Yves Rossy and his dream have inspired me for the past 3 years.
I think he is so innovative, so cool and so brave.
Check him out at: www.JetMan.com
In our new series, “Tips from Pit Lane”, KidzSpeed sat down to interview SKUSA, Rotax, S2 Semi-Pro Stock Moto champion and 2 time TAG USA World champion kart racer, Sabre’ Cook
Listen in. as Sabre’ shares advice on fitness, the transition from shifter karts to F2000 cars and what every karting driver should be focusing on.
Sabre’ Cook gallery
Starting Grid is proud to introduce 8 year old racing personality Christian Rutty. Christian is a serious up-and-coming karter from New Jersey, as well as the host of KidzSpeed.com. Enjoy Christian Rutty’s Starting Grid Spotlight.
Thanks to Chris Miles, President of Starting Grid, Inc. out of Indianapolis, Indiana for showcasing me in my own Starting Grid Spotlight.
Starting Grid is an Indy Light sponsor and proud supporter of KidzSpeed.
“Safety first and see you at the finish line”
KidzSpeed is proud to have chosen Connecticut native and karting champion, Tazio Torregiani, as our March 2015 driver of the month. Congratulations Tazio!
Christian: What was it that made you get into karting?
Tazio: The trip I took when I went to Portugal when I was 6 years old. When I came off the track, the owner told me I was fast. When we came back to the states, we bought a go kart and pursued racing after that.
Christian: What karting classes do you now compete in?
Tazio: Now I compete in Yamaha Junior class and the Tag Junior class. I also competed in the KFJ class in Europe.
Christian: Tell me about some of the awards you have won? The big races?
Tazio: This past year I won 4 National WKA races. In 2013 I won my first National race. I have a total of 5. At OVRP I won the Cadet championship. I’ve also won many regional races. I came in 10th place in France, when I went to Europe.
Christian: Tell me about your Brother, Dario? I know he is a BIG help behind the scenes.
Tazio: Dario has been a big help through the years. He has help me win many races – tuning the kart, the engine. He’s always been a big supporter. I would not have gone this far without him. Dario is right here.
Christian: Dario, I just wonder what you like to do when you’re not tuning the kart?
Dario: When I’m not tuning the kart, I have a camera and every once in a while, I like to go out and take pictures. I like to edit the pictures and when I am done I send them to my Dad and also my uncle, who is a professional photographer, and show him my progress with photography. I never really got into karting like Tazio did, but I loved to work behind the scenes and I suppose the technical side of karting and photography appeal to me.
Christian: I read online that you raced in Europe. Is that true … and how is karting different overseas, compared to America?
Tazio: I raced in Europe in 2012 and 2013 in CIK FIA Academy trophy. It’s very different in a lot of ways. All the drivers are very competitive from all over Europe, all over the world really. They are very aggressive. They are very technical with the kart and what they are doing. They seem to love it more than the people here in the states. It’s much more of a passion sport than here in the USA.
Christian: What were some of the hardships you have faced so far?
Tazio: Many of the hardships so far were definitely, some of the first injuries I sustained. When I was young I fractured my ankle. I got scared a little bit. Right after that I got back into it. I would say the real hardships were coming back from losses that should not have been losses. For example, when I lost my neck brace in Daytona, while leading the race, that put a big burden on my shoulders and stressed me out and I definitely had to bounce back from that.
Christian: How was Skip Barber and what surprised you most about the difference between driving a race car vs. a go kart?
Tazio: Skip Barber was great. We went there last year at the end of February. It was a 3-day weekend school. I’d say the biggest different was how to control the car, compared to a go kart. It’s a lot slower being inside the car, but in reality it’s a lot faster getting on the gas. The turning has to be a lot smoother. You can’t throw the car into a corner like you would a go kart. You have to be a lot more careful and spacial in relation to your surroundings. It’s a whole ‘nother level.
Christian: Who has been the most beneficial or influential person to you in your karting career? If I had to guess, it would be Dario, right?
Tazio: Well Dario is close, but I think my Dad is the one I’d say. He and I went to Europe together, just the two of us – all the racing we did. He was the one one the grid with me , the one tuning my kart and just the one who always supported me when I needed it the most.
Christian: That’s a great answer. Thanks Tazio for being a part of KidzSpeed.
Tazio: You’re welcome Christian. Thank you!
* Editorial: Stay tuned, because Tazio is one of our contributing race authors on my upcoming column: “Tips from Pit Lane” with advice & helpful tips from drivers like Tazio for younger drivers.
Gallery of Tazio photos
KidzSpeed is proud to have chosen Pennsylvania native and karting veteran, Carter Fartuch, as our February 2015 driver of the month. Congratulations Carter!
CHRISTIAN: Carter, you recently graduated from High School. What are your plans for the future, particularly racing?
CARTER: I am going to continue going to college, working my job and racing as much as possible. Trying to get them all done and done well at the same time.
CHRISTIAN: Tell us about some of the awards you have won in karting?
CARTER: (laughs) Well, in karting I was lucky enough to get a lot of wins in several club series and regional series. In 2013, I was able win the Formula 355 challenge in the F-Series Gear Up Challenge. Now I’ve been lucky enough to gain a few trophies in car racing as well.
