Team KOOL Green graciously opened the doors to their Champ Car factory for the drivers of the Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER on Friday, Aug. 4 prior to rounds 7 and 8 of the National Championship series at Putnam Park.
Team KOOL Green graciously opened the doors to their Champ Car factory for the drivers of the Formula Dodge National Championship Presented by RACER on Friday, Aug. 4 prior to rounds 7 and 8 of the National Championship series at Putnam Park. General Manager Kim Green led the tour for the group of 18 young drivers who aspire to one day have a Champ Car like the TKG Reynards prepared for them.
A complete tour of the factory, transporters and offices of the team provided the backdrop for Green to educate the Formula Dodge hopefuls on the realities of racing at that level.
"The greatest drivers in the world will have a very good feel for what the race car is doing. When they get into a team situation or class of racing where they can make adjustments to the cars they can talk to their engineers to make the car go faster," advised Green. "Certainly in the race you drive what you've got, drive around the problems. The younger age a driver learns that the better it will be for them in their careers."
Following the tour on Friday afternoon, Green took the time to attend the seventh round of the Formula Dodge National Championships at Putnam Park.
"I was impressed with the car (Formula Dodge R/T 2000). It looks like a very well balanced racecar," said Green. "The National Championship race in particular was a very competitive race all the way to the end. It seemed like the racecars were all very, very close which means that the drivers' skill is very much a part of it.
"The Skip Barber group provides a genuine platform for young drivers to get involved in a well prepared, fairly high-tech race series, and it seems like a pretty good value," Green continued. "It certainly provides a steppingstone for these young drivers to go to the next level, and all the way to Champ Car or even Formula 1."
Green also added that in modern day racing, the necessity for drivers to bring large budgets with them often precluded talented drivers with no cash from racing. He lamented the fact that unlike golf where a small investment in clubs is all an aspiring golfer needs, the business of racing was much more complicated.
The Scholarships that Skip Barber Racing School provides deserving drivers goes a long way toward offsetting that fact. Yet Green conceded that the onus is on the sport itself to come up with a better long-term solution.
- George Tamayo