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Dale Coyne Racing
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Patrick Carpentier

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Kenny Brack

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Latest News and Commentary

Response to David Siller's letter
by Glen Holland
May 10,  2002

Dear AutoRacing1.com,

Mr. Siller brings up many good points. Several of these issues involve American racing as a whole (e.g. corporate backing of young American drivers) which is better left to a separate discussion.

Regarding karting and the differences between the Europeans and North Americans, I feel it is a bit simplistic to view shifter kart racing here in America as any sort of hindrance. It is true that many believe a direct drive or clutch kart builds better drivers, but if you have ever watched Stars of Tomorrow champions A.J. Allmendinger or Scott Speed drive anything it is clear that it's not about the equipment. Also, one of the top kart racers in the world the last few years (including one of the highest paid), Gianluca Beggio, has done some of his best work in shifter karts.

That said, the CART Stars of Tomorrow program currently offers a shifter class (FIA/CIK ICC) and non-shifter class (Spec Rotax Max International) as its two top pro classes. Additionally, with the planned addition of international ICA and JICA classes to the program next year, Stars of Tomorrow is doing what we think is best for American karting in staying aligned with international FIA/CIK regulations. This provides a good measure of rules and equipment stability, which generally helps cost containment and also makes the series more about driving talent and less a spending battle. And Mr. Siller would be pleased to know it also will help aspiring Americans jump the Atlantic if they so desire. I'd much rather continue to build solid programs across the spectrum of American racing so domestic drivers don't have to pick up and move to England just to have a shot.

Another major problem on the American karting scene (and one that is being addressed within the Stars of Tomorrow program) is the epidemic of classes. In the seeming endless quest for the almighty trophy, some events have as many as 42 classes on one race weekend. Many of those classes contain only one or two drivers. How can someone truly hone their skills, or even be identified as possessing skill, when he or she competes against only a few people?

It's not until a driver is up against (many) others who can challenge that racer at every corner that we will truly know who has "it". This class proliferation is rarely an issue outside of the U.S. Today, twenty of the drivers practicing at Indianapolis for the 500-Mile Race are foreign born. For those who care about such things, they can point a finger at the dilution of fields in the karting ranks.

Sincerely,


Glenn Holland
CART Stars of Tomorrow/eRacingvision

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