Lynx Racing Adds New Personnel

STEPPING UP THE PROGRAM "The direction of progress is inside out." - Anonymous In pursuit of producing a championship-winning effort for 2000 -- the team's tenth year of training the hottest young drivers in auto racing -- Lynx...

STEPPING UP THE PROGRAM "The direction of progress is inside out." - Anonymous In pursuit of producing a championship-winning effort for 2000 -- the team's tenth year of training the hottest young drivers in auto racing -- Lynx Racing has stepped up the program by adding new personnel and undertaking a series of organizational changes designed to bring the team into alignment with the typical structure of CART FedEx teams. Even before it was announced earlier this month that Canadian David Rutledge would be joining the returning Mike Conte as Lynx drivers for the 2000 Toyota Atlantic season, the team was interviewing highly-experienced engineers with a view toward upgrading its already considerable technical capabilities. The decision was made to replace the single Chief Engineer structure that had served the team well while winning back-to-back championships in 1996 (Patrick Carpentier) and 1997 (Alex Barron) with a pair of engineers, Steve Conover and Craig Perkins. The duo will work closely with each other, the drivers and the team on all development and chassis setup programs, while on race weekends, each will be responsible for engineering a specific car. Conover, who will focus on Rutledge's #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a, has spent the last five years engineering cars in the CART FedEx series, including Richie Hearn (1998-99), Dario Franchitti (1997) and Parker Johnstone (1993-96). He has also worked in sports cars with Tom Walkinshaw Racing (1991-92) and Spice USA (1986-1990). Conover and Lynx team manager Steve Cameron have worked together previously, as engineer and driver on the 24 Hours of Daytona-winning Comptech/ Spice Camel Lights effort. Conover will split his time between Lynx testing sessions and race weekends with his duties as Director of New Product Development for Comptech, one of the sport's top racing teams and manufacturer of high performance aftermarket parts. Lynx and Comptech will also be exploring ways to work together on future projects. "Lynx is one of the best teams in the sport and working with young drivers on their way up is something I've always wanted to do," says Conover. "The cars in both Atlantic and CART are technically complex and relatively equal, so having a driver who understands the technical aspects of car setup is often the major difference between running mid-pack and running at the front. My job at Lynx is part engineering and part education, and it's a challenge I'm looking forward to." Perkins, who helped engineer Mike Conte's podium finish in a Porsche GT at the 12 hours of Sebring earlier this year, will turn his attention to Conte's #17 Lynx Racing / White-Black Design Swift 008.a. He is a former karting champion who has worked as engineer and driving coach for Indy Lights teams such as Lucas Place Motorsports and Conquest Racing as well as U.S. F2000 and Ferrari Challenge teams. He worked with 1999 Atlantic Champion Anthony Lazzaro during his 1995 championship-winning Hooter's Formula Cup campaign and again in 1996 when Lazzaro moved up to the Atlantic series. "My experience as a driver, driving coach and engineer fits right in with the Lynx mission," says Perkins. "I've worked with a number of up-and-coming drivers over the years, and the mysterious 'chemistry' between engineer and driver is both real and absolutely critical to good results. Mike and I hit it off right from the start and I'm looking forward to helping him realize the considerable potential that both the team and I see in him. I'll also be working to more effectively integrate Mike's considerable computer and data skills into Lynx's engineering program. " Both engineers will report to Rick Cameron, Lynx Racing's veteran crew chief who has been promoted to the newly-created position of Technical Director. "Having an engineer for each car will enhance the competitiveness of both efforts and make more efficient use of the extremely limited testing time available during a race weekend," says Cameron. "And a more centralized team structure will improve both the quality and sharing of setup information to help both Dave and Mike get up to speed as quickly as possible. Along with the implementation of a dedicated shock absorber program and an expanded data acquisition effort, Lynx is taking giant steps to return to the place we feel most comfortable... in victory circle." Bruce Ritchie, who has worked with Rick Cameron and Lynx team manager Steve Cameron since 1992 in the New Zealand Formula Pacific series, will be the team's Racecar Electrical Specialist and Shock Building/Dyno Testing Technician. He joined the Lynx team in 1995 and has worked on the cars of Patrick Carpentier, Jeret Schroeder and Buddy Rice, taking time off in 1997-98 to return to New Zealand and work as a special effects technician for the Hercules and Xena television shows. Dave Abbott has also been associated with the Cameron-directed racing efforts since 1992, including the Formula Pacific program, Atlantic efforts for Gene Pope (1992) and Bert Hart (1993) as well as Memo Gidley's Shelby Can Am season (1994). He joined the Lynx organization in 1995 as a mechanic on Carpentier's car, then worked as data analyst and driver coach for Lynx driver Sara Senske's Star Formula Mazda program in 1998-99. He returns to Lynx as the Atlantic team's Data Specialist for the 2000 season. "We reorganized the whole Lynx Racing engineering department with top people dedicated to specific areas," says Lynx team manager Steve Cameron. "This is a system CART teams use, and the Toyota Atlantic series has become so professional and competitive that any team that wants to run at the front has to step up to that level. These people are even more extraordinary because Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a driver development program, which demands that not only are they the best at their particular job, but they be able to teach it to the drivers. This new structure has been designed to provide David and Mike and Sara, as well as Lynx drivers still in the future, with the tools they need to learn, to win and to become champions." Lynx Racing is the most unique, successful driver development program and championship-winning racing team in open-wheel racing today. Created and owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley. In 2000, Lynx will celebrate its tenth anniversary of seeking out young drivers with the qualities of speed, spirit and character to become the champions of tomorrow and providing them with the funding, training and resources to realize that potential. For further information on Lynx Racing, please visit the team's website at www.LynxRacing.com. Mike Conte also has a web site at www.MikeConte.com. Or telephone, Peter Frey, Lynx Racing's public relations manager at (818) 909-0985. January 6, 2000

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Series ATLANTIC