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Discovery Channel Goes Full Throttle with Star Racer - Search for Canada's Best Racer Takes to the Track Oct. 24

- Canadian racing icon Paul Tracy on elite judging panel -

    TORONTO, Sept. 21 2006 -- 
Got the need for speed? Follow Canadian drivers
pushing the limits and their cars for a shot at the glamorous and dangerous
world of big-time auto racing when Discovery Channel's original eight-part
series Star Racer shifts into high gear Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT beginning
Oct. 24 (for even more racetrack intensity, the series airs in High Definition
simultaneously on Discovery HD). Produced by Toronto's Insight Productions
(Canadian Idol, the JUNO Awards) in association with Silverscreen
International, Star Racer explores the world of auto racing and those fearless
drivers who aspire to become the next circuit champ. Ride shotgun as this
series reveals the fervent desire within every driver - the need to harness
the power of a truly fast car - and the compulsion to be the fastest of all.
But not just fast - the winner will be the driver with the most technical
acumen, split-second instinct and a mastery of the manipulation of speed. At
the end, the Grand Champion - the one who has all the right stuff to be
declared Canada's fastest racing star - will receive the ultimate prize: a
full-season sponsored ride on Formula Star Mazda circuit with the AIM Racing

    (*)Media Note(*) - Download photography from Star Racer on-line at

    According to ASN Canada FIA (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile),
there are approximately 4,000 Kart drivers racing in Canada each season; 3,000
racers divided between Road Circuit Racing, Rallysport, and Solosport; and
several thousand participating at the local club level in other motorsport
disciplines, including stock car racing, drag racing, motorcycles, etc. Few
drivers in the motorsports will ever see their full potential - it is a very
expensive endeavour and most aspiring racers will exhaust their financial
resources well before they run out of passion for the track. In the Karting
world, specifically, racers will spend $50,000-70,000 for the season to stay
competitive - with some racers spending up to $150,000 - to stay in the game,
necessitating both sacrifice and lucrative sponsorships to continue to ride.
For these young drivers, a career making shot at the big time - fully
sponsored - is a chance to keep their pro racing dreams alive against
near-impossible odds.
    Strap in for a ride that starts by narrowing down the field - Karters,
stock car drivers, motorcycle riders, sports car racers, motocross and speed
demons from every driving discipline are cast and qualified at existing events
held across Canada. Once qualified, the 16 finalists (eight Karters; eight
drivers from other racing sports, dubbed "the Others"; plus two wildcard
racers in reserve) rally at the world famous Jim Russell Driving School on the
legendary Le Circuit racecourse in Mt. Tremblant, Quebec. Split into two rival
teams - Team Mazda and Team Castrol - the competition begins in earnest... on
the track and off! Each driver will strive to master the science presented by
the track, the cars and the competition.
    Hosted by actor and racing enthusiast Yannick Bisson (Hockey Night, Sue
Thomas F.B. Eye), Star Racer has discovered the most promising racers in the
country, and for one exceptionally talented driver, will make his or her pro
racing dreams come true. The contenders will be evaluated by a superstar panel
of judges, including Canadian racing legend, Paul Tracy; and racer, teacher
and author, Derek Daly.
    Star Racer is about the discovery of the one determined racer who blows
away the competition; the one who takes the checkered flag and also upholds
the complex code of sportsmanship expected of a champion racer. Episodes One
and Two of Star Racer chronicle the individual journeys of up-and-coming
racers who can't wait to get behind the wheel and accelerate their racing
careers. But just who are these undiscovered racers?

    Team Mazda:

    -  Racer A, 21, from Grand-Mere, Que.:
    "In February I was involved in a big crash. I broke my arm.  It is not my
    type to quit and let my team down, so I raced with one arm to the end. I
    only went to the hospital after the race..."

    -  Racer B, 21, from Fonthill, Ont.:
    "The problem is, Karting championships and awards don't get drivers very
    far unless you carry a heavy wallet."

