CHAMPCAR/CART: CSOT: Las Vegas practice begins

Las Vegas, Nevada (Nov. 9) ­ Official practice for the final event in the Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow challenge began today at the Las Vegas Karting Center in Las Vegas, Nevada with both series titles and the payout of...

Las Vegas, Nevada (Nov. 9) ­ Official practice for the final event in the Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow challenge began today at the Las Vegas Karting Center in Las Vegas, Nevada with both series titles and the payout of $20,000 in season- end points funds still to be decided.

More than 300 competitors are in attendance for Stars of Tomorrow and the companion Shifter Kart USA SuperNationals race weekend. The fourth and final event of the season, the Stars of Tomorrow will feature competition in both the 125 Shifter and Rotax Max classes.

In addition to the $20,000 points fund, an additional $20,000 already was paid this year in race purses at each event though CART sponsorship of the program. Additional rewards for the class champions will include three-day Skip Barber Racing Schools, a fully-paid ride in the 2002 Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship and a test session in a full-fledged Champ Car provided by Team Rahal.

Building on the success of last year's event, the "Stars" concept aims to provide solid opportunities for deserving kart racers to further their careers towards an eventual goal of competing in the CART FedEx Championship Series.

"I've been extremely impressed by the level and intensity of competition we've seen all season," said event co-founder and Champ Car racer Bryan Herta. "There's an incredible amount of racing talent in karting today, and our goal is to provide a legitimate stepping stone for them to further their careers."

"Taking this program from a `one-off' event last year to a complete championship series has been a lot of work for a small, but dedicated group of people," said Hollis Brown, the other co-creator of the series. "But I believe we'll see the real payoff in a couple of year's time as some of these talented young drivers become household names."

One of last year's winners, A.J. Allmendinger, this year is contending for the Formula Dodge championship, and will be racing Formula Ford in New Zealand this winter as part of the Team USA scholarship program.

Final practice and qualifying action will take place tomorrow here at the Las Vegas Karting Center, with both the Shifter Kart and Rotax Max races on Sunday.

-HM-

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Series IndyCar , Kart
Drivers Bryan Herta , A.J. Allmendinger , Skip Barber