FRENCHMAN NELSON PHILIPPE JOINS STARWORKS MOTORSPORT FOR THE SAHLEN'S SIX HOURS OF THE GLEN
Former Champ car race winner, Frenchman Nelson Philippe, will co-drive the #7 Flex-Box Starworks Motorsport Dinan-BMW Riley Daytona prototype at the Sahlen's Six Hours of the Glen at Watkins Glen International Raceway on June 4-5, 2010 with Bill Lester and Kasper Andersen.
It will be Nelson Philippe's first race in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. Since 2003, Nelson has been enjoying a very successful early career in Barber Dodge Pro Series, Champ Car, Indy Racing League and the SuperLeague Formula in Europe. At 17, he became the youngest driver to ever race in Champ Car. Between 2004 and 2009 Philippe competed at the highest level of North American open-wheel racing. In 2006, Nelson Philippe won the Champ car race in Surfer's Paradise Australia and at only 19, became the youngest winner in Champ Car World Series history. Nelson's last experience in racing was last year during practice for the 2009 Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. Nelson Philippe, who was returning to the Indy Racing Series for a few late-season road course races was the victim of a violent accident and suffered a fractured ankle and concussions.
Nine months after his accident, Nelson is excited about joining Starworks Motorsport at Watkins Glen and making his debut in the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series.
"I am very happy to join Starworks Motorsports," announced Nelson Philippe. "I am super excited about partnering with Bill Lester and Kasper Andersen. I know Bill from seeing him around the paddock and I raced against Kasper in SuperLeague Formula in 2008. They are both brilliant drivers but I am sure my experience in 2.5 hr. Champ Car races will help and I will also be ready to learn anything I can from them," Philippe continued.
"I feel great since the accident at Sonoma last year. I have been training very hard and I am actually in the best shape of my life. My test at PBIR a few weeks ago was the first time I got back into a racing car since the crash and it felt amazing. I have been karting in Miami to keep my reflexes up and I got really good on the PlayStation while I was in my wheelchair so I know most tracks that I haven't been to yet by heart! After 6 years at the highest level of open wheel racing in the US, I feel ready for a change and I feel Grand- Am is a place where I can build a career," added Philippe.
Starworks Motorsport team owner Peter Baron is also enthusiastic to sign Philippe.
"I am pleased to welcome Nelson Philippe to our team," announced Peter Baron, Starworks Motorsport team owner. "Originally our paths crossed in 2007 trying to put together an Indy Car program. We were not able to put anything together, but we remained in contact. Our sponsors at Flex-Box and I were chatting about the third driver for the Glen, they brought up Nelson's name. After a chat with Nelson about his desire to make a career in sports car racing, it was an easy decision to put him in. I'm very happy that he is going to make his top level sports car racing debut with us. It's always great to have a Champ Car race winner join your team. I have known Nelson for a few years now and get along quite well with him. I'm pretty excited to put him with his credentials in the car and hopefully get a good result at the Glen," added Baron.
If the Starworks Motorsport racing program works out well, the plan is to have Philippe run more events for Starworks this season.