    -  Racer C, 29, from Penetanguishene, Ont.:
    "My greatest strengths are my senses: my eyesight, hearing, and sense of
    touch have been tuned through years of action sports to sense engine
    vibration, vehicle dynamics, the best line on the track and other sensory

    -  Racer D, 22, Beaconsfield, Que.:
    "I welcome any help I can get in succeeding in the sport I love. Despite
    my need for financing, I could not get involved with people who did not
    meet my standards of integrity and honesty."

    -  Racer E, 27, from Toronto, Ont.:
    "Winning is always my first and foremost goal. I believe in good
    sportsmanship and fair play; I believe in winning through hard work and

    -  Racer F, 26, from Toronto, Ont.:
    "I have a passion for knowledge and work really hard to always better
    myself - being a pro racer isn't just about talent, it's a lot of hard
    work and practice.

    -  Racer G, 29, from Sherwood Park, Alta.:
    "Winning is everything to me. It is the ultimate completion of a goal;
    without winning, is the goal or challenge met?"

    -  Racer H, 27, from Edmonton, Alta.:
    "I've always been into cars as a kid. My favourite toys were matchbox
    cars, and I loved watching racing with my dad. I have spent countless
    hours playing racing computer games."

    Team Castrol:

    -  Racer I, 19, from Burnaby, B.C.:
    "Winning is important but finishing the race in the top three is more
    important because you don't have to win every race to be a champion!"

    -  Racer J, 23, from Stouffville, Ont.:
    "There is no doubt in my mind that I could be a pro racecar driver, but I
    have learned that talent can only take you so far and money is the
    determining factor."

    -  Racer K, 16, from Stouffville, Ont.:
    "My nickname since I was seven was 'Rocketman' after my first race win.
    Winning is fun, but the thrill of competing wheel to wheel is a life-
    changing experience."

    -  Racer L, 22, from Langley, B.C.:
    "A Karter accused me of bumping him off the track on purpose. I told him
    I never did that on purpose and it wasn't my fault - I'm a very clean
    driver and told him I was sorry."

    -  Racer M, 19, from Winnipeg, Man.:
    "I was put into a foster home when I was seven years old and my foster
    parents loved racing. They got me into Karting in 1997 and since then
    I've wanted to be a pro racecar driver."

    -  Racer N, 19, from Ottawa, Ont.:
    "A pro racer must be a good role model and be able to represent their
    team, sponsors and the sport itself in a responsible manner - I think I
    possess these skills."

    -  Racer O, 24, from Vancouver, B.C.:
    "Racing is a life long love and dream of mine. I got an after-school job
    at a local go-Kart track just so I could take my race Kart on the track
    after hours to practice."

    -  Racer P, 26, from Brampton, Ont.:
    "Winning is everything - 2nd place is the first loser."

    Reserve Racers:

    -  Racer Q, 20, from St-Bruno, Que.:
    "Ever since I started racing, I have not lost a championship of any kind.
    Racing is my hobby and my dream and my life."

    -  Racer R, 22, from Leamington, Ont.:
    "Criticism was coming from everyone; all the guys that I raced against
    thought I shouldn't be there. I was good enough to be there - the only
    reason they didn't like it was because I am female."

    Once the 16 racers, plus alternates, are found, Star Racer accelerates
with an adrenaline-packed rush to the finish line that will see one
exceptional driver win the chance of the lifetime. Episode highlights from
Star Racer include:

