WKA: 1600: Michael McDowell signs with Mayer Motorsports Fran-Am 1600 team

Mayer Motorsports and Michael McDowell to contest 2002 Fran-Am 1600 Championship Series with World Speed Motorsports Aspen, CO (January 25, 2002) - Bill Mayer, president of Mayer Motorsports, Inc. (MMI), today announced that MMI will campaign ...

Mayer Motorsports and Michael McDowell to contest 2002 Fran-Am 1600 Championship Series with World Speed Motorsports

Aspen, CO (January 25, 2002) - Bill Mayer, president of Mayer Motorsports, Inc. (MMI), today announced that MMI will campaign karting standout Michael McDowell in the 2002 Fran-Am 1600 Championship Series. The MMI entry will be fielded by World Speed Motorsports, based in Palm Springs, California.

"We view the Fran-Am series as a natural extension of our 'Building Kids Through Motorsports' program," said Mayer. "After testing several candidates, we felt Michael best characterized the well-rounded ideals of our organization. Not only is he fast, but he is also a terrific spokesperson and exemplifies the commitment it takes to be a success. Our goal this year is to win the 1600 Championship, then compete in the Fran-Am 1600 and 2000 classes in 2003 and beyond. This step will complete our ladder system of providing an avenue for the hard core racer to have a path from karting to professional racing. We're delighted that World Speed shares our philosophy, and we look forward to getting the season underway."

"This is a great opportunity for all of us," said McDowell, of Phoenix, Arizona. "I'm truly honored that Bill selected me to be his first driver in the Fran-Am series. We have a great history of success together in karting and hope to continue that tradition in professional racing. Coming from shifter karts, the Fran-Am 1600 has been very easy to adapt to. It's quick, precise and extremely fun to drive. It's also comforting to have the expertise of such an accomplished team as World Speed Motorsports on our side."

"We're definitely excited to be in this position," said Chuck West, owner of World Speed Motorsports. "We pride ourselves on advancing the careers of young drivers and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that. Michael was very quick from his first moment behind the wheel, and the Fran-Am car has run flawlessly in every outing. The build quality of the car is excellent and we're really excited about the season ahead."

McDowell, 17, began racing competitively at just three and one-half years of age. His karting accomplishments include more than 80 main event wins and numerous championships including the 1997 WKA 100cc Jr. National title. McDowell also holds the distinction of being the first American junior driver to podium in a North American championship event. Most recently, he competed with Team MMI and Birel karts in the SuperPro class on the SKUSA ProMoto Tour.

The Fran-Am 1600 car features the latest in single-seat racing technology including a Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 1.6-liter/123-horsepower motor, 5-speed sequential gearbox and spec-Michelin Sport racing slicks. The cost for a complete car including the engine is $29,500.

The 2002 Fran-Am 1600 West Coast series will be operated by the National Auto Sport Association (NASA) and include eight events. Each race features a Michelin International-supported $7,000 prize fund, with the series champion winning a complete Fran-Am 2000 race car.

The eight-race 2002 1600 Fran-Am West Coast series is scheduled to begin on August 4 at Thunderhill Raceway in Northern California and conclude on December 1 at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix. The Cal Club region of the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) has also pledged its acceptance of the Fran-Am 1600 and 2000 cars to compete at the regional level.

Based in Livermore, California, MMI is a premier race kart dealer, specializing in the retail sale and distribution of Birel karts, parts and high performance karting accessories. MMI was founded in 2000 and has quickly established itself as a leading provider to club, amateur and professional kart racing markets. Services range from kart preparation and engine services, to kart racing schools and race 'arrive and drive' programs. MMI is committed to growing the kart racing market through such trademarked programs as "Building Kids Through Motorsports" and "Team MMI Kart Racing."

Further information is available at www.fran-am.com, www.mmikarting.com, and www.worldspeed.com.

-mmi-

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Series Kart , Other open wheel
Drivers Michael McDowell