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  Archive of Audi S4 Race Reports/News/Photos 2002  
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Audi S4  2001  -  2002 



  2002 Speed GT World Challenge GT Series  

14 June (Pompano Beach, Florida) - Champion Racing is set to field three Audi S4 Competitions for the next two Speed World Challenge GT rounds, at Mid-Ohio and Road America. Promising young American driver Joel Nelson will pilot the third Champion entry at both races.

Champion's Audi S4's will also carry race numbers 1 (Galati) and 2 (Bell) for the remaining rounds of this season. Galati's car has already been wearing #1 in the first three Speed GT rounds, signifying his status as 2001 GT Drivers Champion, but Bell's car still wore his usual #8. Joel Nelson's S4 will carry #3.

The 20 year-old Nelson, of Reno, Nevada, began driving karts at age 16, and was awarded Rookie of the Year honors in just his first year. In total, he competed in kart racing for 4 years, the last two of which were in the 125cc shifter class.

In November of 2001 Nelson attended the Jim Russell Driving School in Sonoma, California, and got his first taste of driving a proper racecar. He was invited back to Sears Point in December to participate in the Jim Russell Racing School Graduate Run-offs. There, besting over 100 other drivers, he was unanimously chosen by the field of Judges to receive a fully-sponsored season in the Formula Russell Championship series.

Just days after receiving that award, Nelson was off to England to test a turbocharged Formula Palmer Audi, at the invitation of Dr. Jonathan Palmer, former Formula One driver and series owner.

The test went very well, and resulted in Nelson contesting both the UK-based Formula Palmer Audi series and the American-based Formula Russell series in 2002. In his "spare" time, Joel holds a position as test driver/driving instructor for Dr. Palmer at Palmer Sport Motorsport Corporate Hospitality.

All his hard work is paying handsome dividends, as Nelson is currently the championship points leader in both the Formula Russell Championship and the Formula Palmer Audi Championship, where he is backed by Audi Sport North America.

Understandably upbeat about his first taste of Speed World Challenge competition, Nelson commented, "I'm incredibly excited about the opportunity to make a contribution to the Champion Audi team. It will be a fantastic opportunity to work with such an accomplished and professional team. I'm planning on absorbing as much information and knowledge as possible during our time together".

Joel Nelson's Formula Palmer Audi Joel Nelson Young Joel Nelson has been doing a lot of this in 2002...
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