    Star Racer: Episode 1
    Tues., Oct. 24 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    Star Racer opens in the fast lane, from the world of big time racing at
the Montreal Grand Prix. Host Yannick Bisson - a lifelong race fan - sets the
stakes: for the next eight weeks, Star Racer will chronicle the discovery and
the episode-by-episode elimination of the country's most promising young
racers. In the opening episodes, Star Racer combs the country, attending
racing events on a quest to find the best racers. At the starting line, eight
racers from the Karting world and eight drivers from other racing disciplines
will be gunning for the career-making title - but first, we have to find them.
    In Episode One, meet 16 of the contending Karters, eight from the King Of
The Bay Race in Barrie, Ont., and eight from the Quebec Cup in St. Roch, each
selected by the attending officials to pre-qualify for the event. Then, meet
the first three finalists from the other racing disciplines. As the episode
closes, the lines between the two groups, the Karters and the Others, are

    Star Racer: Episode 2
    Tues., Oct. 31 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    The search for Star Racer hopefuls heads west as casting of the eight
Karters continues at the National Karting Championships in Edmonton and four
more of the pre-qualified Others are introduced. In pursuit of the same - and
solitary - prize, the tension between the Karters and the Others is palpable,
as the Karters still struggle to qualify for the Star Racer Finals to be held
at Mt. Tremblant, Que. The episode concludes with shock, heartbreak and a
stunning surprise when all 24 Kart racer pre-qualifiers gather in the garage
to hear the judges' decisions and learn which racers make the cut and will be
heading to Mt. Tremblant, and which racers are going home. In a last-minute
twist, two additional Karters are put on the reserve list... the race is on!

    Star Racer: Episode 3
    Tues., Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    Episode Three revives the dream of one lucky driver who just missed the
cut at the conclusion of Episode Two - a space has opened up for them in
Mt. Tremblant. Convening at the mountain resort, the 16 racers are divided
into two rival camps - Team Mazda and Team Castrol - each team moving into
luxury chalet digs. Each team, in their new team uniforms, assembles on
world-renowned track at Le Circuit to meet their instructors, familiarize
themselves with the facilities, hear the ground rules at the Jim Russell
driving school and sit in the open-wheel racecar for the first time. Then, the
star judges make their first appearance and address the hopefuls before they
face a battery of fitness tests.

    Star Racer: Episode 4
    Tues., Nov. 14 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    It's back to class for the Star Racer competitors. After a safety review,
the class moves out onto the track where the key lessons are underscored and
then into the F-2000 Van Diemen Racecars for controlled lapping. It becomes
evident very quickly who are smoothly making the transition to open-wheelers
and which racers are struggling. In the background, the reserve racers also go
through the process - nipping at the heels of the qualifiers. The racers take
the school test and results are posted - driving the spirit of competition to
a new high. The on-track performance of the drivers is evaluated and leads to
the first elimination round of the Finals. Two drivers are going home - will
they be team members who will be replaced by the reserve drivers, or will the
reserve racers see their dreams on the track dashed?

    Star Racer: Episode 5
    Tues., Nov. 21 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    Today, the racers will face time trials that will send two drivers from
each team home. Rivalries between the Karters and the Others - and between
Team Mazda and Team Castrol - take hold. At the track, the instructors go
through the time-trial instructions and the racers strap into their cars. The
track record is set as a marker on the big screen and one by one the racers
tear up the track at Le Circuit while the rest look on. Who makes disastrous
mistakes under pressure? Who rises to the challenge to turn in perfect laps?
The judges evaluate each driver and deliver their verdict, sending four
drivers home. Now down to 12, the chalets merge as both teams move into a
single house.

    Star Racer: Episode 6
    Tues., Nov. 28 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    The day of reckoning arrives for Team Castrol. It's race day at last and
the six remaining Team Castrol members head to the track. Only four will
return to the chalet for dinner as two more drivers leave their racing dreams
on the track. The Team Mazda members will face an off-track surprise challenge
of their own before moving to the main track to watch the Team Castrol race.
With the competition watching, the Team Castrol drivers take warm-up laps and
then go through a qualifying session. The pole position is awarded to the
fastest qualifier and the starting grid is set. The race passes in a blur and
at the end, the checkered flag flies as the race winner takes a victory lap.
Then, one by one, the racers are called before the judges to hear their
evaluation and learn their fate. Potential, character, teach-ability,
performance and teamwork are evaluated - how will each racer measure up
against the challenges and responsibilities on the pro circuit should he or
she win the coveted prize? Four drivers will hit the track another day; two
are sent home.

