(Indianapolis, In) – PacWest Racing’s commitment to the evaluation and development of young drivers will continue tomorrow when Indy Lights driver Casey Mears drives one of the team’s Champ Cars at Putnam Park near Indianapolis.
Mears, the nephew of four-time Indy 500 winner Rick Mears, will be under the watchful eye of PacWest Vice-President of Race Operations, John Anderson, as he is put through his paces on the permanent road course.
Mears is currently third in this year’s Dayton Indy Lights Championship behind PacWest’s own championship leader Scott Dixon and Australian Jason Bright.
“We have a policy of giving young guys a go,” said Anderson.
“Casey was one of a group of young drivers who tested a Champ Car for us last year and he was professional and gave us good feedback.
“That original test was effected by bad weather and teething problems with the new car and we believe Casey deserved more time in the seat.
“We are delighted that we are in a position where we can give him the time in the car that he deserves. At the same time, we will get to have a closer look at this young guy and mark him in our books for any future positions that may become available.”
Mears, who was runner-up in last year’s Indy Lights championship, was delighted to be offered the Champ Car test. “I am excited. Anytime I can get time in a Champ Car is valuable to me,” said Mears, who drives for Dorricott Racing. “I have to thank Bruce McCaw (PacWest President) and John Anderson for giving me this opportunity.”
Meanwhile, PacWest’s Indy Lights team will test at Gingerman in Michigan tomorrow in an effort to gather last-minute data for this weekend’s third round at Detroit, according to team manager, Paul “Ziggy” Harcus.
The team is on a roll with Dixon having won the opening two rounds of the championship in Long Beach and Milwaukee in his Invensys/Powerware machine and Tony Renna showing tremendous speed in round two in his Motorola entry.
“We have our eyes on the Indy Lights championship and with a couple of wins under our belt we need to make sure the momentum continues,” said Harcus.
“If the weather is kind to us, I’m sure we will learn a lot of things that will be of value next weekend.”
The next round of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship will be the major support event to the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit at the Raceway on Belle Isle on June 18.