Unconfigured Ad Widget



No announcement yet.

IRL contingent ready for top karting event:

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • IRL contingent ready for top karting event:


    IRL contingent ready for top karting event:
    Brian Stewart has been to Brazil several times in his long career in motorsports, but last year was the first time he attended the Granja Viana, a 500-mile go-kart race at a facility owned by the Giaffone family on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

    A plan started formulating in Stewart’s mind to bring a Menards Infiniti Pro Series team down to the 7/8-mile course to compete in the ninth annual event in 2005.

    “The whole idea of putting this team together is to give these young drivers a taste of international competition,” said Stewart, who won Formula Vee and Formula Ford championships in Canada and competed in several world championships in the ‘60s and ‘70s. “They can go there, race against some of the very best in the whole world – Tony Kanaan and Juan Montoya and the like. Some of them will become race drivers, and some of them won’t become race drivers, but in their future they can always look back and say, ‘I did that race. I raced against Rubens Barrichello. I raced against Juan Montoya.’ It’s just an experience for them. It expands their horizons.”

    As Stewart began putting the team together, he looked around the Menards Infiniti Pro Series paddock for some of the top talent. A no-brainer selection was 21-year-old Wade Cunningham. Cunningham won the series championship for Brian Stewart Racing with one victory and 13 top-five finishes in 14 races. He’s also an accomplished karter, winning the CIK-FIA World Championship in 2003 and the CIK-FIA Asia Pacific Championship in 2001.

    Filling out the squad to drive the 13-hp kart wasn’t very difficult.

    “I looked at the people that we competed against this year,” Stewart said. “Travis Gregg was a hard competitor. (Nick) Bussell was always right there in the fight. (Chris) Festa was leading us a couple of times. These guys are some of the brightest lights in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series.”

    Bussell, a 22-year-old from Ionia, Mich., won the 2002 World Karting Association Triple Crown, claiming championships in three classes. He finished fourth in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2005 with 11 top-five finishes.

    Festa, a 20-year-old Atlanta native, won a state karting championship in Georgia in 1999 and a Stars of Karting regional championship in 2002. He was sixth in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series in 2005.

    Gregg, who won three races and finished third in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series, works at a family-owned karting business. He raced karts competitively in the 1990s, recording several first-place finishes in WKA competition.

    Visa problems will keep another Stewart driver, Bobby Wilson, from traveling to Brazil. He will be replaced by CR Crews, a three-time USA Karting national champion from Dallas.

    “We’re going down with the goal to win the race,” Stewart said. “Felipe Giaffone has put us with a good team, so we have to trust the team will know how to do the strategy. We’re the first sort of international entry in this deal. I know that he would like to build it into a world-class event, so he’s not going to put us with a bunch of wankers.”

    Winning will not be easy. Seventy-four teams are entered in the 12-hour race, which will take place Nov. 19-20. Among the other drivers are IndyCar Series stars Tony Kanaan – a five-time winner of the event, Dan Wheldon, Bryan Herta, Vitor Meira and Giaffone. Three other Menards Infiniti Pro Series drivers, Marco Andretti, Jaime Camara and Phil Giebler, also will compete in the event. Andretti and Camara will be teammates on a kart with Giaffone and Roberval Andrade (Giaffone’s teammate in Brazil’s Formula Truck series).
    "Each day well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope. Look well therefore to this one day for it, and it alone, is life"
    ~ Sanskrit poem attributed to Kalidasa, "Salutation to the Dawn"

    Brian's Wish

  • #2
    Good luck to the MIPS drivers !

    "Better To Be Judged By Twelve Than Carried By Six"
    " Only Those Who Will Risk Going Too Far....Can Possibly Find Out How Far One Can Go "...T.S. Elliot....


    Unconfigured Ad Widget