USA: Lee and Thorne join Autotecnica for 2006

Lee and Thorne Join Autotecnica For 2006 Formula BMW USA Series SYOSSET, N.Y., Nov. 17 - Fifteen-year-old race car drivers Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y. and Robert Thorne of Sherman, Conn. are pleased to announce that they will join Team Autotecnica...

Lee and Thorne Join Autotecnica For 2006 Formula BMW USA Series

SYOSSET, N.Y., Nov. 17 - Fifteen-year-old race car drivers Matt Lee of Syosset, N.Y. and Robert Thorne of Sherman, Conn. are pleased to announce that they will join Team Autotecnica for the 2006 Formula BMW USA series.

Team Autotecnica, based in Toronto with a U.S. shop in Lake Park, Fla., won the series championship in 2005, posting three victories and six poles in the 14-race season.

Prior to the 2006 season opener Autotecnica will also prepare and field Lee's car at the Formula BMW World Final in Bahrain Dec. 13-16. Lee will be one of 34 drivers from 15 nations competing in that event, where drivers from the four regional Formula BMW series compete against each other for a $60,000 purse and a Formula 1 test drive.

Thorne will also make the trip to Bahrain for testing after the World Final to prepare for the 2006 Formula BMW USA season.

Lee's car will be sponsored in part by Credit Suisse and Auto Parts Warehouse/Bumper to Bumper. Both teens are searching for additional sponsorship for the 2006 season.

Lee, who will turn 16 on Nov. 27, is a junior at Syosset High School while Thorne, who turns 16 on March 24, is a sophomore at Canterbury School in New Milford, Conn.

Both young drivers are former karting stars and they've raced together in the past, although not as part of the same team. They've been friends for approximately five years.

Lee was a rookie in the Formula BMW USA series this year. Thorne did not compete in the series but he won one of five $40,000 Formula BMW Junior scholarships for the 2006 season due to his performance at a two-day run-off at the Formula BMW Racing Center in Valencia, Spain Aug. 31-Sept. 1.

"Hopefully Robert can win the Formula BMW Rookie of the Year award next year and I can win the championship," Lee said. "That's our goal as a team.

"Autotecnica won the championship this year, so right now they're the best team out there," Lee noted. "We want success, and hopefully they can help us achieve it."

Lee is looking forward to the 2006 season.

"Robert lives two hours away from me, but we've raced against each other in karts and sometimes in the summer I visited him at his house," Lee added. " It will be fun to be at the races together again."

Both teens have tested with Autotecnica recently at Canadian tracks, and both are excited to be part of such a strong team.

"Autotecnica is very good," Thorne noted. "The team was really prepared and very professional at my test.

"Matt's dad and my dad thought it made a lot of sense to run together in a two-car team for 2006, and it seemed like the right series for me," continued Thorne, who is an amateur deejay at parties in addition to being a student and a race car driver. "My challenges are going to be learning the tracks, getting to know the team and the driver coaches, and getting used to the competition. Matt and I are friends; we enjoy a lot of the same things. Hopefully we will be able to help each other and together do very well next year. I know that all the things that Matt learned this year should help us both next year."

For more information see twintooth.com, autotecnicagroup.com, formulabmwusa.com and restartcommunications.com.

-lm-

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Series Formula BMW
Drivers Robert Thorne , Matt Lee