    Star Racer: Episode 7
    Tues., Dec. 5 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    Today, Team Mazda revs up for their semi-final challenges on the track,
while the four remaining Team Castrol members face an off-track surprise
challenge. The Team Mazda drivers go through last-minute details with the
instructors and the pit crew, strap in and hit the track for warm-up laps. The
green flag falls and it's go time. The victory lap goes to the race winner
then, each racer is called before the judges to hear their evaluation and
learn their fate. Potential, character, safety, coach-ability, performance and
teamwork are measured. For four drivers, the goal is within their grasp; two
drivers are heading home. The last eight savour this moment - only one race
stands between each finalist and his or her Star Racer dream. Tomorrow one of
them will pull ahead of the rest to win the ultimate prize.

    Star Racer: Episode 8
    Tues., Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Discovery Channel and Discovery HD
    It's all on the line today as the eight final racers arrive at the track.
The judges pass through and offer invaluable advice, and the instructors lay
down the ground rules, including a mandatory "pit stop" during the race. The
drivers rev their engines, hit the track to warm up, and proceed through the
qualifying laps. They take their place on the grid and when the green flag
falls, it's anyone's race. Then, final victory as one driver wins the race of
races and earns the title Star Racer.

    Experience the world of Star Racer online. Visit (also
integrated into, for weekly updates, special sections for
Team Mazda, Team Castrol and the Judges, plus a chance to virtually race the
track with the official Star Racer flash racing game! The "Edge Ahead Star
Racer Pool," sponsored by Edge shaving gel, offers a viewer the chance to
score points along with the show by predicting who will be this year's Star
Racer. Weekly and Grand prizes will be awarded to the pool point leaders.
    Star Racer will also rev up the new Discovery Broadband Channel available
Discovery Broadband will feature full
episodes of Star Racer one week after they premiere on Discovery's broadcast
channel and carry exclusive bonus footage only available on broadband.
    The Discovery Broadband Channel is part of the expanding CTV Broadband
Network; Canada's first multi-channel, programmed broadband network. Discovery
Broadband is a free, premium video service that offers online viewers
full-length Discovery Channel programs and exclusive bonus footage, brought to
you on-demand and in enhanced resolution.

    Discovery Channel
    Bold and leading edge, while informing and entertaining, Discovery
Channel is Canada's leading source for factual programming, as it puts a new
spin on exploring adventure, science and technology. This award-winning
channel covers the scientific beat, from animals to the animalistic side of
humanity, from the sea to space, and the latest in innovation. Roper Reports
Canada has ranked Discovery Channel Canada first among all English-language
Canadian specialty networks for overall quality of programming for eight
consecutive years. Discovery Channel is one of the first Canadian specialty
channels to offer programs in HDTV and its production house, Exploration
Production Inc. (EPI), continues to be internationally recognized as a
producer of cutting-edge programming. The channel's Web site may be found at

    Discovery HD:
    Taking Discovery Channel programming to a bigger and bolder platform,
Discovery HD is Canada's first 24-hour specialty service broadcasting
exclusively in High Definition. With a fascinating perspective on science and
technology, adventure, engineering and natural history, Discovery HD is at the
forefront of innovative factual storytelling, fusing critically acclaimed
programming from Canada and around the world with the latest in High
Definition technology. Discovery HD is wholly owned by Discovery Channel
Canada, a joint venture between CTV Specialty Television Inc. and Discovery

For further information: Jodi Cook, (416) 332-4426 or, Manager, Communications; Alexis Hood,
(416) 332-5076 or, Publicist, Communications

SOURCE Bell Glomedia

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