ALL THE QUEEN'S HORSES Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing drivers David Rutledge, Sara Senske and Jason LaPoint in the CART Toyota Atlantic and Barber Dodge Pro Series season finales at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, October 12 - 14 - Lynx is the...
ALL THE QUEEN'S HORSES
Fast Facts -- Lynx Racing drivers David Rutledge, Sara Senske and Jason LaPoint in the CART Toyota Atlantic and Barber Dodge Pro Series season finales at the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey, October 12 - 14
- Lynx is the most unique and successful driver development program and
championship-winning racing team in open-wheel racing today. Now in its
11th year, Lynx is owned by two women - Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty - and
its graduates include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Memo Gidley
and Alex Barron.
- Lynx Racing driver David Rutledge, who finished second in this event last year, has already won three races from the pole this year and is the leading candidate to win this weekend at Laguna Seca
- His teammate, Jason LaPoint, who won the U.S. F2000 championship two weeks ago at Sebring, is a highly regarded rookie making his third start with the Lynx team in the Atlantic series.
- Lynx driver Sara Senske is one of the hottest young female drivers in open-wheel racing today. She races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series and at the Target Grand Prix of Chicago made history as the first female driver to start from the front row and finish on the podium at a CART-sanctioned event.
It's something of a mixed metaphor, particularly since we're talking about a weekend of auto racing, but all the queens' horses will most certainly be running flat-out this weekend in the Honda Grand Prix of Monterey.
The horses in question are as thoroughbred a group of young racing drivers as any single team has ever produced -- and the queens are Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, the owners of Lynx Racing, the most unique and successful driver development program in auto racing today.
David Rutledge and Jason LaPoint will compete in the triple-A CART Toyota Atlantic series support race, while Sara Senske races in the Barber Dodge Pro Series, the college varsity of auto racing. And a pair of Lynx graduates, Memo Gidley (Target Chip Ganassi) and Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Forsythe) will also be competing this weekend.
David Rutledge, 23, of Vancouver, B.C., who currently stands second in the Atlantic championship battle, has won three races from the pole and scored six podium finishes in eleven of the season's twelve events. He finished second in this event last year, finished third at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston last weekend, and is the most likely candidate to win in Monterey and move up to CART for the 2002 season.
"I had a great car and a great race here last year, and the Lynx team is so much stronger now that we feel confident of being able to improve on last year's result," says Rutledge, who drives the #19 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a. "At this point in the season, I'm no longer focused on the championship but rather on winning the race. This is the time when CART team owners start looking around for potential drivers for next year, and the guy they're looking at is the one leading the race^Å which is where I plan to be."
Rutledge's Atlantic teammate is rookie Jason LaPoint, 24, of Woodburn, Oregon. He won the championship in the super-competitive U.S. F2000 series at Sebring two weeks ago and is making his third-ever Atlantic start with the Lynx team at Laguna Seca. He qualified third and finished seventh with deteriorating handling in his first Atlantic race at Road America, and started seventh and finished fifth last weekend in Houston.
"I was pretty happy with the Houston results considering that I've never raced on a street circuit before, but I know the Laguna track very well," says LaPoint, who drives the #32 Lynx Racing / Infinity Racing / Regency Aviation / Trackmagic Karts Swift 008.a. "Even though I'm new to the Atlantic series, I feel very comfortable and very competitive in the car. The Lynx team has given me great race cars at every event, and I'm hoping to do well enough here to earn myself a full-time ride in the Atlantic series next year."
Sara Senske, 23, of Kennewick, Washington is now in the fifth year as a Lynx driver and her second season competing full-time in auto racing's version of college varsity, the Barber Dodge Pro Series. She began the season with an interesting extra-circular activity -- driving in the 'Pro' division of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. And two months ago, at the Target Grand Prix of Chicago, she made history by becoming the first woman to qualify on the front row and finish on the podium at a CART-sanctioned event.
"It's been my goal right from the start to graduate to CART and race in the Indy 500, and all the experiences I've had this season have been steps in the right direction," says Senske, who drives the #19 Lynx Racing Reynard 98E. "This is the final race of the Barber Dodge Pro Series season, and I'm looking to finish on a high note. Laguna Seca is my favorite track and I've raced here many times, so I'm definitely going for a podium finish to give me some visibility and momentum as we start planning my next step up the ladder."
2001 marks the 11th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's mental, psychological and spiritual growth in addition to their on-track skills.
The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'Destiny by Design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.
On-track action begins Friday, October 12, with the 30-lap CART Toyota Atlantic race scheduled to take the green flag at 3:15 pm on Saturday, October 13. The 45-minute Barber Dodge Pro Series race is the next-to-last event of the weekend, starting at 3:30 pm on Sunday, October 14.
For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, visit the team's web site at www.lynxracing.com. For more information about the CART Toyota Atlantic series, visit www.toyotaatlantic.com, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series web site is located at www.barberdodge.com
David Rutledge has a personal sponsorship from The Keg Steakhouse & Bar, a group of 82 casual, contemporary steakhouses spanning from Victoria across to Halifax in Canada, and into the United States in Washington, Oregon and Texas. Further information can be found at www.kegsteakhouse.com.