Team USA Scholarship Names Six Candidates for Auto Club Speedway Shootout

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Six young American drivers will converge on Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., next Monday, September 8, for a shootout to determine who will represent the Team USA Scholarship in the traditional Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone, England, later in the fall.

This will be 25th year the scholarship has assisted promising American youngsters at an early stage in their careers. Jimmy Vasser was awarded the inaugural Team USA Scholarship in 1990. Subsequent winners have included Bryan Herta (1991), Buddy Rice (1997), A.J. Allmendinger (2001), Charlie Kimball (2003), J.R. Hildebrand (2005), Dane Cameron (2006), Josef Newgarden and Conor Daly (2008), Spencer Pigot (2010/2011) and Tristan Nunez and Matthew Brabham (2012).

This year’s candidates are:
•    Ben Auriemma, 16, from Manhasset, N.Y. – currently competing in the Skip Barber Summer Series (4 wins)
•    Tristan DeGrand, 18, from St. Louis, Mo. – leads two Canadian F1600 Championships (16 wins)
•    Kenton Koch (pronounced “Cook”), 20, from Glendora, Calif. – SCCA Mazda MX-5 Cup points leader (6 wins)
•    Garth Rickards, 21, from Mechanicsburg, Pa. – currently second in the F1600 Championship Series (8 podiums)
•    Michai (“Muh-KIE”) Stephens, 22, from Evanston, Ill. – competes in the Skip Barber Summer Series (4 wins)
•    Aaron Telitz, 22, from Birchwood, Wis. – finished fourth, Rookie of the Year in USF2000 (1 win, 6 podiums)

The shootout will be conducted on the Auto Club Speedway infield road course aboard FR1600 cars provided by Allen Berg Racing Schools, owned by Canadian ex-Formula 1 racer Allen Berg, and running on Cooper tires.

More information here via the Team USA Scholarship website.

Audi bids farewell to Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich upon retirement

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Audi bid farewell to its iconic head of motorsport, Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, at its end-of-season ‘Race Night’ event in Germany on Friday upon his retirement.

Ullrich took over the reins as Audi’s head of motorsport in 1993 and stayed in the role for 23 years, overseeing its arrival in the prototype class of sports car racing and domination of the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Ullrich stepped down from the position at the end of 2016, handing the reins over to ex-Audi DTM chief Dieter Gass, and attended his final racing event with the German marque at its first works Formula E outing in Hong Kong earlier this month.

Ullrich was honored at the Race Night event on Friday and thanked for his efforts in developing Audi into a force within global motorsport.

“In 566 factory-backed commitments during this period he celebrated 209 victories, 13 of them in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, eleven in the 12-hour race at Sebring and nine in the ‘Petit Le Mans’ at Road Atlanta,” a piece on Ullrich’s tenure for Audi’s website reads.

“31 driver titles in super touring car racing, in the DTM and in the sports prototype category are credited to him. 57 campaigners were Audi factory drivers during Wolfgang Ullrich’s era and he was responsible for 18 new developments of racing cars – an impressive tally.”