Josh Rehm is INSIDE F1 Young Driver Award winner

INSIDE F1 has named rising American racer Josh Rehm as the inaugural winner of a new scheme designed to help American drivers on their way to Grand Prix racing.

The INSIDE F1 Young Driver Award aims to raise the profile of deserving young American drivers as Formula 1 returns to the United States with the intention of helping get an American into Grand Prix racing as quickly as possible.

The award winner will not only gain publicity but will also benefit from the experience and advice of a number of FormulaŹ1 professionals who will be on hand to help throughout the year. The advisory group will include several top names from motor racing circles including F1 and CART designer/engineer Ken Anderson and F1 journalist Joe Saward. Formula 1 drivers past and present will provide advice and the award winner will also be able to meet F1 team bosses when the Grand Prix circus visits Indianapolis next September.

"We have assembled a team of F1 professionals and industry insiders to serve as a panel and advisory group," said INSIDE F1 publisher Mark Karp. "They will use their expertise and industry contacts to steer selected drivers in the best possible direction and support them on their way. Josh Rehm was chosen by the panel as the young driver most deserving of this award. He has to deliver results but if he does we will help him to learn what is needed to be a Grand Prix driver in the 21st century."

"There is no defined path to F1 in the United States," said INSIDE F1 editor Joe Saward. "We bring to the table years of experience and are keen to provide guidance and direction. Josh will be in the company of professional drivers and engineers, enabling him to maximize his talent and ability. The United States is the largest market in the world and needs American drivers to help re-establish an F1 following in the United States. America has up-and-coming drivers with the talent to contest for Formula 1 race wins and championships, but they need nurturing and guidance to be in a position to have this chance."

Rehm is 21 and currently attending college. He has won two Formula Dodge Championships and hopes to be able to raise the money this year to compete in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and move from there to Indy Lights or Formula 3000 in 2001.

"I am honored that this group of top level motorsports professionals have given me their stamp of approval," said Rehm. "I look forward to taking advantage of their expertise and experience in my efforts to fulfill the promise that they see in me. My job, as I see it, is to move to the next level and knock off the fastest guys."

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