Champ Car hopeful to be awarded Skip Barber Scholarship
Sometimes you need a little help to make it to the next level in racing. Moving up from go-karts to open-wheel type cars is not always easy, but for the second year in a row the Champ Car World Series, along with the Skip Barber Racing School, will be making it a little bit easier for one ROTAX Kart Challenge driver as the Series will be awarding a Skip Barber Regional Series scholarship to one ROTAX Kart competitor in the Sr. Max Class.
A panel of judges will determine the winner, who will be chosen from the 16 to 18 age bracket, during the Rotax Grand National that takes place in Centennial, Colorado from August 14 – 18. The scholarship includes six double race weekends including Friday practice at one of four different regional championships -- East, Midwest, South and West.
“We are committed to driver development,” said Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson. “We have been partners with the ROTAX Kart Challenge for a couple of years and are excited to expand our partnership with this scholarship and hopefully create a future Champ Car star.”
As the Official Karting Series of the Champ Car World Series, the Champ Car ROTAX Kart Challenge serves as the first step for young drivers who want to climb toward an open-wheel racing career.
Making the move into open-wheel cars in the Skip Barber Regional Series puts drivers one step closer to the first echelon in the Mazda Ladder System and allows them to compete in the largest open-wheel amateur championship in North America. From there, drivers can move on to Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, then jump up to the Star Mazda Championship and finally follow in the footsteps of Graham Rahal, James Hinchcliffe and Raphael Matos and graduate to the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
“The Skip Barber regional series scholarship is a perfect incentive for the young drivers competing in the Champ Car ROTAX Kart Challenge,” states Rotax Program Director Joe Ramos Jr. “Rotax and Skip Barber have a common goal which is to foster drivers with career aspirations and give them the chance to kick-start their racing career. These incentives give them something extra to push for. By creating these developmental ladder systems, Champ Car is making talent the deciding factor in who competes at the highest level.”
The Champ Car ROTAX Kart Challenge program consists of more than 200 events held through approximately 32 regional challenge series in the United States. Champ Car Rotax invites the very best drivers from each local series to compete at the Rotax Grand National. From the Rotax Grand National, ten drivers will then be chosen to represent Rotax America’s Team presented by Mazda at the Rotax Grand Finals in Dubai this December where they will compete against 60 other nations involved in the worldwide Rotax Karting program.