Following a successful test in an 860bhp Sprint Car, multiple F1 stock car champion Tom Harris will compete in the Midget Sprint Car Category in the USA in 2015. Harris, 25, from Banbury, Oxfordshire has agreed a deal to drive a front-running Bob East car in the 2015 Chilli Bowl (January 13th-17th).The five day event, described as the ‘Super Bowl of Midget racing’ sees competitors from across the US, Australia and New Zealand compete on a quarter mile indoor clay track inside the 39,000m² Tulsa Expo Centre.
Harris is believed to be the first British driver in generations (possibly since Stirling Moss’ father, Alf) to race in the US category for open-wheeled dirt oval race cars that counts Mario Andretti and NASCAR Champion Tony Stewart amongst its previous participants. “I cannot wait to get over and get stuck in with a new challenge,” says Tom Harris. “It’s always been my ambition to race in the US and progress my career, ultimately to World of Outlaws Sprint Cars. We had a great first test with Sprint Car legend Smiley Sitton last month and left him impressed. We were on the pace, so much so they even put fresh tyres on! The next step now is to get racing and finally show the US that drivers over here are just as good.”
Harris, both a constructor and driver of World Championship-winning F1 stock cars believes that as Midgets are closer in specification to the BriSCA cars in Europe he usually drives, they will offer the best chance to make his first impression in the US racing scene. “Running on Methanol, they have around 400bhp, a bit less than our F1 stock cars but grip levels are similar and we are used to running on dirt,” says Harris. “We have been able to source a Beast car from Chilli Bowl winning constructor Bob East and it will have a fresh engine fitted for the meeting. We know it’s hard to break into US racing, but we showed them in the test I was bang on the pace. I have won nearly every oval F1 stock car title in the UK and Europe and we have to take this opportunity.”
Harris is keen that as many European race fans make the trip and support the Harris team. “The Chilli Bowl has a great atmosphere with partisan fans all cheering their favourites inside this massive and unique indoor venue,” claims Harris. “European stock car fans are some of the best. We need as many of us out there to make some noise on and off the track!”
Anyone wishing to back Tom Harris’ trip and sponsor the car is asked to get in touch via the Harris Motorsport Facebook page that will also carry updates about the trip. https://www.facebook.com/groups/510475585675811/?fref=ts