Smrz Captures Jim Russell Championship Series Title
American junior formula car standout Brett Smrz completed his goal of winning the 2009 Jim Russell Championship Series this past weekend (November 14-15), scoring the victory in both rounds of the season-finale at Infineon Raceway. It marks the second consecutive year the 18 year-old has captured the championship crown.
Smrz, having recently returned from racing in England as part of the Team USA Scholarship campaign – finishing fourth at the historic Formula Ford Festival and ninth at the renowned Walter Hayes Trophy – entered the Jim Russell Championship Series season-final doubleheader confident he could once again challenge for race wins and the series title. This belief immediately proved justified, as despite missing the previous event in mid-October, Smrz was quickly up to speed behind the wheel of his spec Formula 3 equivalent FJR-50 car.
Smrz was the man to beat in the opening Saturday morning qualifying session, jumping to the top of the speedcharts early in the session. Holding the P1 position all the way to the checkered flag, the In Touch Physical Therapy/Jim Russell Championship backed driver earning the pole position for the afternoon race. That trend continued when the green flag waved for Round 15 after the lunch break. Holding off the early advances of fellow former Skip Barber National series standout Gabby Chaves, Smrz led every lap en route to his record seventh consecutive series win.
When the Jim Russell Championship drivers returned to the Infineon Raceway road course in Northern California one day later, attention once again quickly turned to Smrz. Aware that another superb performance behind the wheel would secure the 2009 championship title, the left-leg amputee – the result of a freak trampoline accident in 2007 – immediately set about posting some fast times in the morning qualifying session. In repeat of the opening day’s action, Smrz ended the session in the P1 spot, a half second quicker than the next quickest driver. The 18 year-old promptly continued his dominating run in the season-finale a few hours later, capturing his eighth win of the season with a comfortable flag-to-flag run. In doing so, the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho, native captured his second consecutive Jim Russell Championship title, despite missing six of the 16 series races.
"The weekend went great overall,” stated Smrz. “I really felt I was at the top of my game this weekend. I had my friend Mathew come out to watch me race, and we had an awesome time. I am very happy to have won the Jim Russell Championship for 2009, despite missing six races. I want to thank Jim Russell for handing out the prize package for me to run with them again next year, Sparco Racewear, and RaceSimsRus.com."
Smrz, having celebrated his championship-winning season with friends and family, now switches his focus to the upcoming in 2010 race season. With the goal of not only returning to the Jim Russell Championship Series in pursuit of a third series title and the newly announced champions prize of a funded ride in the 2011 FIA Formula Two Championship, but also competing in the 2010 Star Mazda Championship, Smrz is currently busy searching for sponsors and funding.
Additional information on Brett Smrz can be obtained via his website at www.brettsmrz.com For direct contact, please contact Smrz at firstname.lastname@example.org