The United States will be searching for gold when the upcoming World Cup of Amateur Racing gets underway at Maywood Park in greater Chicago, Ill. on May 16.
The six track competition will also see events hosted by Balmoral Park (May 17); Monticello Raceway (May 19) and Yonkers Raceway (May 20). On May 21 there’ll be double-header action at Freehold Raceway in the afternoon and at The Meadowlands in the evening.
Outstanding amateur drivers from 12 different countries will be competing. The countries represented include: New Zealand, Australia, the United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the Netherlands, Hungary, Norway, Germany, Austria and Spain.
When the World Cup was last contested in Italy in 2006 Kimmo Hamalainen, representing Finland was the winner but Finland failed to qualify for this years competition.
However, they were not alone. France, Italy and Belgium, whose representatives have won the World Cup twice, also failed to qualify an amateur for World Cup -2008 and they, too, will not be in the competition this year.
For the second time in the modern era the World Cup races will be contested on American soil. In 1988 the U.S.A and Canada hosted the events with some races in America and others in Canada.
“Hosting the World Cup is a great privilege but it doesn’t come easy or without the efforts of many dedicated people,” said Joe Faraldo, president of the North American Amateur Drivers Association (NAADA) who is responsible for the daunting task of hosting World Cup-2008.
“Being the host country perhaps there's a chance that we’ll make our best showing this year.”
Over the years the American entrant in World Cup competition never faired well. In fact the best finish by a USA representative was in World Cup-2000 when Bob Krivelin ended-up tied for third with 66 points some, 12 less than the winner that year.
In the last World Cup, raced in Italy in 2006, Lon Frocione, the American representative finished 14th overall.
This year Dave Siegel will drive for the red-white and blue. Siegel, a relative newcomer to the amateur ranks, has put together some impressive credentials over the past few seasons. Last year Siegel won 28 races and the year before he won 18.
As "Amateur Driver of the Year" in America last season Siegel is looking forward to drive against his world class competitors.
“I'll be 50 in May but I felt like a 10-year-old wearing his Little League uniform for the first time,” Siegel said after receiving the silks that he'll use in the World Cup competition. This is huge and will certainly will be the highlight if my driving career.”
John Manzi, North American Amateur Drivers Association Publicist