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Jan 22, 2013 - 05:43 PM
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Hanratty Selected To Compete In Inaugural Skip Barber IndyCar Academy
Posted by: newsla on Jan 22, 2013 - 05:39 PM
Support Series News
Hanratty Selected To Compete In Inaugural Skip Barber IndyCar Academy

Former Arrowhead High School varsity basketball player, Max Hanratty (19, Hartland, WI) has traded in his sneakers for an open wheel race car to pursue his dream of becoming a professional race car driver. Hanratty is one of 33 distinguished young hopefuls who were hand selected to participate in the inaugural Skip Barber IndyCar Academy January 25-27 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida.


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Hanratty got his start in racing only six short months ago when he attended a 3-day race school at Skip Barber Racing School. He however has been a lifelong fan of racing having grown up going to IndyCar races with his father. He attributes his passion for the sport to his Father Kirk.

“My Dad has always been a huge fan of racing - and actually drove a little in his day. He used to take me to IndyCar races where we would go into the pits and check out all the cars. He would also tell me about his experiences racing Formula Ford’s. I suppose his passion for the sport rubbed off on me!” said the young driver.

The Skip Barber IndyCar Academy was announced in March of 2012 by IndyCar as a new partner of the prestigious Mazda Road to Indy development ladder system. The shoot-out style competition allows 33 of the top new comers (to racing) to compete for the grand prize of a fully sponsored entry in either the 2013 Skip Barber Winter Series or the 2013 Skip Barber Summer Series. The drivers, including Hanratty, competing in the academy had to have completed a 3-day race school at Skip Barber in 2012 and have no previous karting or professional driving experience in order to be eligible to compete.

The IndyCar Academy is a unique opportunity for these young drivers as it provides a forum for those new to the sport to gain valuable experience and to gain an understanding of what is required of them to make it / become a professional race car driver. The Academy opens new doors for young talents, helping them reach their dreams in the motorsports industry.

Hanratty’s dream is to make it to the big show (IndyCar) by being the first person to “graduate” from the Skip Barber IndyCar Academy and proceed through the Mazda Road to Indy Developmental program.

“I am grateful to be one of the driver’s nominated, and to have the chance to compete in the first Skip Barber IndyCar Academy. I have been working very hard on and off the track to prepare for this event. I have been studying track notes, watching video and training hard in the gym. On track, I have been working with Thomas McGregor, my driver coach from Exclusive Management Inc. Together we have been working on developing my fundamental driving skills as well as my consistency behind the wheel. I am fairly new to the sport and this is a huge opportunity for me. The IndyCar Academy is an important next step in my racing career. I want to ensure that I enter the weekend well prepared and focused,” said Hanratty.

The grueling 3-day IndyCar Academy schedule includes 5 on-track sessions and 5 classroom sessions. A panel of judges will score each driver based on their performance over the three days. The driver with the highest score at the end of the weekend will be awarded the sponsored entry Grand Prize.

“Driving isn't’ the only component of being a professional race car driver. There is also the business side of things. I want to show everyone that I am 100% committed to and serious about pursuing a career in motorsports. I believe I am ready for the challenge. I want to thank my partners SynerComm Inc. and Exclusive Management Inc. without whom I wouldn’t have this opportunity.” continued Max.

The Skip Barber IndyCar Academy kicks off at Sebring International Raceway January 25th, running through January 27th.

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