SKUSA: Lynx Racing Las Vegas preview

Even The Sharpest Kinfe... Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing driver Michael Valiante in the Super Pro 125 shifter race at the SKUSA Super Nationals at the Las Vegas Karting Center, November 10 -11 - Michael Valiante is the newest full-time driver for...

Even The Sharpest Kinfe...

Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing driver Michael Valiante in the Super Pro 125 shifter race at the SKUSA Super Nationals at the Las Vegas Karting Center, November 10 -11

- Michael Valiante is the newest full-time driver for Lynx Racing, a unique, championship-winning racing team and driver development program owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty.

- Lynx is a two-time champion in the CART Toyota Atlantic series, the official training series for drivers hoping to move up to the CART FedEx series. Lynx graduates include CART drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.

- Valiante, a many-time national and international karting champion and graduate of the Barber Dodge Pro Series, ran a part-time schedule of five races with Lynx this year, finishing second twice and coming in 9th in the championship. He designed and developed the ItalKart 125cc shifter kart he will race this weekend.

Even the sharpest knife needs to be honed regularly, and that's just what Lynx Racing's newest driver, Michael Valiante, will be doing this weekend at a dusty kart track on the outskirts of Las Vegas.

Valiante, who drove a part time schedule of five races with Lynx in 2001 and moves up to a full-time ride in #19 Lynx Racing Swift 014.a in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic series, will race his 125cc ItalKart shifter kart in the 'Super Pro' class at the Super Karts USA (SKUSA) Super Nationals on November 10 - 11 at the Las Vegas Karting Center. This is the World Series of karting, and top drivers from across the country and around the world will be competing.

Although no longer a full-time kart racer now that his open-wheel career is heating up, Valiante is very much at home at this level of competition. He has won both national and international karting championships on his way up the ladder, including the SKUSA championship in 1998 - and he finished second to winner Memo Gidley (a Lynx Racing graduate now driving for Target Chip Ganassi in the CART FedEx series) in 1999. He started fourth in this event last year, but went out with a blown engine.

What will make this weekend all the more interesting is that his family owns ItalKart, one of the top companies in the sport, and he designed and did the development driving on the kart he'll be racing with a TM power plant. A sizeable portion of this weekend's field, including Valiante teammates Jordy Vorrath and David Jurca, will be racing Italkart chassis.

"The challenge for me this weekend will me as much psychological as physical," says Valiante, 21, of Vancouver, B.C. "Now that I'm the guy with the Lynx ride, everyone this weekend will be looking to beat me - and it's going to be tough. Karting has been my life since I was a kid, but you have to do it full-time to run at the front at this level. Even Michael Schumacher got beat in a big German kart race he ran recently. That said, I've taken my preparations very seriously and I'm going into this weekend intending to win, just like I do every time I drive."

2002 will mark the 12th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's mental, psychological and spiritual growth in addition to their on-track skills.

The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'Destiny by Design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.

For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please contact the team's public relations manager, Peter Frey, at (818) 906-6997 or visit the team's web site at www.lynxracing.com. For more information about the Michael Valiante and ItalKart, visit www.italianmotors.com and www.italkart.com. For more information about Super Karts USA, visit www.skusaonline.com.

-Lynx Racing-

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Series Kart
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , Michael Valiante , Chip Ganassi