Skip Barber prizes to be awarded by IMA kart racing academy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008 LAKEVILLE, Conn. – The Skip Barber Racing School and the International Motorsports Academy (IMA) announced an agreement that will see IMA’s best kart racers win scholarships to the annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out. IMA, based in Sarasota, Fla., offers a full-time kart racing school curriculum.

”We now have bridged the gap between IMA karting and formula cars,” says IMA owner & founder Jean-Sebastien Sauriol, a former Skip Barber instructor. ”We are delighted to partner with such a prestigious name in motorsports.”

Scholarships will be awarded to the two most promising karters following two separate ”IMA Karting Shoot-outs Presented by Skip Barber,” to be held in 2009. Karters will compete to win a Skip Barber Three Day Racing School combined with the entry fee into the annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out. The Skip Barber Shoot-out awards more than $130,000 in scholarship seat time, including the grand prize of nearly $50,000 to compete in the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, courtesy of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development ladder system (Skip Barber to Star Mazda to the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda).

Skip Barber President and COO George Ayres said, ”Sebastian’s unique karting program is a great fit with our ongoing and expanding karting initiative. We obviously want to point the best and brightest karters to the Skip Barber system and the MAZDASPEED ladder, and our Shoot-out is the best avenue for young karters serious about moving up to race cars.”

”Our alumni are already making names for themselves,” says Sauriol. ”In the Skip Barber F2000 Regional Race Series, Dennis Trebing won the last two rounds of the Southern Series. He started karting with us just two years ago. There’s also Jack West, who finished second at the Rotax Nationals presented by Mazda.”

The IMA shoot-out will follow Skip Barber’s successful shoot-out format, with the main difference being the drivers competing in karts rather than the Skip Barber F2000 formula cars. Competitors will be observed by a panel of judges from the motorsports community, including coaches from the Skip Barber organization. “We hope to attract karters from all around the world for many years to come for this unique career advancement opportunity offered by the Skip Barber organization,” Sauriol says.

Rick Roso

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