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May 06, 2014 - 06:05 AM
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Three M1 Racing Drivers To Achieve Dream
Posted by: newsla on May 06, 2014 - 06:04 AM
Support Series News
Three M1 Racing Drivers To Achieve Dream


They've been dreaming about it all their lives, but they really don't know what to expect.

 

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That's the situation facing M1 Racing's three drivers and their fellow competitors this week prior to the first Pro Mazda races ever on the redesigned road course at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway at 4:30 p.m. Friday and 12:10 p.m. Saturday.

The Dallas-based team has entered cars for the defending Expert class champion, Jay Horak of Mesa, Ariz.; rising star Nicolas Costa of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; and Jason Rabe of Millville, N.J., who has one of the most interesting stories of anyone competing.

A fourth driver scheduled to be under the M1 Racing tent at IMS, Expert class driver Walt Bowlin, had to withdraw after he broke his ankle last week during training to compete in the series, which is presented by Cooper Tires.

Horak is leading Bobby Eberle by 14 points in the Expert class, which is for drivers over the age of 30, with four of 14 races complete. Horak drives the black AutoEnginuity No. 37.

Costa is 12th in the overall point standings going into the doubleheader, which isn't indicative of how fast the 22-year-old driver has been running in the No. 99. His neon-yellow-and-white car is sponsored by IMM (Impermeabilizacões), Alufama, Oakley and Inova Marketing Esportivo.

Rabe, 30, will be making his third and fourth Pro Mazda starts after finishing 11th in both halves of the Pro Mazda doubleheader at Reliant Park Houston last October. Like Horak he'll be competing both in the overall championship and the Expert class. His car will be similar in livery to Costa's but it is sponsored by the Macquarie Group and the Monticello Motor Club and carries No. 29.

Rabe started his professional racing career late and with very little money. When he decided to "go for it," his first position was as a corner flagger at New Jersey Motorsports Park. He slept in his car for a month and a half when he couldn't afford a hotel or an apartment.

His talents and perseverance have earned him a career as a professional driving instructor and test driver at the Monticello Motor Club in Monticello, N.Y., among other venues, and he also owns an automotive detailing shop, Driving Details. TV viewers may have seen him on Ford's "Octane Academy" TV show last year, where he was on Ken Block's team. So far this year he's been driving in the F2000 Championship Series with K-Hill Motorsports.

"From living in my car to living my dream; racing at Indy is the pinnacle of it all; it doesn't get any bigger than this!" said Rabe.

"A few years ago when I decided to sacrifice everything to pursue a professional racing career with no funds, Indianapolis was the last place I thought I'd have an opportunity to race at," he admitted.

"I always dreamed about racing at Indy, from driving my go-kart around a development that resembled Indy's shape, to watching every Indy 500 since I was about 5 years old.

"From the beginning of my crazy journey to having an opportunity to race where legends I've looked up to were created is definitely a surreal feeling," he said.

"This was literally a last-minute deal, and I'm so thankful that my sponsors pulled through to make this dream come true," he added. "It's going to be a challenge with limited seat time in a Pro Mazda car at a new road course, but [other drivers'] on-board videos from testing and iRacing have been helpful so far."

Like Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves, Costa may be from Brazil but he understands the mystique of the Brickyard.

"I watched the Indy 500 live for the first time last year, and I found it to be one of the greatest spectacles I've ever seen," Costa said. "To me the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is a great temple of motorsports. I was honored to just watch a race there. Being able to actually race at IMS will be a dream come true for me, and also a great honor."

Horak doesn't have any previous experience at IMS, but he also understands the venue's historical significance.

"I'm excited to race at such a legendary venue," he said.

The drivers will get a chance to walk the 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course for an hour at 4 p.m. Tuesday. Two one-hour test sessions will follow the next day at 10:15 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. Thursday is the official practice day, with two 45-minute sessions at noon and 3:45 p.m. Qualifying will be held at noon on Friday, with Race 1 following at 4:30 p.m. Race 2 is slated to get the green flag at 12:10 p.m. Saturday. Race 1 is scheduled to be 40 minutes long and Race 2 will be 50 minutes, according to the tentative schedule.

After the doubleheader at IMS the series moves a few miles west for a race on the 0.686-mile oval at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on Saturday night, May 24.

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