AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing Add Sebastian Saavedra to 2009 Firestone Indy Lights Lineup
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Jan. 15, 2009) - AFS Racing and Andretti Green Racing announced today that Sebastian Saavedra has been signed to drive one of the team's two entries during the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season. Saavedra will compete alongside J.R. Hildebrand, who was signed by the team after the conclusion of the 2008 season.
Saavedra, who is an 18-year old native of Bogota, Columbia, comes to the team after a successful 2008 rookie season in the ATS Formula 3 championship. He finished second overall in the championship standings on the way to winning rookie of the year honors. 2008 also saw him net three wins in the German championship, two wins in the Austrian championship and four pole positions.
In 2007, Saavedra finished fourth in the Formula BMW World Final. The 2007 season was his first opportunity in America, and in just his third race, he captured a victory. Three more wins followed in the Asian championship that same season.
Hildebrand and Saavedra will be tasked with defending the Firestone Indy Lights entrant championship, which went to AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing in 2008.
"This is a good opportunity for me. I'm very happy to be with AFS Racing/Andretti Green Racing. The team is so professional that it gives you a great sense of confidence and allows you to focus on the championship. Although I need to learn the car and everything that is new, I know we can be fast and run at the front. If we can get off to a good start, then anything is possible."
Gary Peterson, owner, AFS Racing: "I'm really excited about this season. It's great to have a young driver as part of the team. We can teach him the ropes, help him learn the ovals and be a big part of his development. He is a really good kid. I feel good about both drivers we have and they should be good teammates. Obviously, we have a lot to live up to after winning the championship, so expectations are going to be pretty high."
Michael Andretti, co-owner, Andretti Green Racing:
"We're excited to have Sebastian join the team. He is young and talented. The thing I really like about him is how much he wants to learn. He seems to be very open and has a lot of people here that are willing to help him learn what it takes to compete at a high level in Firestone Indy Lights. We're looking forward to seeing what he can do."