LAS VEGAS, Nev. (May 10, 2001) -- The Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow, a premier karting challenge founded last season by veteran Champ Car driver Bryan Herta and partner Hollis Brown to identify and showcase future stars of CART,...
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (May 10, 2001) -- The Championship Auto Racing Teams Stars of Tomorrow, a premier karting challenge founded last season by veteran Champ Car driver Bryan Herta and partner Hollis Brown to identify and showcase future stars of CART, begins its four-race series this weekend at the Las Vegas Karting Center in Las Vegas, Nev., with the third annual MOMO Grand Prix.
Young karters from across the country will converge on the 13-turn, 7/8-mile road course to compete in Round One of the newly-formed championship, which features top young drivers from the ages of 16 and up competing in two classes -- Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max 125 (non-shifter).
"As a one-off event last year, Stars of Tomorrow more than exceeded Hollis' and my expectations," said Herta, who began his career in karts. "We are proud to see the series take the next step to become a four-race championship, and we hope that it will continue to grow in prestige and notoriety."
Through the support of CART, Skip Barber, Inc., MOMO, Team Rahal, Firestone, Honda, Bosch and SSC Racing, the Stars of Tomorrow program once again offers an unprecedented prize package.
In addition to $40,000 in cash prizes, the first and second-place drivers in the Pro 125 Shifter and Rotax-Max classes at the conclusion of the championship will receive a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School and a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car. The winner of the Pro 125 Shifter class also will receive a full season of competition in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship Series presented by Racer in 2002 -- the Official National Amateur Championship of CART.
Rounds Two through Four of the Stars of Tomorrow Championship will be held as part of the US Shifter Nationals in Norman, Okla., on July 6-8; the SKUSA World Finals again in Norman, Okla., on September 21-23; and the SKUSA Super Nationals in Las Vegas, Nev., on November 9-11.
In furthering to help bridge the gap between karting and CART, the Las Vegas Karting Center will be coordinating support races to be held during the CART FedEx Championship Series events at Portland, Ore. (June 22 -- 24), Cleveland, Ohio (June 29 -- July 1), and Laguna Seca, Calif. (October 12 -- 14).
"I want to thank CART for giving us an opportunity to expose karting to the public," said Herta. "I think everyone is really going to enjoy seeing just how high-performance these machines really are."
Last year, five karters -- Kevin Christensen, Jason Bowles, Jonathan Bomarito, AJ Allmendinger and Brett Buckwalter -- edged out stiff competition to earn the Stars of Tomorrow title. The quintet capped off a three-day visit to the Skip Barber Racing School with the opportunity of a lifetime -- a test in the Team Rahal Champ Car on the California Speedway road course in Fontana, Calif., last November.
"This is one of the biggest events I have been involved with," said 20-year-old Star of Tomorrow Kevin Christensen.
The 2000 Stars of Tomorrow challenge can be seen on Speedvision beginning this weekend. The one-hour feature will air on May 12 at 2:00 pm and 9:00 pm ET, as well as 3:00 pm ET on May 14 and 1:00 pm ET on May 28.