By Bob Turner
City of Lancaster to Announce 2014 Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix Scholarship Winner
Lancaster, CA. September 24, 2014 – The City of Lancaster will announce the 2014 Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix (SOLGP) Scholarship winner at the event’s closing ceremonies this Sunday, September 28. Introduced in 2013, the “SOLGP Scholarship” is an initiative designed to help one young driver fund an entire year of kart racing. Last year’s recipient, Carter Williams, has had his entire 2014 season paid for with the award. The selection process includes a thorough review of not only the individual’s driving skills, but also factors such as off-track conduct, personality and attitude. The goal is to select a recipient who exemplifies all aspects of a true professional.
“We want to encourage young people to be their best, not just athletically, but as well-rounded individuals,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris. “This scholarship is designed to showcase responsible young adults who set excellent examples for today’s youth. We want children to see the accomplishments of exceptional teens such as Carter, and believe that they too can achieve their dreams with hard work and dedication.”
The inaugural SOLGP Scholarship winner hails from Clovis, California. A charismatic and bright young man, Carter Williams’ natural ability behind the wheel has earned him a resume of accomplishments more extensive than most drivers with twice as many years of competition under their belts.
Williams’ most notable highlights include the IKF Grand National Championships, SKUSA TaG Junior Summer Nationals Championships, the ProKart Challenge TaG Junior Championship, and go-karting’s crown jewel - the SKUSA SuperNationals.
With the generous support of the City of Lancaster, Williams will be competing this weekend under the guidance of the Phil Giebler Racing team, which is managed by Giebler – a karting legend who earned the 2007 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year honor. Under the watchful eye of the Giebler family, Williams’ talent is being groomed for competition at the highest levels of motorsports. This year marks his first season of competing at the senior level.
At just 16 years of age, Carter Williams does not have his California drivers’ license yet, but has raced at speeds most motorists can hardly fathom. Ironically, he also hasn’t had the time to complete his drivers’ education courses due to his hectic racing schedule which runs forty weekends a year.
Away from the race track, Williams is the picture perfect model of an aspiring professional student athlete. He balances his racing aspirations with an impeccable 4.1 grade point average. Currently, a junior year in high school, Williams is taking advanced placement courses and preparing for SAT exams. He is leaning towards joining Cal Poly San Luis Obispo’s engineering program after completing high school.
As if intense racing and exceptional grades weren’t enough to juggle, Williams is also a standout water polo player on his high school’s varsity team. He was named a USA Water Polo Academic All-American, as well as a member of the water polo Junior Olympics. The tremendous physical demands of this sport helps to keep Williams in peak fitness for the strenuous tolls of racing. With a schedule like his, Williams’ commitment is further underscored by the fact that the closest kart track to his home is 90 minutes away. The long hours spent on the road to hone his craft highlight his ongoing determination to rise to the highest levels of competition.
Winning the 2013 SOLGP Scholarship has benefited Williams tremendously. In addition to his racing expenses being covered, Williams’ added exposure has garnered the gracious support of other companies that value and promote young talent. Other perks of the scholarship package include a specially designed SOLGP graphics kit for his kart; a custom racing suit from ONE Racegear; and a carbon helmet from Bell Helmets – with a custom SOLGP-themed paint job by Brett King Design. The total prize package is worth more than $15,000.
“The Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix Scholarship program has served a greater purpose than just promoting an annual event put on by the City and our partners,” added Mayor Paris. “We care about youth, and will use every opportunity possible to support their positive development. Carter Williams has set the bar high as a young man who values education, good citizenship, community, in addition to his competitive sports pursuits. The City is very excited about announcing this year’s Scholarship winner at Sunday’s closing ceremonies.”
Carter Williams rolls into this weekend’s Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix as one of the odds on favorites to win. He has shown real flashes of brilliance during his debut year in the senior category. Onlookers will be able to spot Williams’ SOLGP-branded kart as he competes in the S2 shifter kart class, racing for his goal position at the top step of the podium.
For more information regarding the sixth annual Streets of Lancaster Grand Prix, visit www.streetsoflancaster.com.