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DATE News (chronologically)
11/21/07
Karting
Speed and Heylen added to Karting All-Stars Classic
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 of the past decade. Scott Speed will represent the outfit in the Masters Division alongside his brother Alex, who will line up in the Karter Division. The brothers will be also be joined by Champ Car pilot Jan Heylen to race in the Masters Category of the event.

Scott Speed in 2006 and 2007 represented the United States in Formula One driving for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Before rising up the European open wheel ranks, Speed dominated the national karting scene, including a Stars of Karting Series Champion in 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 in 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.”

Champ Car 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 Champ Car 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 opportunity 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." More at ekarting.news 

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