Karting Shoot-out: Debard Wins Biggest Prize

Wednesday, January 17, 2007 SEBRING, Fla. – Sponsorship totaling close to $120,000 was awarded to five young karters at the 10th annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out following three days of on- and off-track assessment at Sebring International Raceway this past weekend. Winning the biggest prize – a fully paid 14-race season in the Skip Barber National – was Beau Debard, 19, of Verdi, Nevada. Debard bested 46 other karters aspiring to professional auto racing careers.

From this, 47 star karters…

… to this, the Final Shoot-out group: Gabby Chaves, Mike Denino, Brandon Bealer, Jordan Taylor, Timmy Megenbier, Chris Keller, Josef Newgarden, Yuta Wada, Austin Hopper, Beau Debard, Tyler Dueck, Kyle Longmore and Curtis Fox. Making it to this cut was an impressive performance in and of itself.

The big winners were Longmore, Megenbier, Debard, Taylor and Chaves (left to right)

Debard’s award is worth $41,965, the cost for seven double-race National weekends and their associated practice, qualifying and warm-up sessions. The Skip Barber National is the leading pro development series, an early step on a Mazda-driven motorsports ladder system that includes the Star Mazda Series and Champ Car Atlantic Powered by Mazda.

Two other Shoot-out entrants each won a full season of competition in one of the four Skip Barber Regional Race Series (East, West, South, Midwest): Gabriel ‘‘Gabby’’ Chaves, 13, of Bogota, Colombia and Jordan Taylor, 15, of Altamonte Springs, Fla. Those prizes are worth at least $23,340 each.

In addition, Timmy Megenbier, 15, Melrose Park, Ill., and Kyle Longmore, 16, Camarillo, Calif., were each awarded $11,000 to use in either Skip Barber Regional or Skip Barber National competition in 2006.

Debard and the four others now join a list of past Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out winners including A.J. Allmendinger, Scott Speed, Marco Di Leo, Alexander Rossi and last year’s Skip Barber National champion, Jonathan Goring.

Longmore during the final Shoot-out, high-tailing it through Sebring’s Turn 16.

Megenbier, entering Sebring Modified’s T2.

Taylor exiting Turn One heading down to Two.

Chaves in the middle of 16.

Debard entering 16, the most important corner on the Sebring Modified layout.

Beau Debard is about to be low-fived by coach/judge Tommy Fogarty. Behind Debard is 2005 Skip Barber National champion Gerardo Bonilla, also part of the panel of experts.

Words & photos, Rick Roso

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