DREW SETS THE PACE ONCE AGAIN…IN VALENCIA,SPAIN
Drew was just fifteen when he experienced the phenomenal performance and handling of the Formula BMW race car on the Formula One circuit in Valencia,Spain.Drew attended the BMW ADAC School in August of 2002 having flown solo to Valencia with the purpose of receiving his International C license.
DREW IS THE FIRST NORTH AMERICAN TO EVER LICENSE IN THE BMW ADAC GERMAN CHAMPIONSHIP
This special moment was highlighted by Drew returning back to Valencia in September of 2002 for a shootout with the final 23 young drivers selected from the original 46 in the BMW ADAC SCHOOL. Drew was not one of the eight Scholarship drivers to receive support from BMW Motorsport and the ADAC however he did gain valuable experience at the wheel of the most highly engineered Junior Formula race car in the World.
In 2004 the Formula BMW USA Series has been announced and Drew is preparing to be a competitor in the inaugural Championship.
DREW FINISHES 2003 SKIP BARBER EASTERN SERIES EIGHTH IN POINTS
HOT,COLD AND WET WEEKEND AT LIME ROCK FOR DREW’S LAST EVENT
Drew was fairly hot as he qualified in P3 in the Championship Group of 15 racers for Race One at Lime Rock Park on October 3-4,2003.When the race got underway Drew was in P2 out of the first turn solidly behind polesitter Marco Andretti.Drew paced Marco in P2 for a total of 12 laps with a very slight gap between the two racers…two black flag conditions did prevail during the total 12 laps as two separate accidents brought the field to a halt on pit road.This allowed for the field to bunch back up twice…unfortunately for Drew as he and Marco had pulled ahead in the first two starts.
Now,in the third start Drew was being challenged by Deyne Bentt in P3.Drew went into Turn Four with too much speed,corrected once,twice,but too little too late and Drew put four wheels on the grass.This constitutes a wheel check in the pits and in Drew did come.
The #39 was fine and Drew decided to blister out of the pits to get back in the battle as quickly as he could. WRONG. Drew carried too much speed out of the pit road and he was blackflagged again for the infraction.
Drew then entered the race in P15 and at race end finished in P11. During this race Drew set the second fastest lap of the race at 57.52 seconds.Marco Andretti set the fastest lap at 57.43 seconds.The track record was set by A.J.Allmendinger at 57.33 seconds in 2002 behind the wheel of a National Series R/T 2000 on slicks.Drew and Marco were at the wheel of Regional Series R/T 2000’s on street tires.
On Saturday it was cold and it was rainy…
Drew started in P11 and in three laps was in P4.Unfortunately,Drew thought the field was getting away on him and he picked up the pace…too much,that is.So,in the same spot that he found the traction to be less than adequate in his July Lime Rock event Drew drove gingerly into the barriers on the Uphill section…end of race…P15.
Drew was not alone on this section as another driver found the same calamity.
Drew finished the 2003 Skip Barber Eastern Series Championship in eighth place in a field of 108 racers with 130 points.Drew realized three wins and two second place finishes for a total of five podiums.Drew accomplished six Top Five finishes and ten Top Ten finishes in fourteen events in his Rookie season in Formula Car racing.
2003 completes Drew’s eighth year of racing…his eighth place finish seems fitting.
Drew wishes to thank all of the people of Skip Barber and all of his new friends that he has gained during his 2003 travels.It has been a rewarding year in every way and Drew looks forward to announcing his 2004 intentions in the near future.
DREW STANDS TALL ON THREE VISITS TO THE PODIUM AT LIME ROCK
TWO WINS and A SECOND PLACE FINISH IN THREE RACES IN THE SKIP BARBER EASTERN SERIES CHAMPIONSHIP DURING AUGUST 15-16 OUTING
Drew performed at a whole new level this August at Lime Rock…not that he hadn’t done well at Lime Rock as he won there in May from the pole in his very first race in an open-wheel Formula racer. But, this time, it was a “Double Race Weekend”… four chances to win and gain points to the Championship.
Drew was decidedly off the pace on Thursday’s practice sessions. The Lime Rock course incorporated the chicane for this event and, guess what? Drew was not immediately comfortable with the chicane…and he wasn’t alone.
But, true to form,with a good night’s rest and a good breakfast to start the day Drew qualified in P2 (outside Pole) in the Friday qualifying in his first Race Group. Then,in the next qualifier Drew placed in P4 for that Group.
Friday had two races ahead and with high temperatures and clear skies the day was meant for racing. The next best thing to add to the day was the fact that Drew pulled the #41 car for his choice in the draw of cars by the competitors. Remember that the #41 was the very car that Drew drove to victory in May at Lime Rock.
