You may have read my plea the other day, begging for readers to vote for me in a contest to become James Hinchcliffe’s driving partner at this year’s Race of Champions. You did come out and vote and for that I am thankful, but the reality is that I was up against a couple of real racers. One, Conor Daly is considered the underdog in the Indycar world, always having to scramble for a ride and then doing a great job when he gets one. The other is up and coming Canadian racer Stefan Rzadzinksi, from Edmonton.
Like Daly, the Edmonton driver who tends to shorten his name to Rzad, is a bit of an underdog while being a solid performer. Having started in karts, Rzad has raced in Formula 1600, NASCAR Canadian Tire Series and Micra Cup.
The 24 year old worked his butt off to get Edmonton media behind him and rocketed ahead of Daly in the voting for ROC quickly, to win the contest. Rzad leveraged social media to get picked up by the local CTV and CBC stations, along with other mainstream media.
Speaking via Facebook this morning, I asked Rzadzinksi just what a chance to drive against some of the biggest names in the business means to him. “Opportunity means the world to me. Excited to go against the guys I’ve looked up to for so long, but really hoping to learn a lot from them as well” adding that “This whole experience has been heightened because I really feel like I have the weight of my hometown and country behind me.”
While this is not a traditional motorsport series, Stefan is excited to be able to put his talents on display at such a prolific event, with hopes that this will help him land a ride somewhere this season. One thing is for sure, the young Canadian will be hard at work over the coming weeks to ensure that he gets maximum exposure for his efforts.
ROC takes place in Miami on January 21-22.