Quinn's worth a look:
If PBIR's latest recruit, Niall Quinn, makes the Indy Lights podium at Long Beach do not be surprised. He was born and raised in Dunboyne, County Meath, a town whose streets were the backdrop for the historic Leinster Trophy Races for a decade from 1958 to 1967. Racing through the village predates Ireland's first permanent race track by one year and the town and event is held very close to the hearts of a whole generation of racing fans in Ireland.
[Pic courtesy of Dunboyne Car Club]
Quinn became a member of Red Bull's Junior team after winning their 'High King of Karting' title in Ireland in 2005. He was thrown into the cauldron of UK Formula BMW in 2006 and the German Series in 2007 where he showed flashes of his potential without consistent results. Since the end of the 2007, Niall has not had a full-time seat but he was the reserve and test driver for A1GP Ireland and ran in some Asian F3 races in 2008. As a fellow Irishman, I'm thrilled to see him land a ride for the rest of the season and Indy Lights is improved by his presence in the series.
JK Rolling on:
Being a Red Bull Junior program drop out is not always a sign of a lack of talent. Just ask JK Vernay who has just taken the opening two rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights Series. With three years in Euro F3 Vernay is arguably taking a step down in class and performance to compete in Indy Lights. Anyone who can boast a win in the F3 Grand Prix on the streets of Macau (the qualifying race in 2009) and has finished on the podium there is an elite talent. Just look at the following list of winners and podium finishers in the former Portuguese colony.
Ayrton Senna [Winner, 1983]
Mauricio Guglemin [Winner, 1985]
Michael Schumacher [Winner, 1990]
David Coulthard [Winner, 1991]
Jacques Villeneuve [3rd, 1992]
Jarno Trulli [2nd, 1995]
Darren Manning [Winner, 1999]
Jenson Button [2nd, 1999]
Takuma Sato [Winner, 2001]
Lucas Di Grassi [Winner, 2005]
Mike Conway [Winner, 2006]
The streets of Macau was the birthplace of the one of the greatest rivalries in Grand Prix racing. It was there that Michael Schumacher first got the better of Mika Hakkinen through questionable driving tactics. It would most certainly not be the last.
Half a World away: