NexGen MTD and Walker for partnership For over five decades, open wheel racing has had a rich tradition in America. Hundreds of aspiring drivers have tried to work their way up the infamous ladder to pave their way into IndyCar, but many haven’t had the opportunity to make it that far, until now. NexGen MTD is proud to announce that they have formed a relationship with Walker Racing to help talented youth reach the pinnacle of the sport.
NexGen MTD has established a long-term business relationship with Walker Racing to create a driver development program that competes in the Indy Lights and IndyCar Series over the next five seasons.
Charlie Patterson formed NexGen MTD to formally seek out those young men and women who meet or exceed very stringent criteria for consideration and placement as a professional driver-athlete within the highest ranks of competition.
“Derrick Walker and Walker Racing are a perfect fit to our program mission,” commented NexGen partner, Charlie Patterson. “Derrick and his team bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise that is second to none in this sport. And, we are especially pleased that Derrick has elected to help us advance the professional racing career of 19 year old driver, Michele Bumgarner.”
A long-time member of the racing community, and a veteran to the sport, Derrick Walker, has over 40 years of racing experience, and eighteen of those years as a team owner. His most recent venture was creating a Champ Car Atlantic team, who brought home the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship title with Simon Pagenaud in its first year of existence.
“The objective of NexGen MTD’s driver development program is to give young drivers an opportunity to have a quality program and assist them in different ways to help their career. The venture will focus on developing drivers with the ultimate goal of graduating into the IndyCar Series,” stated Walker Racing owner Derrick Walker.
The first candidate this joint development program is focused on supporting is Filipino/American driver, Michele Bumgarner. After shaking up the circuits in the Italian Masters, AF3 Formula and Formula Toyota Series, Michele returned to her second home in the United States to tackle the rigors of American open wheel racing. Throughout her young racing career, Michele has also been crowned the Asian Karting Open Championship overall champion a total of four times and been voted as one of the seven most admired women in the Philippines.
“I’m very excited. Signing with Charlie Patterson and Peter Olach has been great. I’ve met so many people in such a small period of time. They have been a huge help. I’m looking forward to having a great relationship with Walker Racing and everyone involved. They have a great history and background. The professionalism that they have is the best. This is a great opportunity for me and my goal is to get as much out of it as I can and to get the next level which is IndyCar. I think this is a great match and we can take each other to the top,” said Michele Bumgarner.
NexGen has begun discussions with a number of international corporations that are giving consideration to supporting this development platform. The two parties will continue to collaborate and join efforts with Michele as they try to gear up for the 2009 ILS season.
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