"MY HEART WAS IN MY THROAT!" Winners of Red Bull Drivers Search Ready to Train for Formula One April 30, 2005 AUSTIN, TX They're fast. They're smart. They're going to Boston to compete for sponsorship for the most prestigious title in the world...
"MY HEART WAS IN MY THROAT!"
Winners of Red Bull Drivers Search Ready to Train for Formula One
April 30, 2005 AUSTIN, TX They're fast. They're smart. They're going to Boston to compete for sponsorship for the most prestigious title in the world of motorsports. And they're not even out of school.
In all, 20 aspiring young racecar drivers took to the track at Austin's Iron Rock Raceway today in the Red Bull Drivers Search elimination race, a competition designed to find the young American most capable of competing for the Formula One championship.
The winners: Kyle Maynard, 13, Alex Rose, 16, Macie Wyly, 14.
As the top three drivers of this Central Texas race, the three will proceed to Boston for the Eastern U.S. runoff in August. The final winner will begin professional training at tracks around the nation and the world, sponsored by Red Bull.
"I'm going to going to give them a hard time up there," said Maynard, still flushed after coming off the grid in first place.
"I got a pretty good start, so I thought I could win today if I didn't make any big mistakes," said Rose, second place winner. "I started driving when I was 11, so I've been doing this a while." Stopping to think, he adds, "Wow, five years, that's a long time ago."
"I could feel my heart beating in my throat!" exclaimed Wyly, her long hair moist after a full day under her helmet. "Hey Mom," she says over her cell phone, "I'm going to Boston!"
The Red Bull Driver Search program was launched in 2002 to address the lack of American presence at the pinnacle of motor racing: the Formula 1 World Championship. Participants compete in race karts at facilities around the U.S. Eventually, Red Bull intends to have a steady group of four to six American drivers racing in Europe, groomed to break into Formula 1 and compete for the Championship. Already, three Red Bull drivers are in training, one only a single race away from Formula One.
But why so young? And why karts?
"The top drivers in the world start quite young," said Graham Peace of MRP-Austin, which maintains Iron Rock Raceway's sales, service, rental and corporate services and coordinated the Driver Search for Red Bull. "During the teenaged years, their senses and reflexes are at their best, and they have the energy it takes to withstand often grueling races."
Karts like many of those used at Iron Rock Raceway are what Formula One drivers use to keep sharp. "Our 125cc shifter karts with the Birel competition chassis can go 0 to 90 in five seconds," he said. "Master those machines, and you're ready to step up to Formula racing." "I'd like to drive Formula One," says Macie. "I hear they're sentimental like touchy and I've got a need for speed, so that's the next step up.
"And girls should be in Formula One. And they should win."
Located at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, Iron Rock Raceway is one of the nation's first country clubs devoted primarily to kart racing. MRP of Austin is the largest importer of Birel chassis and Freeline accessories in North America with over 40 dealers throughout the United States. For more information on Iron Rock Raceway or MRP of Austin, call 512/530-RACE (7223) or visit www.ironrockraceway.com or www.mrpofaustin.com.