WKA: IRL SoK: MRP-Birel America lineup for All-Stars Classic

Scott Speed, Alex Speed, and Jan Heylen Lead MRP-Birel America's All-Stars Karting Classic Assault Seattle , WA -- (November 22, 2007) : MRP-Birel America will head into the All-Stars Karting Classic at the PRI Show led by two of the ...

Scott Speed, Alex Speed, and Jan Heylen Lead MRP-Birel America's All-Stars Karting Classic Assault

Seattle , WA -- (November 22, 2007) : MRP-Birel America will head into the All-Stars Karting Classic at the PRI Show led by two of the most successful drivers in North American karting during the past decade. Scott Speed will represent the outfit in the Masters Division, and his brother Alex who will line up in the Karter Division. The brothers will be joined by ChampCar pilot Jan Heylen who will race in the Masters Category of the event.

Scott Speed, who in 2006 and 2007 represented the United States in Formula One driving for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, is a former Stars of Karting Series Champion (2001). He has now shifted his focus to stock car racing and will compete in the full 2008 ARCA season in the No. 2 Red Bull Camry with Eddie Sharp Racing. His brother Alex was the Snap-on Stars of Karting National Champion in the elite ICC (shifter) category in 2004 and 2005. After a year and a half away from the driver's seat Alex returned to the driver's seat in the Desert MINI National Finals in Las Vegas and won on his first race back. Scott and Alex will receive tuning support from their father Mike, one the most successful principals in North American karting. Mike Speed commented, "I am looking forward to working again with both of my sons at the same event. The event should be a great time to have some fun, but given our competitive nature, I'm sure we will do what we can to bring home wins for the Birel team."

Snap-on Stars of Karting Series President Paul Zalud is proud to see two of the most successful drivers in Series history take part in the marquee event in Orlando, "We have been fortunate to see both Scott and Alex succeed in our series and make their mark as the dominant drivers of their era in karting in North America. Personally I have taken a lot of satisfaction watching Scott rise up to Formula One and now tackle stock car racing. It will be great to see them be a part of this high-profile event."

ChampCar pilot Jan Heylen has a strong history with Birel as a factory driver. The 27-year old Belgian, whose best finish in 2007 was a runner-up spot in the Bavarian Grand Prix, has spent two seasons in the ChampCar World Series. During his karting days Heylen won the Belgian National Championship (Formula A category) and the Grand Prix de Monaco Kart Race (Formula Super A Category). "I'm really looking forward to competing at the All-Stars Karting Classic event. I'd like to thank MRP-Birel America and Oakley for coming together to make this possible. I'm looking to repay them with a top-finish."

The racing effort is coupled with MRP-Birel's appearance as an exhibitor at the PRI Trade Show with both their racing and rental kart product lines. "I visited the PRI show last year and saw that we could not pass up on the oppotunity to participate this year," said Marc Miller, Director of Brand Development for MRP Motorsport/Birel. "The All-Stars event will be a focus for us on Thursday and we are going to do everything in our power to showcase our products and drivers. We are especially excited, however, to network with several new business partners at the PRI show throughout the week and showing them what we have to offer."

The PRI show takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from December 6 -- 8th with the All-Stars Karting Classic taking place on the evening of December 6th and will feature some of the top names in North American racing battling it out in the Masters Division, and the top drivers from the Snap-on Stars of Karting Series squaring off in the Karter Division. Drivers confirmed to be participating in the Masters Division of the event include Jamie McMurray (NASCAR), A.J. Allmendinger (NASCAR) John Andetti (NASCAR / IndyCar), Marco Andretti (IndyCar), Bryan Herta (ALMS), Joey Hand (Grand-Am), Buddy Rice (IndyCar), Eddie Lawson (MotoGP), Scott Speed (F-1 / Stock Car), Jan Heylen (ChampCar), Wayne Taylor (Grand-Am), Michael Valiante (Grand-Am), Steve Johnson (NHRA) and many others to be announced in the coming weeks. Admission to the event is free. The event will be filmed for two separate television broadcasts on SPEED Channel's Lucas Oil on the Edge program thanks to support from Snap-on and Bridgestone.

-credit: sok

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Series Kart
Drivers Bryan Herta , Wayne Taylor , Michael Valiante , Joey Hand , Jamie McMurray , Scott Speed , A.J. Allmendinger , Marco Andretti , Eddie Lawson , Jan Heylen , Steve Johnson , Marc Miller
Teams Toro Rosso