The organizers of the Jim Russell Championship Series are revising the format of this year's competition. The Jim Russell “Race of Champions” replaces the proposed 2010 Jim Russell Championship Series. A six-race invitational competition during June-August will now run with the outright points winner claiming a seat in Round 9 of the Firestone Indy Lights at the Infineon Raceway.
“The Jim Russell organization was adamant that we would continue with a meaningful program and one that followed our original goals albeit in a different guise,” said Chip Pankow, President of the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School.
The Jim Russell “Race of Champions” will feature the outright champion, Masters champion, Rookie of the Year and overall runner-up from the 2009 Jim Russell Championship Series along with the 2010 Future Driver winners:
- Brett Smrz (Coeur d' Alene, ID) 2009 Outright Champion
- Nick Galante (Novato, CA) 2009 Masters Champion
- Greg Liefooghe (San Francisco, CA) 2009 Runner Up
- Aleksander Altberg (San Francisco, CA) 2009 Rookie of the Year
- Gary Carlton (Marysville, CA) 2010 Future Driver
- Alex Ellis (St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) 2010 Future Driver
The sextet will drive identical FJR-50 single-seaters owned and prepared in house by the Jim Russell Championship Series ensuring equality and placing the emphasis of success on driver talent. The Lola-built Formula Three machines feature a carbon/Kevlar fiber composite monocoque, a sequential five-speed gearbox and a two-liter, turbocharged Mitsubishi engine producing 300hp.
Two 25-minute races will be staged on June 12, July 9 and Aug. 6 with the outright points scorer winning himself a Firestone Indy Lights test day and entry in that series' Carneros 100 at Sonoma on Aug. 22.
“The ‘Race of Champions' winner will benefit from making the step up from a Formula 3 car to the bigger, more powerful Indy Lights machine and will have the bonus of knowing the Infineon Raceway very well," added Pankow. "Meanwhile, the Jim Russell Racing Drivers' School remains committed to the development of driving talent with an expanded 2010 tuition schedule.”