Grand Prix Shootout newsletter 2009-09-28

Team USA Scholarship link tops busy week for GP Shootout Grand Prix Shootout ended another busy week of first round assessment days by strengthening its ties Stateside after welcoming two more exceptional American hopefuls onto the scheme last...

Team USA Scholarship link tops busy week for GP Shootout

Grand Prix Shootout ended another busy week of first round assessment days by strengthening its ties Stateside after welcoming two more exceptional American hopefuls onto the scheme last Friday.

American racers Connor de Phillippi and Brett Smrz have been handed free entries into this year's first round after winning the prestigious Team USA Scholarship programme. The pair, who faced stiff opposition from five other talented candidates, will now follow in the wheel tracks of such American superstars as former Champ Car champion Jimmy Vasser, Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice and Nascar pilot AJ Almendinger who are all previous recipients of the award.

Ironically, the duo will come up against another former winner in the shape of Josef Newgarden who stated his case for GP Shootout final selection earlier this month.

Grand Prix Shootout Managing Director David Fleming said: "We're delighted to offer Connor and Brett a place in this year's Shootout. Not many Americans have a chance to test themselves against Europe's finest young drivers so this is a great opportunity to see for themselves, and Peter Windsor, who's naturally taking a keen interest, how they measure up. As winners of the Team USA Scholarship we've no doubt that they will give a good account of themselves."

The pair will travel to Britain next month where they will take part in the same stringent driving examination set for seven more young hopefuls last Tuesday and Wednesday. Driving-coach-to-the-stars Rob Wilson was once again at Bruntingthorpe over the two days to put the likes of Formula BMW Americas frontrunners Gianmarco Raimondo and Alex Ellis, 2008 Formula BMW Asia champion Ross Jamison and reigning European Rotax Senior title holder Luke Varley through their paces.

Just four more assessment days are now planned before the nine finalists travel to Pembrey race circuit on November 23-25 where they will test a Raikkonen Roberston Racing-prepared Formula BMW Europe single seater. The driver who then demonstrates the greatest talent over those three days will be rewarded with a fully-paid drive in the F1-support series next season.

The penultimate assessment round takes place on October 20/21 before the last two days on November 4/5.

-credit: gps

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Series General
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Buddy Rice , Ross Jamison , Gianmarco Raimondo , Josef Newgarden , Brett Smrz , Connor de Phillippi