LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 10, 2000) - Dorricott Racing and the Dayton Indy Lights Championship return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Dorricott drivers Townsend Bell and Damien Faulkner in the thick of a championship battle. The only ...
LEXINGTON, Ohio (Aug. 10, 2000) - Dorricott Racing and the Dayton Indy Lights Championship return to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course with Dorricott drivers Townsend Bell and Damien Faulkner in the thick of a championship battle. The only certainty for any is that the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship is far from decided, making this weekend's eighth round of the 12-race series all the more important.
The 34 lap/76.772 mile Indy Lights race around Mid-Ohio's 2.258-mile, 13-turn road course is scheduled to begin at 2:45 p.m. ET, Sunday, August 12. This will be the 11th overall Dayton Indy Lights appearance at Mid-Ohio and it is the featured support event for the CART FedEx Championship Series Miller Lite 200 earlier that day.
Bell and Faulkner are in first and second place, respectively, in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship with Bell leading Faulkner by 19 points, 104 to 85.
Bell, of San Luis Obispo, Calif., is arguably the hottest driver in Indy Lights with three wins including round seven through the streets of Toronto three weeks ago. Bell also won at Long Beach in April and the Milwaukee Mile in June. The first of Bell's five career Dayton Indy Lights wins came at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course last year. His second career win was at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis. Bell has also posted "fastest race lap" on four occasions this season.
Bell's Milwaukee win, his fourth career Indy Lights victory, was an impressive show of skill as he devastated the field by winning the poll, leading every lap, running the fastest lap of the race, setting a new track record for average race speed, and then becoming the first driver in Indy Lights history to lap an entire field during a race.
Faulkner, of Moville, Ireland, made his Indy Lights debut at Monterrey and earned a deceivingly impressive seventh place finish. He has since matured into a front-runner. Faulkner excelled at Toronto where he started fourth and finished third place for his third consecutive and fourth podium finish of the year. Faulkner's first year Indy Lights resume also highlights convincing wins at Texas Motor Speedway and Portland.
Faulkner's first career oval track win in April at Texas Motor Speedway was distinguishing because he had never previously raced on an oval let alone a superspeedway.
His Portland triumph started from third on the grid. After leading 22 of 38 laps, Faulkner crossed the finish line an unchallenged 16.134-seconds ahead of runner-up Rudy Junco, of Mexico. A Faulkner win at Mid-Ohio would etch his name among an elite list of drivers who have won three or more races in their first year in Indy Lights.
Faulkner became the Republic of Ireland's first European motor racing champion in 19 years by capturing the 2000 European Formula Palmer Audi Championship. The 25-year-old Moville resident dominated the EFPA's 20-race season behind six wins, seven poles, and 12 podium finishes. Faulkner was also named Ireland's 2000 International Motorsports Competitor of the Year.
Jon Fogarty's season remains frustrating as he was not given a medical release to participate in this weekend's event. Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., has missed the last three races at Portland, Kansas, and Toronto due to a herniated disk located between his C-3 and C-4 vertebrae.
As a result of Fogarty's withdrawal, Dorricott Racing announced upon arriving in Mid-Ohio that it is again welcoming veteran Indy Lights driver Geoff Boss, of Narragansett, R.I., to drive in place of Fogarty at Mid-Ohio. Boss will continue to work with Fogarty's engineer and Boss's former engineer at Lucas Motorsports, Canadian native Burke Harrison.
Boss, who returned to Indy Lights competition as a replacement driver for Fogarty at Toronto, recorded an impressive sixth place finish in the No. 32 Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards Lola.
This will be the fourth Indy Lights related visit for Dorricott Racing at Mid-Ohio. Dorricott Racing fielded Indy Lights entries in 1991 and 1994 with driver Bob Dorricott Jr. Mid-Ohio, however, is far from foreign for team owner Bob Dorricott. Dorricott also personally raced at Mid-Ohio in Sports 2000.
ESPN2 will provide a same day telecast of the Mid-Ohio Indy Lights race Sunday, August 12, from 10:30 p.m. to 11:30 a.m. PT (Monday, Aug. 13, from 1:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. ET).