JRCS: Next Unser Goes to School

The Next Unser Generation Takes to The Track Al Jr's son prepares for his open wheel racing career at Russell Racing School Sonoma, CA. The racing world has gotten used to seeing two generations of Unsers at major race venues, but the...

The Next Unser Generation Takes to The Track

Al Jr's son prepares for his open wheel racing career at Russell Racing School

Sonoma, CA. The racing world has gotten used to seeing two generations of Unsers at major race venues, but the father and son Unser team attending The Russell Racing School at Sears Point Raceway last week had a decidedly new look. USAC and CART Champion (and two time Indy 500 winner) Al Unser Junior and his wife Shelley were on hand to observe and encourage their 16 year old son Al as he received his first formal open wheel race training at the hands of Russell's instruction staff.

Trading in the go-karts he has raced in his home state of New Mexico for a 2 Liter Russell Formula Mitsubishi racecar, the younger Al Jr. passed Russell's 3-day Techniques of Racing Course (TRC) with flying colors. The TRC is the first level in the "Russell Pyramid" system of race training - the same system that launched the careers of many past and present racing champions - including Al Jr's fellow Indy Car champions Emerson Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan and Jacques Villeneuve.

"Even though I was tempted just to tell him everything I know," joked Marlboro Team Penkse's top driver, "we felt now was the time to get our son into a proven career development program. I know that Russell has the most effective and true-to-life training programs and I think this will definitely give Al the best racing experience he can get."

The other first time racing students attending the TRC were somewhat amazed to find themselves hanging out with and being observed by one of racing's most popular champions. In addition, participants in Russell's yearlong apprentice program for racing mechanics were treated to an hour-long presentation and Q&A session with one of their biggest heroes.

The next challenge for Al Jr., (the son,) is to find time in his high school schedule to return for the Russell Advanced Racing Course in November of this year. After that, he will be eligible for the 18 race USAC Formula Russell Championship Series and The Russell/USAC Triple Crown Pro Series.

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About this article
Series Other open wheel
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Al Unser Sr. , Danny Sullivan