With such an incredible win at the German Grand Prix last week in Nurburg, I was shocked to see the determination of the young American Brook Johnston for Team Sauber Red Bull Racing. Wasn't this the same young man that was involved in a terrible accident just weeks before at Monza? Absolutely! The twenty year old American talent from California has been taking the Formula BMW International series to a whole new height. With four wins in seven races so far this season, the young phenom leads the championship points standings going into the South American tour starting in Rio de Janeiro. Coming from a dominant karting and open wheel racing history, Johnston has literally come a long way in just a few short years. Battling some very tough series and competition to reach a higher series, Johnston managed to win the Red Bull drivers search last year and land a ride with Mark Spire's operation at Sauber Red Bull Racing.
Well surely there are many great drivers in motorsports racing, but Johnston has proven that he is virtually bulletproof. His incident at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy's famed Milan region just two weeks ago put him in severely hospitalized conditions. With a concussion, head trauma, broken bones and torn ligaments, Johnston was seen as a non-contender in finishing out the rest of the Formula BMW International season and would most likely lose his championships hopes. Yet miraculously, Johnston returned to the German Grand Prix just two weeks later and regained his strength to drive and not only take the pole in qualifying but won the Grand Prix at the world famous Nurburgring as well. Red Bull has constantly kept this guy under-wraps and it seems as though he may need to be. An British press writer reported that Red Bull is keeping their two drivers (Brook Johnston and Matt Jaskel) with minimal publicity so that they can focus on putting the drivers exactly where they need to be. The goal of the International series is to take some of the worlds top drivers and place them into higher forms of motorsports on some of the worlds best circuits. While Johnston seems to be dominating the Formula BMW International series, he has also been asked to prove himself this August at a much higher level.
Sauber Red Bull's star will be testing for the highly sought after prize of driving in Formula One's 2009 season for Scuderia Torro Rosso Racing. Red Bull Racing's sister program as some may call it has recently moved current driver Sebastian Vettel to Red Bull Racing to fill in for David Coulthard's position. Torro Rosso's Formula One development program will be holding an official test during the last week of August in Valencia, Spain where several drivers will compete for the ultimate prize. Brook Johnston was clearly a shocking choice as many have not heard of the name nor the newly christened Formula BMW International series. However things have since quickly changed and Johnston has become the talk of the town internationally. The young Red Bull driver will be the first American Formula One pilot since Scott Speed's debut for Torro Rosso just a few years back. The efforts made by Sauber Red Bull Racing were meant to find a top American candidate to bring forth to Formula One. Johnston was chosen as the prime candidate. With a tough finish to the Formula BMW International season ahead of him and a championship on the line, the twenty year old must also be on the tips of his toes preparing for the Scuderia Torro Rosso trials this August. Torro Rosso has only but announced that they are excited to see the growing talent in Johnston and hope that he will prove a worthy candidate for the team. Surely it would be a site to see the young driver in Formula One for the 2009 season. Thus far, he is showing that he wants it!