Tuesday, October 11, 2005 LAKEVILLE, Conn. – Skip Barber Racing has increased the sponsorship level of its awards partnership with Formula Kart Productions of Panama City, Fla., for the 2006 Formula Kart Racing Florida Winter Tour Presented by BTK / Arrow Racing Karts. For 2006, SBRS will award a Three Day Competition Course (value $3,995) to FKP Winter Tour champions in four separate classes. Previously, Formula Kart champion competitors were awarded significant discounts for Skip Barber schools.

The partnership, begun in 2002, promotes the link between Formula Kart Racing and open-wheel car racing via the Skip Barber Racing School & Series ladder system. Skip Barber will award Three Day Competition Courses to the champions of Junior Intercontinental A (JICA); Rotax Senior; Rotax Junior; and Expert Shifter.

The Formula Kart six-race winter tour draws top karting talent from around the world.

“We’re extremely pleased about the new deal,” says Rick Ratajczak, who has directed Skip Barber karting scholarship programs since 1997. “How do we reach drivers who are serious about getting into race cars? Simple. Get them in the cars, expose them to the tracks, the coaches, the system.”

Ratajczak adds, “Top karting talent comes from all over the U.S. to compete in Formula Kart’s winter series. Our efforts to reach karters at every level and age is now stronger. Here’s our bottom line: racing with Skip Barber is way more accessible to karters than they might think. Obviously, the FKP tour is a solid opportunity to make that fact more widely known.”

“I’m very proud to have the Skip Barber Racing School back with us,” says FKP President Bill Wright. “I consider the renewal of this partnership an affirmation of the commitment and talent represented in the competitors and staff of the Formula Kart Florida Winter Tour, and look forward to helping our competitors and the Skip Barber Racing School meet their goals.”

The tentative six-race Formula Kart Winter Tour schedule: January 21-22, Miami Homestead Speedway; February 11-12, Moroso Motorsports Park (or Gainesville Raceway); and March 3-4, Ocala Gran Prix (or Gainesville Raceway).

Skip Barber President and COO George Ayres said the deal underscores “…Skip Barber Racing’s long history of providing the best springboard for young drivers to reach racing’s top ranks,” mentioning that Juan Pablo Montoya, A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed, Antonio Pizzonia, Marco Andretti, Bryan Herta and dozens of others who’ve taken advantage of the Skip Barber ladder system, including almost every Red Bull F1 Driver Search contracted driver since its inception in 2002. “Skip Barber has done more to find, train and mentor aspiring racers than any other motorsports organization,” Ayres said.

In addition to its partnership with Formula Kart Productions, Skip Barber Racing has similar arrangements with the World Karting Association and the Snap-On Stars of Karting Presented by the IRL series.

Also in association with the WKA and Stars, the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out — which every year awards $100,000 to the most deserving karters to race in the Skip Barber Regional Race Series and/or the professional Skip Barber National Championship Presented by RACER — will be held January 13-15 at Sebring International Raceway. The Shoot-out is conducted in the R/T 2000 race cars: 5-speed sequential, 150h.p. An R/T 2000 will be on display at each of the Formula Kart Productions Winter Tour events. The January 2006 event is the ninth annual Karting Shoot-out, and the application can be found by clicking here.

For more information about the Formula Kart Florida Winter Tour log on to

Rick Roso

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