Six Young Americans Selected for Scholarship Shootout

Written by Team USA. Posted in Team USA News

Published on October 25, 2000 with No Comments

Oct 25, 2000
The prestigious Valvoline Team USA Scholarship, now in its 11th season, will give two talented young Americans the opportunity to contest next month’s Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series in England.
Six drivers have been chosen to take part in a shootout, which be held this Friday (Oct. 27) at Silverstone, the home of the British Formula 1 Grand Prix. All six (each of whom will have an Audi turbo-powered Van Diemen chassis at their disposal) earned an invitation by virtue of their results – and their personalities – during the past season. Two lucky winners will join an accomplished list of former scholarship recipients that includes Champ Car stars Jimmy Vasser (who won the inaugural award in 1990), Bryan Herta (‘91) and Memo Gidley (‘95), plus Indy Lights standouts Tony Renna (‘96) and Jeff Simmons (‘99), recently crowned Toyota Atlantic Champion Buddy Rice (‘98) and NASCAR Winston Cup rising star Jerry Nadeau (‘93).

The six candidates for this year are:
Tom Dyer, 24, from San Rafael, Calif. – won this year’s ACC class (for year-old cars) of the U.S. F2000 National Championship;

Phil Giebler, 21, from Oxnard, Calif. – finished a close second in the French Formula 3 Championship Promotion class (year-old cars).

Joey Hand, 21, from Sacramento, Calif. – won the ‘99 Star Mazda series and has tested impressively for the PTG factory BMW M3 team.

Ryan Hunter-Reay, 19, from Boca Raton, Fla. – Rookie of the Year in this year’s Barber Dodge Pro Series and placed fifth overall.

Andy Lally, 25, from Northport, N.Y. – raced competitively in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and the Toyota Atlantic Championship.

Bryan Sellers, 18, from Centerville, Ohio – placed a close second in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge National Championship.

(Danica Patrick, 18, from Chicago, Ill., and Patrick Long, 19, from Oak Park, Calif., both of whom raced in this year’s extremely competitive British Formula Ford Championship, graciously declined an invitation to be under consideration since they already have commitments to contest the Formula Ford Zetec Winter Series in England, which clashes with the Formula Palmer Audi dates at Snetterton on Nov. 12 and Brands Hatch on Nov. 19.)

The six arrived in England before the weekend and have been kept busy with a variety of visits, including a trip to the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch (in which fellow American Danica Patrick finished an excellent second). The contenders also have had the opportunity to make factory tours of Champ Car suppliers Reynard Motorsport and Cosworth Engineering, plus Formula 1 teams BAR and Jaguar.

The scholarship is made possible by contributions from Valvoline, Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., Tasman Motorsports Group (Steve and Christine Horne), Mitel Semiconductor, Mercedes-Benz of North America, PacWest Racing Group, Klein Tools, Skip Barber Racing School, and Racer and Champ Car magazines.

The final selection as to which pair will compete in the Formula Palmer Audi Winter Series will be made following the test on Friday. The announcement is due to be made at a press conference at California Speedway (which will host the final round of this year’s CART FedEx Championship Series) on Friday at 12.15 p.m.

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