But of all of the wonderful things that were to happen for Drew was the opportunity for Bob Dow,a long -time friend of Drew’s,to be on hand to witness Drew at the wheel. Bob would not be disappointed.
When the final checkered flag unfurled this is what Drew accomplished . . .
ONE SECOND PLACE
ONE FOURTH PLACE…
THREE PODIUMS IN FOUR RACES…
FASTEST LAP OF THE WINNING RACE ON SATURDAY…
MOST PROGRESSIVE DRIVER OF THE RACE ON FRIDAY’S SECOND PLACE FINISH…
A TOTAL OF 65 POINTS ADDED TO HIS PREVIOUS 63 POINTS TOTALS 128 POINTS…DREW ADVANCES FROM #11 IN POINTS TO #6
A great event for Drew in every way.
Our thanks to Salvador Duran for his coaching of Drew…our thanks to the Skip Barber mechanics for putting Drew behind the wheel of competitive and safe cars in every event…our thanks to all who have provided Drew with kind words and congratulations for his efforts.
DREW RACES TO SECOND PLACE FINISH AT LE CIRCUIT MT.TREMBLANT
Drew competed at Le Circuit Mt.Tremblant,Quebec,Canada on Saturday,August 2 in Race One of the weekend in the Skip Barber Midwest and Eastern Series Annual Championship event.This competition brings in the best of the best of the two running series at one time at one of the most breathtaking tracks in the world.
Le Circuit Mt.Tremblant is a newly repaved 2.65 mile road course that is located 1.5 hours north of Montreal.Situated at the base of Mt.Tremblant,a phenomenal destination ski resort,the track is bordered by a lake and beaches for even more recreation.Once a Formula One race track and dormant for many years it is now the pinnacle of safety and race challenge.
Drew qualified in 4th position of 18 drivers in Saturday qualifying for Race One of the two-race weekend.In the qualifying session Drew avoided another driver whom had spun in front of him and therein Drew placed two wheels off from the track and spun around in the process…no damage…no contact. However,any spin in qualifying is a penalty and Drew’s 4th place on the grid was reduced to 15th of 18 positions.
Starting the race in P15 meant one thing…Drew had a lot of work to do to get back to the front.In the finest race of his career Drew carved through the field in just several laps to P6. Then,due to a caution,the field regrouped single-file to a restart at lap 8.
When the green flag flew Drew did the same. As the field went out of sight of all spectators one has to wait 1 minute and 40 seconds to see the field again in Namero or Turn 14.
Unbelievably, Drew appeared in P2! And,for the next three laps Drew maintained P2 to the checkered flag.The first race of the day and what a show!
Perhaps the greatest thrill for Drew on Saturday was to have his mentor,driver coach and Karting engineer Sylvain Verville in attendance.Sylvain of Laval,Quebec was waiting for the day to see Drew in race cars having worked with Drew in the Karting ranks in Canadian competition as Drew’s teacher of the 2001-2002 racing seasons.
Saturday was the day for Sylvain to spend time with Drew to strategize the race and to reflect on his own years in race cars at Le Circuit Mt.Tremblant.Seeing Drew advance from 15th on the grid to 2nd position was Drew’s happiness and the drive of his life.Merci Sylvain!
In Race Two on Sunday,August 3rd,Drew started in P2 on the grid…again,a field of 18.P2 is outside and Turn One is an inside line.Drew fell to P4 as quick as Turn One.Then,on Lap 3,Drew carried too much speed into Turn Threee and he went off into the grass.A mandatory pit stop and wheel check and then at this point Drew reentered the field in P18.Ugh.
8 laps later Drew finalized in P9 having slashed through one-half of the group.Again,a great race all in all.
Drew had spent four days in car #68 and his P2 was accomplished in the 68.As the cars are shared the #68 went out in a Group 5 race the first thing on Sunday.Unfortunately,our friend Mike had an accident and the 68 was disabled.So,Drew had to transfer to the #23.A car change is always disrupting but that’s the deal you are delt.
In the #23 Drew did not win but winning is not everything.What he did accomplish was to set the fastest lap of the race by turning a blistering 1:49.554 second lap.
Drew started his first lapping session on Thursday morning turning laps in the 1:57.000’s.By the end of the day Thursday 1:53’s.Friday morning practice showed laps of 1:52…in the afternoon 1:51’s.By the qualifying on Saturday 1:50’s.
