The 2012 Karting Scholarship Shootout presented by Mazda begins Monday at Virginia International Raceway. This time two years ago, a 16-year old karter from southern California was gearing up for the Karting Scholarship Shootout. Today, Kenton Koch, 18, Glendora, CA, has transitioned from formula cars to sedans and is the champion of the Skip Barber MAZDASPEED Challenge earning a fully funded ride in the MAZDASPEED Pro Challenge for 2013 where he will drive alongside the Playboy MX-5 Cup.
"If it wasn't for the Karting Scholarship Shootout, I wouldn't be here," Koch said at the Skip Barber Regional race weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca."The Karting Scholarship Shootout has basically gotten me to where I am, right now."
For Koch, the event taught him about more than just driving fast."It's as much about off the track as it is about on the track," he said. "[For me], it's acutally harder to do interviews than it is to drive. But for certain people I guess it can be different. The biggest thing I learned is how to prepare off the track."
Who will be this year's star? The entrants for this year's shootout are:
Camilo Forero Vasquez
This shootout has awarded more than 64 scholarships to famous racers such as Ryan Hunter-Reay (IZOD IndyCar Series Champion), Alexander Rossi (Formula Renault 3.5), Spencer Pigot (USF2000) and many more.
Funded in part by the FIA Foundation's Motor Sport Safety Development Fund, this year's participants will learn about driver safety, media skills and sponsor relations from today's professionals and receive quality on track time in Skip Barber Formula 2000 race cars while competing for $120,000 in Skip Barber Racing Scholarships. The Motor Sport Safety Development Fund was set up in 2008 as a charitable fund to help progress and improve safety, training and education in motor sport worldwide. The FIA Institute manages the programs of the Fund on behalf of the FIA Foundation. This includes the Young Driver Safety Program under which this activity is being conducted.