CHRISTIAN: Good job!
CARTER: Thank you.
CHRISTIAN: Do you plans still include karting or just racing cars?
CARTER: For now, they mostly include just cars. I love karting and everything, but there could be a kart race here and there in the future. For right now we’re just going to focus on cars.
CHRISTIAN: Tell me what you have learned in karting and how it has transferred to car racing?
CARTER: In karting I learned pretty much every fundamental involved in racing. I learned how to work on a car, how to feel a car out, how to compete against other drivers and it really helped me.
CHRISTIAN: Tell me about the BMW’s that you’re now racing?
CARTER: The BMW’s are a lot of fun. They are basically normal street cars – 3 series, turned into race cars. They have roll cages, racing suspensions, modified engines……
CHRISTIAN: (excited) Are they “souped up”, right?
CARTER: Yes they are “souped up”!
CHRISTIAN: Carter, last question. Tell us about The Skip Barber Racing series.
CARTER: I was lucky enough to race last Summer with the Skip Barber summer series. It was fun and I got to compete with a lot of different drivers, different skill levels. I raced at Lime Rock, CT, where you came to watch me race and I got to travel to Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The program is a great one. So many professional drivers got their start at Skip Barber. I am sure I will see you there one day.
CHRISTIAN: Thanks for a great interview Carter. And thanks for giving me a lot of driving tips and support this past racing season.
CARTER: Anytime buddy. Happy to help you any way I can. Like I said, KidzSpeed, a.k.a. one of the coolest web sites ever!
Carter’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/CarterFartuchRacingCfr
Carter Fartuch Racing Photo Gallery
Michai Stephens Racing – “Destined from the start. Driven to the end.”
KidzSpeed is proud to have chosen, 22 year old, Chicago native, Michai Stephens as our 2014 driver of the year. Michai has an impressive and unique history in open wheel racing. I first met Michai in the Summer of 2014 at the Skip Barber Summer Series at Lime Rock, CT, through my kart racing buddy, Carter Fartuch. Michai has achieved great milestones in the world of open wheel racing in just a short time. What makes Michai unique is that he had no prior racing experience until the age of 21. In 2012 Michai was invited to participate in the first annual Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy Shootout based on his performance in a 3 Day Racing School and a 2 Day Advanced Racing School. He finished fourth out of 32 competitors. The following year he participated once more and Michai secured top honors in the 2013 Skip Barber INDYCAR Academy shootout, earning a scholarship to race in the 2014 Summer Series. Michai also received a training scholarship from Racecraft 1 Motorsports Training. Most recently, Michai traveled to the UK to represent Team USA Scholarship in the Formula Ford Festival and Walter Hayes Trophy event, where he finished 3rd. Here is his interview with KidzSpeed.
Interview with Michai Stephens
CHRISTIAN: Before winning the Skip Barber shootout, how did you learn about racing?
MICHAI: I would play video games on Xbox, and from there I would watch races. I had to share TV time w/ family while they watched football, basketball, baseball, etc. I played with Hot wheels a lot when I was little. I would roll around on my Mon’s bed and pretended I was a race car driver. So, pretty much I watched TV and played with my toys. I never had the chance to do go karts.
CHRISTIAN: Is it true that you have never raced a go kart in your life? I read that before Skip Barber, you had no prior experience racing. You took the 3 day class and won the shootout competition and scholarship, is that true?
MICHAI: That’s true. I’ve only driven little karts at indoor, Arrive & Drive, Chicagoland karting tracks. And they really don’t let you race each other. I’ve guess it’s semi true.
CHRISTIAN: Wow… pretty amazing. Where have you raced since the Skip Barber shootout?
MICHAI: I’ve traveled the US. I’ve raced in New Orleans, Ohio, Wisconsin…..
MICHAI: Yes, (laughing) Lime Rock, CT! That was the most special one where I got to meet you there. Also, Indianapolis and California. I had a chance to go to England and I raced at Silverstone and Brands Hatch.
CHRISTIAN: Silverstone is a pretty cool track.
MICHAI: Have you had a chance to go there or have you played it on your racing video games?
CHRISTIAN: I’ve had the chance to play both Silverstone and Brands Hatch a lot on the video games. On Real Racing 3!
MICHAI: It’s an awesome place buddy. I hope I can one day you will be able to make it there as well and you can give me a call and tell me what you think about it? I thought it was a great place. The coolest thing (Christian) was to see or rather experience, after watching Formula 1 on TV for so many years was. So you would get to Silverstone and while we were doing our track walk, it was almost like a movie playing in your head. You could see all the awesome passes in the races that went down there over the years. The other cool thing was at Brands Hatch was, it was almost like walking into a bull ring. You actually have to drive your race car underneath the track, under turn 1 and you go around into the pits. It’s almost like walking into a football stadium, but it was a race track.
CHRISTIAN: Cool. Kind of like the track in Abu Dhabi. I know that Turn 1 at Brands Hatch is the turn with the highest elevation. And Turn 4 has the lowest elevation. You can get a lot of speed out of Turn 1.
