IRL: Convergent Racing enters 2002 series

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002 - Convergent Racing, a new Indy Racing League team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, will compete in the entire 2002 season with G Force chassis, Chevrolet engines and Firestone tires, team officials said...

INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2002 - Convergent Racing, a new Indy Racing League team based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, will compete in the entire 2002 season with G Force chassis, Chevrolet engines and Firestone tires, team officials said Jan. 24.

The team has signed Japanese open-wheel veteran Hideki Noda as its driver. Noda, 32, first must complete the Indy Racing League rookie test before he is eligible to race.

Don Batchelor is the managing partner of Convergent Racing and is responsible for all business and sponsorship operations. Longtime Indy Racing team owner Tommy O'Brien, most recently with TeamXtreme, manages all racing operations.

Convergent will use many personnel from Texas-based TeamXtreme, which recently ceased operations.

"The majority of the previous team's personnel remained in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, which has made the transition seamless," O'Brien said.

Noda, a native of Osaka, Japan, started racing karts in 1982 and since has competed in Formula One with the Larrousse team in 1994, F3000, Indy Lights and British Formula 3. He won the Indy Lights race in 1997 at Portland, Ore. Noda has raced in the Japanese Formula Nippon open-wheel series for the last three years.

"We are very excited and pleased that Hideki will be competing for the Convergent Racing team during the 2002 IRL season and expect that his broad background in racing will serve both Hideki and the team well," Batchelor said. "Hideki Noda's outstanding performance in the Indy Lights championship series, in both 1996 and 1997, underscores his ability to make the transition from road-course racing to open-wheel racing on an oval circuit.

"We look forward to a successful season with Hideki behind the wheel and a long and prosperous relationship."

Said Noda: "I am obviously very excited about competing in my first IRL season. I want to thank Mr. Batchelor and Mr. O'Brien for this opportunity and am looking forward to competing in what is fast becoming the premier racing league in the world."

-cr-

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Hideki Noda