At the end of four days of effort Drew paced the challenging Mt.Tremblant circuit in the mid 1:49’s.Few drivers in the group ever ran in the 1:49’s…some had driven the circuit several times.Congratulations Drew on another strong performance for a sixteen year-old!
And,our thanks to Salvador Duran,Jeff Andretti and to Ricky Schmidt for their coaching and consideration to Drew…and,as always,our thanks to the greatest Team of mechanics in Motorsports,the quality hands of the Skip Barber men who care to our concerns and who provide to Drew a safe journey in every race. Merci et Voila!
DREW FINISHES IN 6TH PLACE AT ROAD AMERICA
This past July 4th holiday weekend, Drew experienced some very challenging racing at the four mile course of Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.
Due to technical difficulties with his car, Drew started off in 13th position for the race, and through some skillful driving against very keen competition managed to move up the field and finish in 6th place. This finish added another seven points to his standings and he is now 9th in points for the Eastern Skip Barber Series. Drew races again at Lime Rock Park in Connecticut on July 18th.
BRIGGS AND STRATTON MOTORSPORTS JOINS DREW AT ROAD AMERICA
Briggs and Stratton,the world’s largest small engine manufacturer, powered Drew from the age of eight down the eighth-mile over 600 passes during his career in Junior Drag Racing. Drew set the record at New England Dragway in Epping,New Hampshire in July,1999…a 7.92 second run at 82.10 miles per hour.That record has never been broken to this day in time.
For the years of support that Dave and Dan of Briggs and Stratton have provided to Drew the Briggs and Stratton Motorsports logo has always been on Drew’s race suits …a promise to the great people of Briggs and Stratton that Drew will keep throughout his racing career no matter what Drew is behind the wheel of.
Milwaukee,Wisconsin is the home of Briggs and Stratton and Road America in Elkhart Lake,Wisconsin is the venue for Drew’s next Skip Barber competition.
Proudly, Drew will carry the Briggs and Stratton Motorsports logo on his Formula Dodge R/T 2000 race car during the July 5-6 Midwestern Championship Race event.
Racing is so much more than competition…it is all about relationships.Drew is privileged to again have the support of Briggs and Stratton in his racing effort…a truly long term relationship.
Our thanks to Dave,Dan and all the people of Briggs and Stratton for providing to Drew a wonderful Wisconsin welcome!
DREW TAKES POLE AND FIRST RACE VICTORY AT LIME ROCK PARK
On May 16,2003,Skip Barber Racing School Graduate Drew Sprague put his education to the test at the Road Racing Center of The East,Lime Rock Park,Connecticut.
In his inaugural Skip Barber Eastern Championship Racing Series competition,at the wheel of the Formula Dodge R/T 2000 race car,Drew posted the top lap time in the Group One qualifying.The only driver in the 58 second bracket put Drew solidly in pole position.
In Group One,Race One,Drew was pacing the field when on the second warm-up lap Drew noticed a mechanical concern.Drew stopped on the starting line and the Race Officials determined that there was a mechanical deficiency and therefore Drew was allowed to transfer to another race car.As the field was stopped at the starting line Drew ran two warm-up laps in the replacement and then the field rolled off behind him for the final pace lap.
A clean start and Drew led the field into Turn One.In fact he led the field for all 28 laps…all the way to the checkered flag for the victory.
Drew’s first pole…Drew’s first win…all in his first competition!
Victory lane welcomed Drew with the checkers AND a cooler-full of ice and water…
Then a Victory Lap with the ceremonial first win flag to hold on to forever.
Drew would like to thank all of the staff of Skip Barber…the Officials,the Instructors and,above all,the tireless efforts of the mechanics who continuously cared for Drew’s
every need…THANKS EVERYONE FOR EVERYTHING!
Lastly,our congratulations to Drew’s fellow 16 year-old competitor,Marco Andretti,for his two well-earned victories in his Group Three competition and to Jameson Riley,an elder at age 18,for his victory in Group One,Race Two . SALUTE!
DREW TO COMPETE IN SKIP BARBER EASTERN RACING SERIES IN 2003
DREW”S FIRST FORMULA DODGE RACE IS MAY 16 AT LIME ROCK
In October of 2002 Drew attended the Skip Barber 3-Day Racing School at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut. As a Graduate of the Race School Drew now moves up the Champ Car ladder by attending two compulsory lapping days on May 13-14.On May 15 Drew will be in a practice session in preparation for the Race Weekend on May 16-17.
Now in his ninth season of active racing Drew is well-prepared to step up to the next level in his successful career in Motorsports. In Drew’s words…”I can’t wait to get behind the wheel!”