DSTP SIGNS BOBBY OERGEL AND IAN LACY TO 1999 U.S. F2000 CHAMPIONSHIP
CHARDON, OHIO (March 18, 1999) - Dede Rogers, owner of DSTP Motorsports, today announced that Bobby Oergel and Ian Lacy will lead the team's two-car effort in the 1999 U.S. F2000 National Championship presented by Speedvision.
Oergel, who captured last year's Oval Crown Championship Rookie-of-the-Year award, returns for his second season with DSTP, while 1998 Star Formula Mazda - West champion Lacy joins the team in his first full season of F2000 competition. Both drivers will compete in the newly imported French Mygale chassis, with primary support from DSTP Motorsports.
"We're totally excited about this year," said Rogers. "This is the first time we've supported two drivers at once under our DSTP 'scholarship' system and we firmly believe that we have two championship contenders in Bobby and Ian. Both are extremely gifted young drivers and we hope that they, too, will someday join the list of DSTP graduates competing at the top levels of the sport."
Under the direction of Rogers, DSTP's unique role in racing is to identify promising young drivers with the "right stuff," provide them with the finest equipment and technical guidance, then refine their driving talent and corporate skills to succeed at the highest levels of professional racing.
Oergel, 25, most recently led the DSTP team to eighth overall in last year's U.S. F2000 series with a best finish of fourth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
"Naturally, I'm grateful to Dede and DSTP for playing such a vital role in my career," said Oergel, of Fresno, California. "I think we're in a much better position to move forward this year, especially since we've had several very encouraging test sessions with the new Mygale. Ian has also proven that he can quickly adapt to the two-liter car and has already provided some valuable input. I feel good about the season and look forward to getting it under way."
Lacy, who literally dominated the Formula Russell Championship as well as last year's Star Formula Mazda - West series, ran three F2000 events in 1998 with a best finish of fifth at Pikes Peak.
"Landing a ride with DSTP is an unbelievable opportunity," said Lacy, 24. "They are simply one of the finest teams in professional racing and to be selected to join their winning heritage is a terrific honor. Jim Griffith's engineering expertise is legendary, and I will certainly benefit from teaming with Bobby. The F2000 series is so competitive that I know I've really got my work cut out for me, but it's comforting to know that I've got the best team behind me."
With the enthusiastic support of Rogers, DSTP has brought some of today's leading, young drivers to the forefront of professional racing including current CART FedEx Championship/Dan Gurney's All American Racers driver Alex Barron (who raced for DSTP in 1996), as well as Lynx Racing's Kool/Toyota Atlantic ace and 1997 Valvoline Team USA scholarship winner Buddy Rice (DSTP - 1997). Recent Lynx Racing Atlantic graduate (and 1996 Valvoline Team USA scholarship recipient) Memo Gidley also ran for DSTP in 1995, capturing three wins and three poles en route to second in the F2000 series championship as well as the Rookie-of-the-Year, Oval Crown Champion and Oval Rookie-of-the-Year titles.
In addition, DSTP Motorsports enjoys a technical partnership with Lynx Racing's championship-winning Toyota Atlantic team. This relationship offers shared engineering and developmental resources from DSTP/Lynx Racing engineer Jim Griffith as well as Lynx Racing team manager and DSTP team consultant Steve Cameron. Cameron also plays a pivotal role as DSTP's primary test driver and driver coach.
Oergel's racing roots began on Central California's karting circuit. After his father, Bob, stepped down from drag racing, Bobby stepped up to keep the family name out front. In his first year of organized kart racing, 1991, Bobby won 19 of 21 races in the entry-level 'novice' class, the regional points championship and his first International Kart Federation (IKF) Grand National title. As a sign of what was to come, over the next several years Oergel won more than 50 kart races, including five regional championships and two more IKF Grand Nationals. In addition, he teamed with Alex Barron as a factory Tony Kart driver in 1993, then followed-up to capture the World Karting Association's (WKA) Manufacturers' Cup title, the International Shifter Association Championship and the U.S. Gearbox Championship.
Switching from karts to cars in 1997, Oergel won three F2000 races in the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) national category and set the single lap qualifying record for the class at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in a two year-old car. He also made his U.S. F2000 National Championship debut at Charlotte Motor Speedway, and received special recognition by being selected to 1997's Team Kool Green Academy.
Lacy, of Sonoma, California, brings a winning tradition in open-wheel racing from the Star Formula Mazda series and Formula Russell Championship. After getting his feet wet on Northern California's SCCA autocross circuit, Lacy found his home in the Formula Russell Challenge (for Russell Racing School mechanics) and quickly captured the 1995 series title with seven wins in ten races. In 1996, he captured six victories from eight races in the Formula Russell Championship (for Russell Racing customers), then went on to take third overall in the Russell Triple Crown.
1997 brought Lacy the Russell Triple Crown championship with two wins, one third, one pole and two fastest laps from three races. This led to an opportunity to join the Star Formula Mazda Pro Series - West with the Stacy Suspension Systems racing team for 1998. Lacy re-wrote the record books with an unprecedented seven wins in 13 races, including ten pole positions, en route to the series championship and Rookie-of-the-Year title.
Round one of the 14-race U.S. F2000 Championship presented by Speedvision is scheduled for March 29 at Phoenix International Raceway's one-mile oval, in Phoenix, Arizona, part of the DuraLube 200 Pep Boys Indy Racing League weekend. The event will be televised via the Speedvision network on a tape-delayed basis. Further information is available on the U.S. F2000 Web site at www.usff2000.com.