SUNNYVALE, Calif. (June 14, 2000) - Dorricott Racing's pursuit of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship is gaining momentum but with each race comes new challenges and Belle Isle should be no exception when CART's premier development series...
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (June 14, 2000) - Dorricott Racing's pursuit of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship is gaining momentum but with each race comes new challenges and Belle Isle should be no exception when CART's premier development series makes its 12th annual visit to the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, Sunday, June 18.
Round three of the 12-race 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship is scheduled to begin at 11:15 a.m. (ET) for a 32 lap/75.072 mile sprint around Belle Isle's 2.346-mile temporary road course. It is the primary weekend support race to the CART FedEx Championship Series Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit later that day.
Dorricott Racing's preface to Detroit is fairly simple. Its driver trio of Jason Bright, Casey Mears, and Townsend Bell are second, third, and 10th place, respectively, in the Indy Lights championship.
Bright's 32 points are only 10 markers short of series leader, Scott Dixon, who has 42 points. Mears, meanwhile, could conceivably vault into a first place tie at Belle Isle and returns to the "Motor City" with 20 points. Bell has definitely jumped a notch following his sixth place showing at Milwaukee and is back in the title hunt with eight points.
Detroit has been good to Dorricott Racing in recent years. Hometown favorite Robbie Buhl started from the pole position and then powered Dorricott Racing to victory in 1995. Last year's Indy Lights champion, Oriol Servia, also won the pole for Dorricott Racing and finished second place in the race. Servia scored a sixth place finish in 1998.
Bright, of Gold Coast, Australia, is making his first appearance on Belle Isle and is coming off consecutive second place finishes at Long Beach and Milwaukee. Qualifying has also been in his favor as evidenced by starting third at Long Beach and earning the outside pole at Milwaukee.
Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., continues to be a definition of consistency. The son of legendary Off-Road World Champion and Dorricott Racing team manager Roger Mears, Mears has opened the 2000 season with back-to-back fifth place finishes in the Dorricott Racing/Sooner Trailer Lola.
Mears has proved throughout his Indy Lights career to be as resilient a driver in a changing field as Indy Lights has ever seen. Last year's race on Belle Isle was forced to "rev" down halfway through lap one when the first of four cautions was issued. A full course yellow flag was displayed after Chris Menninga suffered left rear damage from contact with another car.
Meanwhile, Mears pulled what has become an opening lap specialty when needed when he leaped from 13th on the starting grid to ninth place before either the field or yellow flag could make a difference.
Bell, who hails from Costa Mesa, Calif., started eighth and finished sixth at Milwaukee in the Dorricott Racing-prepared DirecPC Lola. Of equal importance was that he was able to run an error free race without casualty interference from other drivers. His Indy Lights debut at Long Beach was poisoned when he was struck by another car early in the race and forced to retire in 17th place.
ESPN2 will provide same-day coverage of the Detroit Indy Lights race, Sunday, June 18, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET (4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. PT).
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif., and its corporate office based in Sunnyvale, Calif. Race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com.