Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

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by Ryan Stringfield
Posted October 28, 2010 at 12:54 pm linkage

For those who haven’t heard, 21 American drivers will be heading to the La Conca karting circuit in Murro Leccese, Italy to represent Team USA in the 2010 Rotax Grand Finals on Nov. 15-21.¬† Several¬† of the drivers attended a two-day test at Ocala Grand Prix earlier this month in preparation for their trip to Italy.

By all reports, the test was incredibly successful. The drivers turned 3,177 laps, used 28 sets of tires, burned 70 gallons of fuel, while sharing set-up information and comparing data. A test of this magnitude has never been completed prior to Team USA’s participation in the Rotax Grand Finals. It’s great to see this kind of dedication and it should pay off in November.

Here’s the Team USA roster:

DD2
Cody Hodgson
Troy Castaneda
Nathan Mauel
Andy Dunne
Mitch Carey
Derek Wang

Rotax Junior
Ethan Ringel
Andrew Palmer
Nick Neri
Alessandra Madrigal
Louie Pagano
Dore Chaponick Jr.
Ashley Rogero

Rotax Senior
Stepanova Nekeel
Sam Beasley
Jesus Rios Jr.
Daniel Formal
Victor Pedrosa

DD2 Masters
Henry Malukas
Todd Ulmen
Jim Busby

In other news, Indy Lights competitor James Hinchcliffe awarded Nicholas Latifi the 2010 Hinchtown.com Canadian Karting Award. As a prize, Latifi will receive a free entry into the Bridgestone 3-day Racing School and a watch. Not sure how the watch will help his racing career, but at least he will be able to check his lap times.¬† Regardless, it’s nice to see “Hinch” giving back to Canadian karting talent. Latifi will be part of Team Canada’s Rotax lineup for the November stop in LaConca, Italy. The Canadian team looks to have a really solid roster for 2010.

Here’s some big news… American Gabby Chaves – who recently completed a very successful GP3 test with ART Grand Prix was crowned 2010 Italian F3 Rookie of the Year. Chaves continues to be a driver to watch. He will likely make the jump to GP3 next season, but I wouldn’t mind see him returning to Italian F3 for a championship run.

The Team USA Scholarship drivers Spencer Pigot and Felix Serralles are getting set for the upcoming Walter Hayes Trophy, set to take place Nov. 6-7 at Silverstone. The two recently sampled a Cliff Dempsey prepared Duratec Formula Ford. For more on Team USA, make sure to read some of my past coverage here.

Connor De Phillippi, who won the 2009 Walter Hayes Trophy as a member of Team USA, plans to run a USAC Midget at Irwindale Speedway sometime next month. Nice move by De Phillippi to continue diversifying his skill-set.

More later.

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