FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TRAFFORD, PA (March 8, 2006) – STAR Mazda Championship Series veteran Ross Smith has signed with John Walko Racing for the 2006 season. This will be the third year of competition in the series for the Plano, Texas driver.
Smith scored 10 podium finishes including 5 victories in the Southwest Formula Mazda Series after scoring dozens of wins and multiple championships in karting. He then moved to the STAR Mazda Championship Series in 2004 for a partial season followed by a full season in 2005, posting four top ten finishes.
Ross is excited about the prospects of getting the season rolling with a team like JWR, “I’m very happy to be part of a well organized team like John Walko Racing. I think I can do well here and I’m really looking forward to Sebring.”
After watching the nineteen year old driver’s progress over the past few seasons, team owner John Walko is looking forward to having Smith as part of the team.
“We are thrilled to have Ross join our team. Having him on board will put both our team and Ross in a situation to perform well.”
Ross has been working with JWR in pre-season testing, including a stint at Roebling Road Raceway in Savannah, Georgia where they have just concluded final preparations for the season opening race at Sebring. According to Walko, the testing has been a success, “He’s done really well in the testing. Right now it’s all about the car and the setup. He knows what he wants the car to be able to do.”
Smith will join series Rookie Charles Anti at JWR as part of a multi-car effort to challenge for the STAR Mazda Championship. Walko believes that adding a veteran will be a benefit to the entire team, “It’s good to have an experienced driver like Ross. He’ll be a good teammate for Charles.
John Walko Racing, along with drivers Charles Anti and Ross Smith, kick off their STAR Mazda Championship season with the opening race at Sebring International Raceway from March 15th - 17th in conjunction with the 54th Annual Twelve Hours of Sebring and the American Le Mans Series.
The team is seeking interested drivers to join JWR for the STAR Mazda series. Testing programs and full or partial race seats are available for the 2006 season. Contact John@johnwalkoracing.com for more information.
TRAFFORD, PA (March 1, 2006) – The John Walko Racing team made the most of testing at Virginia International Raceway recently in preparation for the 2006 STAR Mazda Championship season kick-off at Sebring, March 15-17.
Rookie of the Year contender Charles Anti tackled VIR’s North Course, turning in 400 trouble free miles over two days. The team charted a course of qualifying runs and full race distance simulations for their young driver and Anti responded by turning competitive lap times throughout the test.
Team owner John Walko was pleased with the development of Anti on the track as well as off as he forges a relationship with Crew Chief Sebastien Jubelin and Engineer Steve Dreizler.
“I was very impressed with Charles’ consistency and his ability to improve on his lap times all the way through the two days. It was a pleasure to watch Charles work with Steve and Seb so well. They should be an excellent combination for the season.”
The 2005 Skip Barber Eastern Regional Series Champion was equally as happy with the outing, “After this test I am feeling confident and comfortable with the car. We were able to run competitive times and consistently improve throughout the test, which bodes well for the future.” Anti continued, complementing his crew, “It’s a pleasure working with this team that John has put together, and I can’t wait to begin competition.”
STAR Mazda veteran Ross Smith was also on hand for the test and impressed the JWR organization. Walko is optimistic about having Ross onboard for the 2006 season as well.
“I think Ross would be able to work well with Charles as a teammate,” noted Walko. “Even though Ross is 19 years old he will be starting his 3rd season in Star Mazda. We think that in our environment Ross will improve on his previous results.”
The team now looks to the opening race to build on the success of their pre-season testing program. Walko credits the team’s hard work for the solid start, “Having gone through 2 successful tests it is gratifying to see that the crew has not skipped a beat at the track. They have done an excellent job preparing for the season and they are itching to get to Sebring.”
The team is seeking interested drivers to join JWR for the STAR Mazda series. Testing programs and full or partial race seats are available for the 2006 season. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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