DICK SIMON AND STEPHAN GREGOIRE READY FOR THE 2000 SEASON!
Dana Point, California January 3, 2000 - Legendary open-wheel racing icon Dick Simon, co-owner with his wife Dianne of Dick Simon Racing is pleased to announce that Frenchman Stephan Gregoire will drive for his team in the 2000 Indy Racing League Series. At 23 Gregoire became the Fastest Rookie and the Youngest Starting Driver of the 1993 Indy 500. Stephan has competed in 32 Indy Racing League events since the league inception in 1996 with a best finish of second. Gregoire and Simon have been working together since the 1999 season. After a promising first season where the combination was on the verge of their first Indy Racing League win, Dick and Stephan are excited to return together to America's premiere open-wheel series.
Dick Simon approaches the new Millennium with ambition, passion and determination and he knows that the future of Indy Racing has never been so bright! At 66, Dick Simon is one of the most famous racing personalities in the sport of auto racing and he and Dianne still have one goal in mind: Winning the greatest auto race in the world, the Indianapolis 500.
For 35 years, the name "Dick Simon" has been synonymous with high-performance, not only in auto racing but also in the power boat industry where Dick owns and manages one of the largest and most successful boat dealerships on the west coast. Based in a 60,000 sq. ft. Dana Point, California marine facility, Dick Simon Marine employs 25 people, has annual sales revenue of over $12 million, and carries such prestigious brands as Formula, Fountain, Baja, Cigarette, Cabo Rico, Westbourne and Rinker. Dick Simon Marine is also involved in powerboat racing and recently won two races in the Off Shore World Championship.
Dick Simon, Stephan Gregoire and crew chief, Richee Simon recently chose the technical package that they will use during the 2000 season. Dick Simon Racing will use the G-Force- Oldsmobile Roush combination with Firestone tires as in 1999. "The choice of chassis was really tough this year," declared Dick. "We went to England and Italy to visit the three IRL chassis manufacturers that all presented very good technical innovations. At some point, if you want to be competitive for the first race, you need to make a choice, and based on the close relationships I have developed with the executives of G-Force since the beginning of the 90's, the aggressive look of their new car and the engineering support offered to our team for the next season, we decided to select the new 2000 G-Force car."
Roush Technologies will prepare the new 3.5-liter engines that will power Dick Simon Racing G Forces. "We are very enthusiastic about working again this season with Roush" said Dick Simon. "We were one of the first teams to select Roush engines in the Indy Racing League. They build very competitive engines and knowing that their engines finished 1st and 3rd at Indy last year, the only 500-mile race of the year, proved that reliability and power is part of the Roush package!"
The first Dick Simon Racing 2000 car is being assembled at the Dana Point shop and the team will start testing at the Walt Disney World open tests on January 5th and 6th, 2000. For his 2000 effort, Dick has selected one of the best crews in the Indy Racing League. "Having worked all over the world for the best open-wheel racing teams, our team members are the most experienced in the business," declared Dick. In addition to the Team Manager and Marketing Director Emmanuel Lupe, Crew Chief Rich Simon, the team just contracted Windrush Evolutions Inc., a Design, Engineering and Prototype Company in San Carlos, California in the Silicon Valley area. Windrush Evolutions Inc. is managed by Tracey Morris and Hayden Burvill, each with over 15 years experience in motorsports.
Hayden Burvill is now working closely with Dick Simon on the engineering side. "During 1999, my work as G-Force Track Liaison Engineer gave me the opportunity to interact with many G-Force customers" declared Hayden Burvill. "Dick Simon Racing have always welcomed the assistance of the G-Force staff and during the later part of the `99 season I was able to assist with some of their strongest performances." For 1999 Hayden's work included a 3-month contribution as one of the Senior Designers on the year 2000 GF05 IRL car, working under the leadership of Paul Burgess managing the design of all composite components and many systems along with key contributions to the refined packaging of the elegant new G- Force 2000. Dick Simon Racing will once again be sponsored by three American world leading companies; The Mexmil Company, Tokheim Corporation and Viking Air Tools Inc.
With the goal of adding more sponsorship dollars to his racing budget in order to increase his testing and development program and to have a high profile team, Dick Simon has launched the INDY2K Club; a sponsor's Club that acts like a business club and provides small and mid-sized businesses the power to become active players in the Indy Racing League without spending a large portion of their advertising budget.
The first INDY2K Club member to join the Club is Stange Racing Apparel, LLC that also became the official clothing supplier of Dick Simon Racing.