be nominated candidates, which means at least eight will be coming from the Stars of Karting series. Four awards are up for grabs: A full-paid season in the 2005 Skip Barber National; a half-paid season in the National; a full-paid season in any of the four Skip Barber Regional Series (West/East/South/Midwest); and a half-paid season in one of the Regionals.

In addition to the karting scholarship awards, Stars of Karting and Skip Barber Racing have agreed to continue the award of a fully paid season in the professional Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER to one top Stars karter, chosen by a distinguished motorsports panel at the conclusion of each year's Stars of Karting season. The first Stars of Karting driver to receive this award (in November 2003) was Robbie Pecorari, who is currently seventh in the 2004 Skip Barber National, with four top-5 finishes in eight races, including a second-place at Sebring.

Stars of Karting and Skip Barber Racing have also agreed to a cooperative marketing and promotional relationship that will provide exclusive benefits. With this, the Skip Barber Racing School becomes the Official Racing School of the Snap-On Stars of Karting, and includes Skip Barber trackside signage, event promotions, officials' uniforms and vehicles, and ID on competitor uniforms, karts, etc.

''This is a special day for everyone at the Snap-On Stars of Karting,'' said Bryan Herta, Stars principle and current IRL driver for Andretti-Green Racing. ''In our quest to further not only our series but the entire sport of karting, it is important to align ourselves with key, integral partners. We have done that with our title sponsor Snap-On, and now with Skip Barber Racing. They are recognized worldwide as the industry leader in driver development and the promotion of aspiring pro drivers.

''We want our competitors to be exposed to Skip Barber's years of expertise,'' Herta added. ''In fact, after my own karting career, I joined the Skip Barber ladder system (School, then Western Race Series, then Barber Pro Series) for the first four years of my auto racing career. Since Stars of Karting's infancy, Skip Barber Racing has supported us, and now we look forward to a long and even more fruitful relationship over the many years to come.''

Stu Upson, senior vice president of sales and marketing for Skip Barber Racing, said, ''This expansion and formalization between us is going to be a great asset to North American motorsport. Yes, Skip Barber Racing and Snap-On Stars of Karting will each benefit directly -- we both have a great opportunity to draw more competitors -- yet more importantly to the bigger picture of grassroots and beginning professional open-wheel competitors, this adds a particularly appealing rationalization to climbing the ladder from karts to racing's top ranks.''

The specific details, outlines and rewards of the new agreements and the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Run-off will be announced shortly.

Hilliard, Ohio-based Snap On Stars of Karting is sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA), the largest sanctioning body of kart racing in the United States. WKA is a membership-owned, non-profit organization that regulates and promotes the sport of competitive WKA kart racing. WKA establishes the rules and procedures to set standards by which to sanction tracks and conduct annual championships for various types of WKA karting. For more information, please visit www.worldkarting.com or contact WKA Headquarters at 704.455.1606.

Headquartered in Lakeville, Conn., the Skip Barber Racing School is the world's largest racing and driving school, operating at more than 20 race tracks across the U.S. and Canada. In addition to the Racing School and the Dodge/Skip Barber Driving School, it also owns and operates five prestigious open-wheel racing championships: The Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER, and the four Skip Barber Regional Formula Dodge championships (East, West, South and Midwest). Other components include the Corporate Events department and an innovative Special Projects Group, which as part of its responsibilities is active in the emerging youth/tuner/drifting market. More information is available by calling 860.435.1300, and at www.skipbarber.com.

Snap on Inc., is a leading global developer, manufacturer and marketer of tool and equipment solutions for professional tool users. Product lines include hand tools, power tools, automotive diagnostics and shop equipment, tool storage products, automotive diagnostics software and other solutions for the transportation service, industrial, government, education, agricultural, and other commercial applications, including construction and electrical. Products are sold through its franchise dealer van, company direct sales and distributor and internet channels. Founded in 1920, Snap-on is a $2+ billion, S&P 500 company headquartered in Kenosha, Wis., and employs approximately 14,000 worldwide. More information can be found at www.snap-on.com.

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Series Automotive , Kart
Drivers Bryan Herta , Skip Barber , Robbie Pecorari