Sports

FWay's Jurca falls short of Formula 1 goal

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

David Jurca got the experience of a lifetime.

But the Federal Way High School graduate won’t get the chance of a lifetime — yet. The 18-year-old was not selected in the final cut of the Red Bull Driver Search, which is a program that was designed to directly address the lack of American presence at the pinnacle of auto racing — the Formula 1 World Championships.

Jurca was one of six finalists who were flown to Portugal last week to run laps in Formula 3 cars at the famed Estoril racing circuit, near Lisbon. Formula 3 cars are open wheel and are less powerful than Indy or Formula 1. Three racers were selected from that group and will now race in Europe during the 2004 racing season with the ultimate goal of racing Formula 1. The three finalists hailed from California and Nevada.

“I didn’t make the final pick,” Jurca said. “I had some bad luck in the group that I went out on the track with and it limited my overall driving time.”

Jurca ran lap times at Estoril at 1:36.0 and needed to complete the circuit in 1:35.7 to make the final cut, he said.

“I’ll just have to see what other opportunities I can find,” Jurca said.

The Red Bull Driver Search was set up to find the “diamond in the rough” who lacks the knowledge and contacts needed to embark on a career in racing. The long-term goal of the search is to have a steady group of four to six American drivers racing in Europe.

Jurca has been very successful racing go karts during his young racing career. He took first places in various regional and national events since 1998 and in 2000, he started racing with the Vancouver B.C.-based Italian Motors.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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