Auto racing’s growing open-wheel superstar and Kirkwood High School pupil Spike Kohlbecker have been named a semifinalist for the prestigious Team USA Racing Scholarship, which may help take his racing profession even similarly. At 16 years old, Kohlbecker has driven farther and faster than most people ever will. A competitive kart racer since the age of five, the teenager recently transitioned to aggressive open-wheel (Formula Ford/F1600) car racing and is thrilled to be most of the scholarship semifinalist. Past recipients consist of 5 winners who’ve raced within the Indy 500.
“Being taken into consideration for the Team USA Scholarship is a dream come authentic,” Kohlbecker said. “I am commemorated to be considered for this possibility and am fortunate to have the help of my own family and my sponsors to assist me in retaining to pursue my dream of triumphing the Indy 500.” Kohlbecker has already made the primary reduction from 10 applicants to 6 semifinalists, with finalists to be decided on later this yr.
The scholarship gives talented younger American race car drivers opportunities and covers the price to symbolize the U.S. In of the sector’s largest and most aggressive races held within the United Kingdom – the Formula Ford Festival at Brands Hatch and the Walter Hayes Trophy at Silverstone. It additionally offers introductions to influential figures inside the international motorsports activities, which can provide treasured advice and contacts inside the subject to help young drivers and their careers.
An Early Start
Kohlbecker was given his start in nearby kart racing tracks, including the Gateway Kartplex at the World Wide Technologies Raceway in Illinois. “I’ve been racing something that has wheels – and some matters that don’t – on account that I became three years vintage,” Kohlbecker said. “My dad used to draw a chalk tune in our driveway, and I would place on my red Superman cape and leap into my electric powered cross-kart and do laps.”
Kohlbecker began racing Formula 1600 open-wheel, open-cockpit vehicles in 2018. Since 2010, Kohlbecker has racked up limitless nearby and countrywide wins and has been a factory-sponsored kart driver for St. Louis-based totally Margay Racing. He is likewise a using instructor. Pursuing that passion has taken him around the globe. Kohlbecker spent a maximum of 2018 in Canada, in which he scored multiple wins and numerous podium finishes. He additionally spent time in New Zealand; touchdown podium finishes there.
He now competes inside the U.K. National Championship Series, wherein he has again scored multiple wins and is challenging for the U.K. National Championship. Kohlbecker is the first U.S. Driver to score wins in each of the Canadian and U.K. Formula Ford National Series championship occasions, an especially fantastic feat for a 16-12 months-antique. His early fulfillment in open-wheel racing has earned him note among pinnacle racers and officers inside the area.
Balancing School & Racing
To pursue racing abroad while additionally persevering with his path work at Kirkwood High, Kohlbecker is taking element within the Launch application, which is Missouri’s application for course-get right of entry to for districts and households in need of bendy, personalized getting to know options. With the approval of and cooperation with Kirkwood School District directors and college, Kohlbecker has emerged as the first pupil inside the state to take Launch’s online program the world over. He is currently taking an increased route load while racing abroad.