IRL: IRL to sponsor Stars of Karting

Indy Racing League to Sponsor Stars of Karting Series FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday, Oct. 16, 2004 -- In a continuing effort to support entry-level racing while building grassroots support of the Indy Racing League, executives from the IRL and the...

Indy Racing League to Sponsor Stars of Karting Series

FORT WORTH, Texas, Friday, Oct. 16, 2004 -- In a continuing effort to support entry-level racing while building grassroots support of the Indy Racing League, executives from the IRL and the Stars of Karting announced Oct. 16 that the Indy Racing League will serve as the presenting sponsor of the Snap-on Stars of Karting Series through the 2007 season.

The Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League was designed to establish the proper structure and competition in American karting to allow a new generation of American racing stars to flourish. Karts have been the career starting point for Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Gil de Ferran, Dario Franchitti and Bryan Herta, among many others.

The Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League is an eight-race championship, divided into Western and Eastern divisions, with each division supporting six different classes of racing. The current class structure consists of ICC (125cc Shifter), ICA (100cc Direct Drive), 80cc Junior (80cc Shifter), JICA (100cc Clutch), EasyKart (125cc Clutch) and Cadet (80cc Clutch).

"We are excited to team with the Stars of Karting to further develop the league's future stars and fans on a grassroots level," said Ken Ungar, senior vice president of business affairs for the Indy Racing League. "This partnership provides a great opportunity to promote our league and style of racing while increasing accessibility to our sport. Through programs like the Stars of Karting and USAC's 'Road to Indy,' we're able to help cultivate young talent by providing logical steps in the development of future Indy Racing League participants."

Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by the Indy Racing League is based at Rahal Letterman Racing headquarters in Hilliard, Ohio, sanctioned by the World Karting Association (WKA) and owned and operated by 1986 Indianapolis 500 champion and IRL IndyCar Series® team owner Bobby Rahal, IndyCar Series driver Bryan Herta and veteran karting promoter Paul Zalud.

"We really are looking forward to building this relationship with the IRL," Rahal said. "I want to thank (IRL President and CEO) Tony George, Ken Ungar and the entire IRL group for their support of the Stars of Karting and joining our good friends at Snap-on as a major partner. I think the two series working together will form a strong union, benefiting fans and young drivers alike for years to come."

Every Stars competitor, official, kart and vehicle will carry the IRL brand logo. In addition, the IRL will gain exclusive access to Stars' competitors, teams, fans and the karting community through specialized marketing programs.

"The entire Stars of Karting Series is extremely happy and honored to be part of the IRL racing family," Herta said. "As people know, karting is often the key starting point of some of the most prolific motorsports careers, including many of the current IRL drivers such as myself. In fact, there is a large group of us who stay in shape during the off-season by driving these karts. Beyond that, though, there is great competition throughout the entire Stars' field, and I think IRL fans are really going to enjoy watching these talented drivers go wheel-to-wheel."

The 2004 season finale, the Snap-on Stars of Karting Presented by the Indy Racing League National Championships, will take place Nov. 12-14 on a temporary circuit at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Orlando, Florida. The Stars' 2005 schedule will be released soon.

For more information on the Stars of Karting, please visit their website at www.starsofkarting.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar , Kart
Drivers Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Dario Franchitti , Bryan Herta