Fast Facts Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber Dodge Pro Series Race at the Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, June 17-18 - Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske is the fastest-rising female star in open wheel racing - She drives...
Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske in the Barber
Dodge Pro Series Race at the Tenneco
Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit, June 17-18
- Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske is the fastest-rising female star in open wheel racing
- She drives for Lynx Racing, the only championship-winning racing team and driver development program owned by women
- Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley
- Senske will also participate in an autograph session with all the CART drivers at 4:45 pm Saturday, June 17 and toss up the tip-off ball at the Detroit Shock WNBA game Sunday evening and have a special autograph session at half time
Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington is a rising star on open-wheel racing, and this weekend she'll be trying to 'thread the concrete needle' at 100+ mph as she takes to the track for the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race at the 19th annual Tenneco Automotive Grand Prix of Detroit on Belle Isle. Not only is this the first street circuit race of her long (she won her first kart race at age 8) and varied (she won the Portland round of last year's Women's Global GT Series from the pole), but she'll participate in an autograph session with all the CART drivers at 4:45 Saturday afternoon and cap it all off by tossing up the tip-off ball at the Detroit Shock WNBA game Sunday evening between 5:50 -- 6:00 pm -- followed by a special half-time autograph session. "It's part of a racer's life to develop a mental switch you can throw that allows you to enjoy all these sorts of outside activities but then be totally focused as soon as you step into the car," says Senske, who was chosen for CART's 'Women in Racing' program and tested with the PPI Atlantic team. "And focus is the name of the game this weekend. It takes a ferocious amount of focus to get just close enough to the walls to go fast without going that extra inch that instantly transforms speed into a mistake. Lynx Atlantic driver David Rutledge and I were at the kart track a while back and I asked him what racing on a street course was like and he said that for the first few laps it was '...like threading a concrete needle' but after that the walls just fade into the background and you treat it like any other race." On-track activities for the Barber Dodge Pro Series begin with a practice session at 8:45 am Friday, June 16, with preliminary qualifying at 4:45 pm that afternoon. Final qualifying takes place at 12:20 pm on Saturday, June 17, and the 40-minute race takes the green flag at 3:45 pm Sunday, June 18. ESPN2 will air the race at 6:00 pm (EDT) Thursday, July 6, with a repeat at 5:00 am, Friday, July 7. While Senske is racing in Detroit, her Lynx Racing teammates David Rutledge and Mike Conte will be competing in the fifth round of the CART Toyota Atlantic series at the Air Canada Grand Prix on the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal. This will be the 19th anniversary of an Atlantic support race at the Montreal round of the world Formula One Championship. Lynx graduate Patrick Carpentier, who will drive the #32 Player's/Forsythe Reynard-Ford in Detroit won the Montreal Atlantic race in 1996, and Lynx drivers have finished on the podium every year since.
Senske, whose father was the 1989 SCCA Production Class rally champion, began racing karts at age 7 and won her first race at 8. Early in her racing career, Senske won three karting Grandnational events, and finished in the top five seven times. She won the International Karting Federation Region 6 Gold Cup Championship in 1988 and again in 1989, and was the regional champion three years in a row, 1990-1993 in the Junior II 4-cycle class. After signing with Lynx in 1997, Senske ran the final six Star Formula Mazda races of the season -- and won the pole in her first-ever oval track race at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Senske had her first full season in 1998, scoring four top-5 and six top-10 finishes during the 13 race season, and finishing 8th in the championship points battle. In 1999, she ran a total of 20 races in both the Star Mazda (open-wheel) and Women's Global GT (sports cars) series. She finished 6th in the Mazda series, and 4th in the WGGT series, completing every lap of every race in both series. She won the Portland round of the WGGT from the pole, led every lap and set the fastest lap of the race on her way to a 27-sec. margin of victory over the second-place finisher. In the 20 races, she scored one win, one pole, three fastest race laps, three podiums as well as six top-5 and six top-10 finishes. Senske's hobbies include ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, hiking and writing poetry. She is also a music fan, including contemporary Christian, jazz and classical. Her favorite foods are Thai, Italian and Mexican, and her favorite TV show is "I Love Lucy." She lists among her talents the ability juggle, and if she couldn't be a racing driver, she'd like to be a player on the Olympic Women's Ice Hockey team.
Barber Dodge Pro Series
The Barber Dodge Pro Series in which Senske will be competing this year features identically-prepared open-wheel race cars powered by 250 hp V-6 Dodge engines. Like cars in the CART FedEx series, the Barber Dodge cars have carbon-fiber chassis and 'sequential' 6-speed transmissions. The races are all one-hour 'sprint' events with no scheduled pit stops. Eight of the races on the 12-event schedule will be held in conjunction with CART FedEx races during the 2000 season.