WATCH: Winnipeg race car driver pokes fun at his quest for sponsorship.
WINNIPEG – Daniel Burkett will do what it takes to get a chance at the IndyCar racing series.
“Every driver wants to make it to IndyCar, but there are so few seats available,” the young Winnipeg racer said, explaining only a couple of rookies get a shot each year.
So Burkett, 19, a former karting standout who went to the 2011 Rotax World Finals, is creating a web series of videos called “Daniel Burkett’s Quest for Sponsorship” with the help of Winnipeg’s Cruise Media Group.
The first episode (posted above) features Burkett in a business suit making cold calls on numerous phones and ends with him wearing a hotdog costume on a Winnipeg street.
“It kind of just mocks the hunt for sponsorship,” he said from Indianapolis, where he’s training alongside Indy and Road to Indy drivers. “It’s a side of the sport that you don’t get to see on TV.”
The 2013 grad of St. Paul’s High School currently sits fifth in points in the USF2000 and Road to Indy with three top-five finishes. He’s also racing in the Atlantic Championship Series, which he’s leading after he won the first two races this season. At the Road Atlanta, he set a new track lap record during qualifying.
For those who don’t follow racing, Burkett compared his current racing level to that of a junior-level hockey player who aspires to the NHL.
At this stage in his career, it’s 80 per cent business, with fitness and driving each only getting 10 per cent of his career energy, he said.
“It’s not just driving around and working out,” Burkett said. “It’s a very business-oriented sport.
“It’s an extremely expensive sport,” he added.
That’s where the video comes in – he’s looking for some way to stand out to sponsors in a sea of hopeful young drivers.
“Once you finally do get that sponsorship, it allows you to race,” he explained.
The second episode of the series is being edited and more episodes will be shot when Burkett heads home to Winnipeg in June, he said.
You can keep up with Daniel Burkett’s race career on his Facebook page.
WATCH: Daniel Burkett talks a little more seriously about his race career.
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