Motorsport News - US
Businessman, Racer Blair Robershaw Makes Pro Racing Debut at Edmonton Indy
14th July 2012
ALBERTA-BORN INVESTMENT ADVISER / BUILDER BLAIR ROBERTSHAW PUTS ON HIS 'FAST HAT' FOR PROFESSIONAL RACING DEBUT IN STAR MAZDA SUPPORT RACE AT EDMONTON INDY
When a businessman decides to 'change hats' and do something different, he usually dons a golfing cap, or perhaps a chapeau festooned with fishing lures - but such adrenalin-free pastimes are not for Blair Robertshaw.
The 53 year-old Alberta investment adviser/builder will instead make his professional open-wheel racing debut next weekend at the controls of the #42 Robertshaw Racing / Seko Construction/ Web Mechanical / Provincial Electrical Mazda (otherwise known as "Betty"); he will compete in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, a support race at the Edmonton Indy.
Adding to the interest, though he is both literally and technically a Rookie in the series, he will also be technically an 'Expert,' competing in the race-within-a-race for drivers 30 and older. The Star Mazda Expert Series offers businessmen/racers such as Robertshaw the opportunity to compete wheel-to-wheel at 150 mph against top young drivers from around the world.
Robertshaw will be assisted in his debut by AIM Autosport, the championship-winning, Toronto-based racing team that is fielding a full-season Star Mazda effort for rising young Canadian racer Zack Meyer. AIM won the Star Mazda championship in 2008 with John Edwards. The two teams will park side-by-side in the Star Mazda paddock and share information and resources.
"I've done a lot of racing in my life, but making my professional open-wheel debut in my home province at this huge event is an experience I'm really looking forward to," says Robertshaw. "I've been fortunate to have the support of my family, my team and a really great group of advertisers, most of whom I work with professionally. We've been doing all kinds of promotional events leading up to this weekend, and we have a huge number of guests coming to the race who will be watching from the VIP boxes. I've worn a lot of hats getting to this point - businessman, race team owner, marketing director, event organizer, public speaker -- now it's up to me to put on my 'fast hat' and go out there and drive the best race I can."
Robertshaw, who is primarily an investment adviser and also builds and operates senior facilities, has put together an impressive list of advertiser/sponsors. In addition to primary advertisers SEKO Construction, Web Mechanical Services and Provincial Electrical Services, supporters include Permasteel Building Systems, Discovery Air International, After Eight Interiors Calgary, Artisan Autobody, Tunerworks, Sigrid Imports, Coast Plaza Hotel Edmonton, Priority Communication Systems, KESA Holdings and Robertshaw Corp.
While this will be his first professional race, Robertshaw has an impressive motorsports resume leading up to his debut; he was the Western Canada Motorsport Formula Continental champion in 2008 and 2009, setting track records at such Western Canadian venues as Race City, Gimli Manitoba and Namao Air Force Base in North Edmonton. He also, as with most open-wheel racers, has a karting background, including winning the Formula 125 Pro Kart Series Championship from 1993 to 1997. He also has experience racing karts on street circuits at events such as the Winnipeg Exchange Grand Prix and the Star Phoenix Grand Prix in Saskatoon.
Star Mazda on-track action and the Edmonton Indy begins with a 30-minute practice session from 9-9:30 am, Friday, July20, with a second session from 1:45-2:15 in the afternoon. Qualifying for the PEAK Performance pole will take place 11:00-11:30am Saturday, July 21, with Race 1 of the weekend's double-header taking the green light for the series' spectacular standing start at 2:30pm. Race 2, with the grid set according to the fastest lap turned by each car in Race 1, will take the green at 9:30am Sunday, July 22.
Star Mazda Championship cars all carry two Replay XD1080 cameras to provide exciting driver POV footage for races that are part of the Mazda Motorsports Hour broadcast tape-delayed on Discovery's Velocity Channel in the U.S. and globally on ESPN International. In the U.S., the race will air on Velocity at 12 Noon, Saturday, August 25. In Canada, the Mazda Motorsports Hour airs on Rogers Sports Net; please check your local listings for date and time, or go to http://www.sportsnet.ca/tvschedule.
About Robertshaw Racing
In addition making its debut in the Star Mazda Championship at the Edmonton Indy, Robertshaw Racing also offers an 'Arrive and Drive' experience that puts qualified drivers behind the wheel of the team's Star Mazda race car. Opportunities include both testing and actual races at any of several tracks in Canada or the U.S. Drivers also receive a USB stick with full video of their racing experience. The team provides all car preparation, at-track service and engineering, etc.
About Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear
The Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear is a part of the Mazda Road to Indy, the official driver development program for IndyCar. The 2012 schedule currently includes 17 races on 10 weekends, most with IndyCar. Rising stars from around the world will compete on road courses, street circuits and ovals in front of more than a million fans as they compete for prizes valued at $1.2 million, including a scholarship to move up and race in the 2013 Firestone Indy Lights series. Drivers 16 and older are welcome to compete and the Star Mazda Championship also features the Expert Series for drivers 30 and older. The Star Mazda Championship features standing starts, wheel-to-wheel racing at 160 mph and budgets a fraction of other top open-wheel ladder series.
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