IRL: SAMAX Motorsports, Milk Duno announce entry

MILKA DUNO ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR 2007 INDY RACING LEAGUE SEASON Friday, March 23, 2007 -Milka Duno announced today at Homestead-Miami Speedway that she will be moving from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series to the Indy Racing League (IRL)...

MILKA DUNO ANNOUNCES PLAN FOR 2007 INDY RACING LEAGUE SEASON

Friday, March 23, 2007 -Milka Duno announced today at Homestead-Miami Speedway that she will be moving from the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series to the Indy Racing League (IRL) starting the weekend of April 29 at Kansas Speedway, Round 4 of the 2007 season. The Venezuela-born Duno, who also makes her home in Miami, was thrilled with her move to the IRL to pursue her racing career. During the last three years she spent in the Grand-Am Series, Milka Duno finished first overall three times. In February 2004, she co-drove her Pontiac Daytona Prototype to victory with Andy Wallace to become the first woman to win a major North American sports car race. SAMAX Motorsport will field the IRL team for Duno.

"This is a dream come true," said Milka during a press conference held Friday at Homestead-Miami Speedway, where she is competing for SAMAX Motorsport in Round 3 of the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series. "This a great moment for me and for my sponsor, CITGO Racing, but from now on, there will be a lot of work to do until the first race. This is going to be a steep learning curve for me. I will have to learn quickly and work very hard. I know it is going to be difficult, but I want to succeed at this. That is why we are only running a 10-race schedule this year. We want this to be a learning season before running a full schedule in 2008."

SAMAX Motorsport team owner Peter Baron will pursue his Grand-Am program for the 2007 season. "Naturally we are excited about the new opportunity but we remain very loyal to the Grand-Am Series and our Daytona Prototype race team. Our program will continue unchanged in DP other than a new driver coming in to replace Milka (Duno). We are happy to have signed a sponsor to continue to run the #11 SAMAX Motorsport Pontiac Riley in Daytona Prototypes.

"Patrick Carpentier will carry on in the DP car for the season and Milka will probably do two or three races when there are no conflicting dates. We are evaluating a few drivers to match with Patrick, but we will not be making an announcement on the sponsor and the second driver prior to the April 29 Grand-Am race at Virginia International Raceway. We would like to thank CITGO and Milka for all their support in Grand-Am over the past year and look forward to growing our relationship."

According to the team owner, who is naturally thrilled to be going to the IRL, there will not be any overall changes in the team personnel. "We know at this point that engineer Steve Challis will be heading the IRL crew, and Travis Low will take his place in DP. Steve will assist Travis during the transitional phase of this operation."

-credit: samax

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Series INDYCAR