December 2, 2008
Valiante Confirmed to Defend His All-Stars Karting Classic Victory
The Snap-on Stars of Karting Series and Italkart are pleased to announce that former Performance Racing Industry (PRI) All-Stars Karting Classic Champion Michael Valiante will be back to try and defend his title in the 2008 event held on December 11 just outside the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. The Canadian driver will be the lone Italkart entry in the Masters class but will be joined by teammate Michael Hogg, who will compete in the karters division as they will both be representing Italian Motors and Italkart.
“Michael is a great ambassador to our sport and can be seen at a lot of our events,” stated Snap-on Stars of Karting Series President Paul Zalud. “He showed last year that he has what it takes to beat the best of the best and I am sure he will be at the front of the pack again this year.”
2007 saw the Canadian pilot score the All-Stars Karting Classic victory in front of a large crowd of motorsports enthusiasts. With the win, Valiante and the Italian Motors squad received the All-Stars Karting Classic perpetual trophy that will be displayed in their booth on Thursday, December 11 of this year’s show. With Valiante back in action at this year’s event, he will look to take the win yet again and keep the trophy in the Italian Motors booth for the rest of the week.
"I am really looking forward to competing at the PRI show again,” explained defending champion Michael Valiante. “It was very competitive last year and I had a lot of fun. The race is becoming more and more popular so I will have my hands full defending the title."
Michael Valiante will defend his the All-Stars Karting
(Photo: Serengeti Design Group)
Valiante, who competed in the Grand American Rolex Daytona Prototype Series in 2008 with Wayne Taylor Racing, will be back behind the wheel of his Parilla Leopard powered Italkart as he looks to take the checkers.
Valiante is not unfamiliar with victory lane as he started claiming race wins and championships at an early age. Unbeatable in North America Formula A racing in the late 1990’s, Valiante garnered the Canadian National Championship, he was the North American champion, the ELF Constructors Cup champion and finished sixth in the World Championships as a privateer entry. In 1998, Valiante was ranked as the number one shifter kart driver in North America by Shifter Kart Magazine.
Michael quickly progressed through the car ranks claiming the Skip Barber National Championship and Rookie-of-the-Year honors before moving to the Barber Dodge Pro Series (BDPS). In his first season of BDPS, Valiante again claimed the rookie award ahead of several top ten results. 2001 saw Valiante move to the Toyota Atlantic Championship with Lynx Racing running a limited season while in 2002 he ran the full campaign scoring three victories and four podium results on his way to a second place in the series championship.
2005 and 2006 saw the talented Valiante begin his quest in closed wheel competition as he entered the Grand American Rolex Series. Competing with Finlay Motorsports, the Canadian pilot scored several strong runs including six top five results.
The 2008 All-Stars Karting Classic trophy
(Photo: Performance Racing Industry)
2007 and 2008 saw team changes for Valiante as he competed with Chip Ganassi with Felix Sabates before joining Wayne Taylor Racing the following season. 2008 brought Valiante his first career Daytona Prototype victory driving with Max Angelelli at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California while his Italian Motors squad was on track in Seattle.
TaG Intercontinental C (ICC) pilot and Stars of Karting Eastern division champion Michael Hogg will join Valiante on the Parilla Leopard powered Italkart in the search for victory. While Valiante will look to defend his title in the Masters class, Hogg will enter this event for the first time as he prepares for battle with some of North America’s best karters. In 2008, Hogg scored three Snap-on Stars of Karting victories and eight podium results. The talented youngster will look to add the All-Stars Karting Classic victory to his resume after the evening of December 11.
“Michael is a treat to watch drive,” explained Jeff Swoboda. “He and Italian Motors are making the trek from the Pacific Northwest to Florida for the show and All-Stars Karting Classic and we are happy to have them there.”
With a host of driver announcements and news forthcoming, please stay tuned to http://www.StarsofKarting.com for your up-to-date information. The PRI show takes place at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida from December 11-13 with the All-Stars Karting Classic taking place on the evening of December 11. Admission to the event is free along with your PRI show credential.