MICHAI: Yeah, I agree.
MICHAI: Okay, I can respect all those drivers. Definitely I agree with you on two of them. Yeah, definitely Senna first. I look up to Hamilton greatly, with the relationship he has with his father. I am sure you and your Dad will have that same relationship, as I do with my Father. It’s the kind of relationship he and I have cherished. He and I are trying to attack racing with that same love and team effort. With respect to Senna, he is “the awesome man” – he was the Michael Jordan of racing. What I try to do is my best and pick up something from every one of them out there, because they’re all good in their own way and that’s what’s gotten them as far as they’ve gone.
CHRISTIAN: I think it’s cool that Senna won the race with his gearbox stuck in 6th gear. Hamilton won the world championship. And oh, I forgot to mention Michael Shumacher.
MICHAI: Yes, I would have to make those my Top 3; Senna, Hamilton and Schumacher. When I was in England, I got to race with Freddie Hunt, James Hunt’s son.
CHRISTIAN: From the movie, “Rush”? Cool!
MICHAI: That was pretty neat.
CHRISTIAN: What does the future hold for you Michai?
MICHAI: It’s gonna’ hold continued desire, passion and love for the sport of racing. I am going to do my darn’est to be a part of the “Mazda, Road To Indy” ladder series. Mostly try and make the most of every opportunity I can get my hands on. I want to be an open wheel race car driver, more than anything else in the world, so that’s what we’re gonna’ go for.
CHRISTIAN: Hey, thanks Michai
MICHAI: You’re welcome buddy! I am honored for this prestigious award as KidzSpeed’s 2014 Driver of the Year. If you ever need anything, I am always willing to be there for you.
Michai Stephens photo gallery
How it all started
Michai and his Dad
Meeting Michai in Summer 2014
Links to Michai Stephens Racing
YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEsuFwO9ZFF4-9O_XEWBh-w
Driver blog on Team USA – “My 1st year in racing”: http://teamusascholarship.org/?p=2675
Racer magazine interview: http://youtu.be/g6XRKbdMSmU
An interview with Champion kart racer, Jeremy Doll. Jeremy has competed in karting for many years and has raced locally in the North East as well as The Florida Winter Tour, The Rotax Nationals and recently won the NorthEast Rotax Max Challenge for 2014. Jeremy, a South Jersey native is now a Freshman at Stevens Institute of Technology majoring in Computer Science.
KidzSpeed interview with Jeremy Doll
Christian: Hey Jeremy, thanks for being a part of this interview today and thanks for supporting KidzSpeed.
Jeremy: You’re welcome Christian. It’s an honor.
Christian: Well THANK YOU for all the great advice you gave me in the pits this season.
Jeremy: It was fun to see you improve throughout the year! I really enjoy (attempting to) teach about karting, and I’m glad to hear you enjoy it. You and your Dad are awesome and made my few times at the track this year even more fun.
Christian: You won the Senior Max class of the North East Rotax Max Challenge in 2014. Impressive! Now that you’re in college, what are your plans for karting?
Jeremy: With college, I don’t know how much free time I’ll have, but once the Spring semester ends, if I am not working this Summer, I will try to make it over to the track as much as I can.
Christian: Any plans to move into racing cars?
Jeremy: At this point in my career (if you want to call it that), I don’t think there’s plans to move up.per se’. I think I want to have fun with the sport and I would certainly like to, but it’ not something I am necessarily pursuing fervently.
Christian: Any advice for young racers like me?
Jeremy: The best advice I always give is “Practice, practice, practice” because the way that you really learn the little parts of driving is by doing a ton of repetition. Basically a lot of practice. That’s how I got good and how everyone else does as well.
Christian: What are you studying in college?
Jeremy: I am studying Computer Science, so I’m studying how to code all sorts of things. That’s fun.
Christian: I like computers too. I want to code some video games for the App Store one day!
Jeremy: Thanks Christian. Good luck this season!
Jeremy Doll photo galleryAccepting a first place award for him (October 2014)Jeremy and me (June 2014)
KidzSpeed interview with Christian’s friend and racing buddy, Austin Riley. Austin is a three time karting champion in Canada. Christian and Austin have much in common, as they were both diagnosed very young with ADHD. Later, Austin was diagnosed with high-functioning Autism. His story and entrance into the world of motorsports is a great one, with many admirers and worldwide fans gained along the way. Austin is the Racing Ambassador for Autism. Austin and his Dad plan to tour North America in 2015 and share their story on Autism awareness and Anti-Bullying. Two boys who have a love of their sport and face adversity with their challenges sit down and share their experiences and love of the sport of karting. You will never meet two more loving, kind and accepting boys.
The interview was recorded via the web, in both, Canada and the US with a little help from their supportive Dads, Jason and Michael.
Watch the video on YouTube: —->
Interview with fellow, TAG Masters Go Kart racer, Scott Coleman – CEO of Contemporary Motorcars, Mercedes-Benz and the launch of the new GLA class compact SUV.
KidzSpeed was invited to their Annual Customer Open Haus.
Video interview: http://youtu.be/
Motor Racing League plugin by Ian Haycox