Former Jaguar test driver Andre Lotterer is to join Dale Coyne Racing for the finale of the CART season in Mexico next week. The 20-year-old German will drive a Ford Cosworth/Lola in the race and Coyne is cautious but thinks Lotterer will do fine -- although the youngster doesn't have the experience of Darren Manning, who raced for Coyne in the UK earlier this year.
"We tested Andre at Sebring and it went pretty well, but he's only 20 and he didn't get to do as much testing at Jaguar as he wanted," said Coyne. "He's got nowhere the miles and experience of Manning and he simply needs more time in the car, but I think he'll be OK--as long as we pick him up at the airport because he can't rent a car yet."
Lotterer competed in German F3 in 2000 and British F3 in 2001 and although an official tester with Jaguar this year, along side James Courtney, he didn't see much on track action. The CART drive happened through Coyne's connections with Germany: "This came about because of our German connection and German television is going to broadcast the Mexico race so it should have a good presence," Coyne said.
Coyne Racing has only had one previous start this year, at the Rockingham Motor Speedway, UK, with Manning, where the British driver finished ninth.
Prior to this year, Coyne was an active participant in the Championship Auto Racing Teams series as both a driver and team owner. He is the owner of the Route 66 Speedway outside of Chicago, Illinois. Coyne has a reputation for spotting talented rookies and giving them opportunities, former drivers include CART current star Paul Tracy and IRL standout Alex Barron.