Karaskas reaches impressive 400 race milestone at Brands Hatch GP
25/08/2011 - F3 Cup driver Dave Karaskas celebrated a unique motorsport milestone by completing his 400th race in a 38 year career.
25/08/2011 - F3 Cup driver Dave Karaskas celebrated a unique motorsport milestone by completing his 400th race at the MSVR GP Weekend at the Brands Hatch Grand Prix circuit.
the veteran racer has been a regular in the F3 Cup this year and is a popular member of the paddock after 38 years of racing, which has seen him compete all over the world, including facing up against the late great Ayrton Senna. The MSVR GP Weekend F3 Cup meeting on 20/21 August at the Brands Hatch GP marked a significant career milestone, as he took part in his 400th race.
A delighted Karaskas said: "I'm quite proud to have competed in 400 races. It's a real achievement as I have been slogging away for years determined not to give up, but I think I've got a couple of years left in me yet so I will keep pushing on."
"Organisations have changed a lot over the years but I think the drivers demand a lot more now. For example in the paddock we have enormous transporters whereas before we just had a trailor on a tow car. When I started out I used to just drive my race car to the circuit, race it then drive it home again."
Essex-based driver Karaskas began his career by becoming a marshal at Brands Hatch in 1969, but his racing career didn't begin until 1974 after learning to race at the Jim Russell Racing School. His first season on the track came in Formula Fords where he completed several seasons, before stepping up to the highly competitive Formula Ford 2000 category in 1983, alongside a young Ayrton Senna.
He said: "Ayrton was quite formidable and he was trying to build a reputation that nobody would get in his way. In comparison I was 1.5 seconds slower than Senna, but today I'm about five seconds slower than Aaron Steele in the F3 Cup. Either Aaron is quite a phenomenal driver or I'm getting old, fat and slow", he joked.
Over the years Karaskas' love of motorsport has never dwindled and he has enjoyed racing in some of the world's most prestigious races, including the Spa 24 hour, before concentrating on ARP F3. The 58-year-old has also competed in the TGP Championship now known as the FIA Historic Formula One Championship in an Arrows A4 purchased in 2001.
While sportscar racing has played a significant part of his career, single seaters has provided Karaskas with plenty of success, including lifting the 1994 ARP F3 title and finishing third in class in the 2002 TGP.
Karaskas has been a key part of the 2011 F3 Cup series and continues to pose a threat at the sharp end of races. This season he has enjoyed visits to the podium at the notorious Spa Francorchamps, Donington Park and Brands Hatch en route to completing his 400th race at Brands Hatch GP last weekend. Dave recorded creditable sixth and seventh place finishes at the MSVR GP Weekend.
Although the 2012 season is some way off, he is already planning to continue in the F3 Cup next year and is showing no signs of hanging up his helmet.
"F3 Cup is a fabulous formula and I can't understand why every aspiring racing driver isn't racing in this formula," added Karaskas. "It's affordable and the cars are just the best you can race."
While Karaskas is delighted to clock up his 400th race, he is now setting his sights on completing 40 years in motorsport. The F3 Cup continues when the series heads to Anglesey for the MSVR Races of Wales on 10/11 September.
For more information on Dave Karaskas view his profile here.