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David Jurca wins prestigious Skip Barber Racing Scholarship
Federal Way driver receives package worth $45,000

David Jurca, 17-year old racecar driver from Federal Way, Wash., was one of four drivers selected to win a Barber-Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) Karting Scholarship valued at $45,000, in Sebring, Florida on Tuesday, January 7, 2003 out of the sixteen karters that were invited to participate..

The scholarship package includes a sponsored season in the Formula Dodge National Championship Series, presented by RACER Magazine, as well as, additional training from the Skip Barber Racing School.

“I came into this event wanting to win this scholarship,” said Jurca. “I got progressively better as the competition went on and now I have achieved my greatest moment in racing so far.”

The Barber-CART Karting Runoff was a two-day event showcasing the most talented sixteen drivers in kart racing from the United States and Canada. All 16 drivers participated in the Skip Barber Three Day Racing School in preparation for the event. Four winners were selected by an experienced group of racing veterans. The criteria being evaluated were based on speed, potential, and the attitude of the driver.

“The bar has been raised every year of the competition, as the drivers raise their game inside and out of the car,” said Rick Ratajczak, series director of the Barber Dodge Pro Series and director of the Barber-CART Scholarship Program. “All of the drivers who participated did an excellent job.”
The Karting element of the Barber-CART Scholarship Ladder provides the first step in a comprehensive system designed to place talented and deserving young racers from the Karting ranks into the Skip Barber competition program.

On day one, the shootout consisted of a half day of evaluation on an autocross course with Dodge R/T tuned Neons and Dodge Vipers as well as a wet weather simulated skid pad with Dodge Dakota trucks. Jurca did very well in both.

The other half of day one consisted of one half hour session and one fifteen minute session in the Formula Dodge racecar. Jurca, unfortunately, had some rare mechanical difficulties which placed him at the bottom of the time sheets. In session one, his sway bar broke making the car unpredictably loose and in session two, a bad clutch made things even more difficult. The Skip Barber organization quickly made sure Jurca's second day would go without any such problems. They replaced his original car with another Formula Dodge racecar.

After being a bit disappointed with his misfortune on day one, Jurca decided he would have to prove himself on day two. With two half hour sessions, and one twelve minute all out qualifying simulation, Jurca knew he still had enough time. Day two would have even more challenges than day one. With a change in track configurations, each driver was forced to learn as quickly as possible without making any major mistakes. Jurca was able to put together some fast lap times on day two as well as consistent and trouble free outings.

With the Barber-Cart Karting Shootout nearing its end, all sixteen drivers would head out for lunch after noon while waiting for the judges to make their final decisions. It was hard to believe that only four of some of the best sixteen drivers in North America would walk away with the top prize. After lunch, the drivers headed out to the Skip Barber headquarters to hear the much anticipated announcement. The four drivers would be Joe D'Agostino of Plantation, Florida, Matt Jaskol of Las Vegas, Nevada, Phillippe Gelinas of Grand-Mere, Quebec, Canada, and David Jurca of Federal Way, Washington.

Shortly after, the 2003 Formula Dodge National Championship schedule was officially announced. Round one will be especially big, being a support race for the 12 Hours of Sebring American Le Mans Series race. It is estimated that somewhere around 170,000 spectators are expected to show up. Here is David Jurca's 2003 schedule for the Formula Dodge National Championship with every race weekend consisting of two seperate races:

2003 Formula Dodge National Championship
March 13/14/15 Sebring, FL (51st Annual 12 Hours of Sebring)
April 25/26/27 Virginia International Raceway, VA
May 30/31/June 1 Road America (Short Course), WI
June 13/14/15 Mosport, Canada
July 4/5/6 Road America (Full Course), WI
Aug 14/15/16 Lime Rock, CT
Oct 10/11/12 Laguna Seca, CA

Click here for the official press release on the Barber-CART karting scholarship shootout.