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Professional racing is a difficult sport to get into. Just having talent can only take you so far; getting the right eyeballs on you at the right time is what will get you a ride in a real series.
A.J. Allmendinger knows just how hard it can be to get your foot in the door. The NASCAR Sprint Cup racer won the Champ Car Grand Prix of Denver back in 2006, but remembers that none of it would have been possible without the help of Paul Tracy, 2003 Champ Car champion. So now that Allmendinger has established himself as a formidable racer in various forms of motorsports, he has decided to give back in helping find the next young driver for the future of the sport.
“I think racing is the hardest sport to get into because it’s not just about talent — it’s about off the racetrack, on the racetrack, it’s about luck, and it’s about being in the right place at the right time. I was very fortunate. It seemed like I was always in the right place at the right time,” said Allmendinger.
This season his Walldinger Racing Karting Scholarship has come to fruition and the first youngster to receive it is Kyle Kirkwood from Florida. Kirkwood began racing karts at the young age of five and already has several titles under his belt.
Now 13 years of age, Kirkwood will be racing a full season in the World Karting Association (WKA) Manufacturer’s Cup Series with Allmendinger backing his campaign. Kirkwood will also get the opportunity to compete at the Rotax Grand Nationals and SuperKartsUSA SuperNationals.
In his first week racing under the Walldinger scholarship, Kirkwood participated in four different categories in the WKA Zoom Zoom Nationals at Carolina Motorsports Park in South Carolina. He finished first in one category, claimed second in another, and sixth, and 10th in the remaining two.
Currently KartSport and Sparco are also involved with the Walldinger Racing Karting Scholarship, but Allmendinger is hoping to announce more sponsorships in the coming weeks.
[Source: The Globe and Mail]
Mitsubishi North America and the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School have launched a new high performance driving program that allows drivers to participate in the advanced Lancer Evolution Experience II at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California.
This new program builds on the curriculum and driving instruction offered in the Lancer Evolution Experience I. In LEE II, the program places special emphasis on timed competition in the Mitsubishi Evolution X. The Evo features a fully-integrated roll cage, Sparco racing seats and safety harness’.
The daylong lesson begins by revisiting critical high-performance driving criteria such as line driving dynamics, then heading out to the paddock to perform several key driving exercises. Then back to the classroom, then students practice a time attack lap with an instructor around the Infineon Raceway. The grand finale is the time attack test where students compete against each other. The fastest driver is invited back to race in the Lancer Evolution Challenger Run Off. The winner of that, gets free use of a Mitsubishi vehicle for a year.
The daylong lesson costs $1,295 and is open to graduates of the Lancer Evolution Experience I.
AutoGuide.com Editor-in-Chief Colum Wood participated in the racing school and loved it. Click on the link to see what he had to say!
Along with three xB Tuner Challenge Cars, Scion will be bringing a trio of additional custom creations to the 2009 SEMA Show. The three cars include a tC, xB and xD, created by Cartel Customs, Five Axis Design and 0-60 Magazine.
First up is the Cartel Customs tC,which promises to follow in the tread patterns of the open-top 2007 Ruthless Cartel xD and 2008 Drag Cartel Rockstar xB. Cartel Customs (aka Drag Cartel) owner Jeremy Lookofsky says the tC will complete his company’s Cartel Open Air Collection.
Next up is Troy Sumitomo and his Five Axis crew, which aim to recreate the xB DJ with this second generation of the Scion box. The last xB DJ used a first generation with speakers and a DJ booth that emerged from the back of the car. We’ll have to wait for SEMA to see what Five Axis has in store for 2009.
Completing the trio is an xD by 0-60 Magazine, which built a Lexus IS-F for SEMA in 2008. Working with Sparco, this xD will get a rally car makeover that is sure to impress.
We’ll be sure to bring you photos of all three cars with our live coverage of the 2009 SEMA Show staring November 3rd.
GALLERY: SEMA Show 2009 Scion Cars