Sullivan's Red Bull F1 Academy

DANNY SULLIVAN, the former F1 driver, CART Champion and Indianapolis 500 winner, is to launch an initiative to bring young American drivers to Grand Prix racing, with the backing of Austrian energy drink maker Red Bull.

"I read that Red Bull wanted to increase its sales in the United States," Sullivan told Grandprix.com, "and I just called them up. What we want to do is to find US talent and bring them over here to Europe so they can get a open-wheeler education in European formula racing and we hope that one of them will turn out to be a Formula 1 guy who stays there and doesn't just pass through."

The plan is to place two drivers in Formula 3 and another two in one of the junior formulae but at the moment the plans are flexible as the relative competitiveness of the different series tends to fluctuate.

Sullivan, who is based in France nowadays, is following on from other attempts to bring American youngsters to Europe but has more finance behind him that previous efforts such as Inside F1's Young Driver scheme which last year helped Patrick Long in British Formula Ford racing. Long is one of the favorites to be picked up by Sullivan in 2003.

The high profile of Sullivan will help the scheme achieve a high profile in the United States which will help bring F1 to the American public.

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