Reprinted from eFormulaCarNews.com
Rising young Ontario driver Garett Grist of Whitby is the 2012 winner of the 2012 Team Canada Racing Scholarship. The up-and-comer will represent Canada at the 41st running of the world-famous Formula Ford Festival in England in October.
Grist, who's competing this year in the very competitive U.S. F1600 Formula F Championship Series, is the second winner of the scholarship. Quebec racer Xavier Coupal was the first last year and almost stood the Festival on its ear by finishing second in his heat, winning his semi-final race and starting the championship race from pole before being hit from behind and crashing out of the event.
Grist, a former karting standout, has consistently challenged for top honors in the Formula F championship, displaying not only great speed and race craft behind the wheel but also the skill and professionalism of a future champion outside the cockpit.
Building on a strong debut car racing season in the Ontario F1600 Championship in 2011 - which featured two wins en route to second in the point standings - Grist is currently fourth in the F1600 Formula F Championship Series title chase, with three podium visits as a rookie driving for series newcomers Bryan Herta Autosport.
Grist, a member of the Sofina Foods Drivers' Development program, is now poised to face his biggest racing challenge to date. He'll travel to the famous Brands Hatch Circuit in England to go head-to-head against the best F1600 racers in the world in the Oct. 27-28 festival.
"I am really excited to be selected for the 2012 Team Canada Scholarship," Grist said. "It is a great opportunity to represent Canada at one of the biggest Formula Ford races in the world. For anyone racing F1600, this is the event that you want be in at some point in your career.
"Xavier [Coupal] set the bar pretty high last year, so I know I have my work cut out for me. The chance to run with Cliff Dempsey Racing will be a great experience for me as a driver. I really want to thank everyone on the selection committee for believing in me. I also want to recognize the incredible group of drivers that were on the list. I have raced against most of them, and it really makes this award very special."
Grist was chosen as the 2012 Team Canada Scholarship winner following an extensive evaluation process by the 2012 selection committee of Brian Graham (Team Canada/BGR Team Grote), Ian Willis (AIM Autosport), Kyle Marcelli (Merchant Services Racing), Allan Craighead (eFormulaCarNews.com), and Norris McDonald (Toronto Star).
In what was painstaking affair, the initial list of 10 gifted drivers nominated was narrowed down to five, with Grist emerging as the scholarship winner, marginally ahead of Formula Tour 1600 Series racer Nathan Blok, USF2000 Championship driver Scott Hargrove, Ontario F1600 Championship driver Michael Adams, and USF2000 Championship racer Matthew Di Leo.
"This was a very very difficult decision," saud Graham, one of the three founders of the Team Canada Scholarship program.
"The final group of five drivers were so impressive. We went back and forth trying to pick this year's winner. If we had the funding, we'd send all five, as they are all deserving winners. That being said, we are very excited that we will have Garett piloting the Team Canada entry at this year's Formula Ford Festival and are confident we will be challenging for top honors come Sunday's Final at Brands Hatch."
The Team Canada Scholarship program would not be possible without the assistance of its corporate sponsors, partners and supporters: Brad Morris & Grote Industries of Canada ( http://www.grote.com ), Nick Majors and the Race Driver’s Guild of Canada ( http://www.racedriversguild.ca ), Gen. Lewis Mackenzie (Ret.), Formula Tour 1600 Series (http://www.siteformulatour1600.com ),LSI Industries ( http://www.lsi-industries.com ), Rod Ends Mechanical ( http://www.rod-ends.com ), Jim Hallman, EFCN ( http://www.eformulacarnews.com ), BGR-Team Grote Racing ( http://www.briangrahamracing.com ), Bamford Produce ( http://www.bamfordproduce.com ), Bollenbach Insurance ( http://www.bollenbachinsurance.com ), Harvan Engineering Ltd. ( http://www.harvan.com ), and Door Doctor ( http://doordoctor.com ).
For more information on the Team Canada Scholarship, see http://www.teamcanadaracing.org
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