CHICAGO, Ill. (February 23, 2002) - SCCA Pro Racing, Ltd. and the World Karting Association (WKA) announced today the formation of the WKA/SCCA Pro Racing Constructors Championship and a distinct ladder for karters to move into a variety of race cars through the Sports Car Club of America's Club and Pro Racing programs.
The 2002 WKA/SCCA Pro Racing Constructors Championship will be a four-race Championship at premier venues, beginning July 28 at Road America for the Cadet K80 or Yamaha Jr. Sportsman 1 (WKA, ages 8-12), World Formula Jr. (CIK Formula Mondial, ages 12-15), Formula Yamaha Jr. (WKA, ages 12-15), ICA (CIK, Intercontinental A), ICC (CIK, Intercontinental C) and Formula 125 Senior (CIK, Intercontinental C, 35 years old and older) classes. Other events on the 2002 schedule include Norway, Ill. on September 15; Marshalltown, Iowa on October 13 and Lowe's Motor Speedway November 1-3. The 2003 season will feature approximately 16 races in four divisions, with a final National Championship race to close off the season.
"The marriage between SCCA Pro Racing and the WKA is not creating an additional player in an already fragmented karting industry, but providing a marketing and promotional boost to an existing product," said Mitch Wright, SCCA Pro Racing Vice President and General Manager.
"Partnering with the SCCA will not only help the growth of our organization but will bring the promotion of karting to a new level," said Randy Kugler, World Karting Association President. "Resurrecting the Constructors Championship with the help of SCCA Pro Racing will present some tremendous opportunities to the kart racers of North America. In speaking with Yvon Leon of the Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK), he is very excited about this newfound energy that will bring the international level of racing back to the United States."
Both the WKA and SCCA Pro Racing will share responsibilities in event operations, with the WKA providing the Race Director, Flag Chief and technical personnel and SCCA Pro Racing providing day-to-day administration, event operations and media personnel. Participants will hold a dual SCCA/WKA membership and will be licensed through the WKA.
Additionally, the events will utilize regional SCCA expertise--the backbone of the 63,000-plus member Sports Car Club of America. Race events will be held on Sunday, with a test day on Saturday.
While karts have been popular in SCCA Solo II autocross events, this new relationship will be the organization's first foray into kart racing.
"SCCA has been talking about getting into kart racing for over five years, and through a lot of hard work on both sides, we're now able to not only expose our SCCA members to a new, popular form of racing, but to welcome an already strong contingent of karters to the SCCA family," said Steve Johnson, SCCA Inc. President and CEO. "This is a win-win for everyone, and we now have a great base model to work off of for years to come."
The WKA/SCCA Pro Racing Constructors Championship will also bring the United States back onto the full International karting scene, with the final event gaining World Championship status.
"We're glad to see the United States move toward a CIK International Championship again," said Yvon Leon, CIK President. "Along with the ICA, we are happy to see that the ICC and Formula Mondial categories will also be promoted."
"I couldn't be happier to have two of the strongest racing organizations in United States have joined together to promote young drivers on both the national and international level," said Burdette Martin, Automobile Competition Committee for the United States (ACCUS) President. "This joint venture will be a great service to every major racing organization in the United States."
The winner of the 2002 Constructors Championship will earn a fully funded ride with Primus Racing in eight SCCA Club Racing National events in a Van Diemen Formula Ford racecar, including the 2003 Valvoline Runoffs® National Championship event. Primus Racing will select a second driver for the program from a seven-driver shootout at the end of the 2002 season. Should either driver win the Valvoline Runoffs, he or she will be awarded a fully funded ride with Formula Ford Zetec Championship stalwart Cape Motorsports for 2004.
"Primus Racing has stepped up and helped the ladder portion of this program become a reality," said Wright. "We're looking at forming other relationships to help bring karters into cars on the Club Racing level, with the opportunity to move into professional racing."
"When I saw this program in print, it convinced me that the folks in charge at the SCCA are committed to the future of junior single seat racing in this country," said Jon Baytos, Primus Racing and Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship Owner. "Joining the SCCA and WKA for a common cause makes for an exciting future for the junior racer, the manufacturers, teams and shops around the industry.
"This will also provide the teams in automobile racing the melting pot we require to assess the abilities of all the future stars in one venue."
Information on the Constructors Championship will be available on both organizations websites soon. Visit www.sccapro.com and www.worldkarting.com for details.
The World Karting Association was formed in 1971, conducting its first events the following year. WKA has become the largest sanctioning body for karting in the United States, along with being one of the largest in the world. Events are promoted at hundreds of dedicated karting facilities each season, as well as established automobile racing circuits including Daytona International Speedway, Lowe's Motor Speedway and Road America. Drivers such as Indy Racing League Champion Sam Hornish, Jr., NASCAR® drivers Ricky Rudd, Tony Stewart and Casey Atwood began their careers racing in the WKA.
SCCA Pro Racing Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of SCCA, Inc., sanctioning the Trans-Am Series for the BFGoodrich Tires Cup, the longest continuously-running road racing series in America; the Speed World Challenge GT and Touring Car Championships, the most exciting production-based road racing in North America; the Pro Spec Racer series, an ultra-competitive entry-level professional series putting the emphasis on driver ability in identically-prepared, purpose-built racecars; the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship, the top entry-level professional open wheel series in North America; and the Shelby Cobra Challenge Senior Racing series, featuring racing legends in identical Shelby American CSX 4000s.
Founded in 1944, the Sports Car Club of America, Inc. is a 63,000-member motorsports organization, which incorporates all facets of autocross, rally, and both club and professional motorsports events. It annually sanctions over 2,000 events through its 109 regions and professional subsidiary. Landmark events for the Club include the Club Racing Valvoline Runoffs® National Championship races at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, the Solo II® Nationals and ProSolo® National Series at Topeka, Kansas, the ProRally® Championship and the United States RoadRally Championship, in St. Louis, Mo.