Lynx/Senske Tryout Report

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske has completed her tryout for a driver's seat in the newly-formed Women's Global GT Series being developed by Don Panoz and Lyn St. James. Each of the 58 women who participated in the testing were ...

Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske has completed her tryout for a driver's seat in the newly-formed Women's Global GT Series being developed by Don Panoz and Lyn St. James. Each of the 58 women who participated in the testing were given two days of practice and one official 'evaluation' day at Road Atlanta. The program began on Monday, January 25 and concluded on Friday, January 29. Drivers selected to compete in the inaugural 7-event series will be announced on February 4, timed to coincide with celebration of the "National Girls and Women in Sports Day." "I've never been to Road Atlanta or driven a car with fenders before, so I spent the first day of practice getting familiar with the car and the track and trying not to make any mistakes," says Senske, who normally drives the #19 Lynx Racing car in the Star Formula Mazda Championship. "I went about eight seconds a lap faster from the start of the day to the end. On the second day of practice, I was much more comfortable with the handling of the car in the high-speed turns and was able to shave off another three seconds. The fastest lap time I saw anybody turn was a 1.45.8, and on the third day, when we were being evaluated, I turned a 1.46.4, so I was pretty happy since the fast lap was turned by a woman who's been racing longer than I've been alive. All the other mental, physical and image evaluations went really well, and I left for home feeling like I had done my best and that they were happy with me." The tryout format for the Women's Global GT Series consisted of two days of practice and one day of evaluation, the on-track portion of which allowed for just one warm-up lap, five timed laps and one cool-off lap. Lap times count 50% in the overall judging. Other factors taken into consideration include media presence (ability to speak concisely, attitude, communication skills and ease in front of a camera), image (self-esteem, confidence, projecting an image) and physical and mental readiness (testing by Human Performance International). Other drivers trying out for seats in the Women's Global GT Series included Divina Gallica, a 25-year motorsports veteran who competed in four Olympics as a downhill skier, as well as stock car driver Shawna Robinson and Margie Smith-Haas, a driver for the PPG Pace Car team. "This was a really tremendous learning experience for me, and if you're going to get ahead in racing, you need to learn something every time you go out on track," says Senske, 20, of Kennewick Washington. "During my 5-lap timed run I turned a really good first lap, then started trying too hard and got slower for the next couple of laps. So I had to calm myself down and take it easy, and that's when I turned my fastest lap. What I learned was that trying harder is only good up to a point. After that you have to back off and find more speed in being smoother and more accurate, which is a valuable lesson for a driver." The 1999 schedule for the Women's Global GT Series includes events at Road Atlanta (April 18), Mosport (June 27), Sears Point (July 25), Portland (August 1), Petit Le Mans (September 18), Laguna Seca (October 10) and San Diego (November 7). Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, is a unique driver development program now in its ninth year of operation. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the resources and training to realize that potential. In addition to the Star Formula Mazda Championship, Lynx Racing fields a championship-winning team in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic series. Lynx alumni include CART/FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier (the 1996 Atlantic champion and 1997 CART Rookie of the Year) and Alex Barron (the Atlantic Rookie of the Year and series champion in 1997). Carpentier drives for the Player's/Forsythe team and Alex Barron drives for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers. For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please visit the team's web site at, www.LynxRacing.com or telephone the team's PR Manager, Peter Frey, at (818) 909-0985. For further information on the Women's Global GT Series, please contact Lyn St. James or Michelle Buddenbaum at (317) 244-9790.

January 29, 1999

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Series IMSA Others
Drivers Patrick Carpentier , Alex Barron , Dan Gurney , Lyn St. James , Don Panoz , Margie Smith-Haas