- Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske will be competing in the final race of two different series this weekend in Las Vegas -- the Star Formula Mazda Championship and the Women's Global GT Series. There's going to be a small army of the best...
- Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske will be competing in the final race of two different series this weekend in Las Vegas -- the Star Formula Mazda Championship and the Women's Global GT Series. There's going to be a small army of the best racing drivers in the world competing in the American Le Mans Series race at Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend.... and it just so happens that an unusually large number of them are women. Unique among these, distinguished both by her accomplishments and her affiliation with a unique, championship-winning driver development program called Lynx Racing, is Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington. Senske will be competing in two of the support races during the weekend, the Star Formula Mazda Championship (a training series for drivers hoping to move up the open-wheel ladder into CART or the IRL) and the Women's Global GT Series (a series for the top female racers from around the world competing in identically-prepared Panoz Esperante sports cars). "To be racing with drivers of this caliber is an honor, to be competitive with them is the realization of a lifetime's work," says Senske, who started racing karts at age 7 and won her first race at age 8. "Both the Mazda series and the Women's GT series are premier steppingstones to my goal of racing at the top levels of the sport and using my experience and success to open the door for other women to get into the sport. High ideals aside, the Las Vegas weekend is going to be tough, dirty and dangerous, and I'm running to win." Both series are brimming with the cream of tomorrow's crop of top racing drivers, and Senske has excelled even among this elite group. In the 12-race Star Mazda series, she has scored nine top-10 finishes and turned the fastest lap of the race several times. In the six-race Women's Global GT series (created by Lyn St. James, one of the few women ever to have driven in the Indy 500, and auto racing entrepreneur Don Panoz) Senske won the event at Portland International Raceway, starting from the pole, leading every lap, setting the fastest lap of the race and winning by a margin of 27 seconds over the second-place car. Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty and now entering its ninth year of operation, is both a championship-winning racing team and a unique driver development program. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the training, resources and opportunity to realize that potential and make the jump to auto racing's 'major leagues.' Lynx Racing graduates include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley. Another Lynx Racing driver, Mike Conte, 30, of Seattle, Washington, will be driving in the main event of the weekend, the American Le Mans Series race. Conte, a former software developer for MicroSoft who was involved in the creation of such popular programs as Windows 95 and Internet Explorer, will drive the #17 Porsche 911 in the GT class. Conte scored a third-place finish at the legendary 12 Hours of Sebring earlier this year with the same car, entered under his own Contemporary Motorsports banner. Conte drives with Lynx in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, the 'triple-A' series that serves as a stepping-stone to the CART FedEx series. Lynx won back-to-back championships, in 1996 with Patrick Carpentier and in 1997 with Alex Barron. Both, as well as 1998 graduate Memo Gidley, are now driving in the CART FedEx series.
American Le Mans Series Schedule of Events:
Friday, November 5, 1999
8:00 am - 8:30 am Practice - Star Mazda Series/Best Western Championship 9:20 am - 10:20 am Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 10:30 am - 11:00 am Practice - Star Mazda Series/Best Western Championship 11:10 am - 11:35 am Practice - Women's Global GT Series Session #1 12:05 pm - 12:25 pm Qualifying - GTS/GT 1:00 pm - 1:25 pm Practice - Women's Global GT Series Session #2 2:15 pm - 2:40 pm Practice - Star Mazda Series/Best Western Championship
Saturday, November 6, 1999
7:45 am - 8:30 am Qualifying - Star Mazda Series/Best Western Championship 8:40 am - 9:40 am Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 10:30 am - 11:00 am Qualifying - Women's Global GT Series 11:05 am Post-qualifying Press Conference for Women's Global GT pole sitter in the Media Center 11:10 am - 11:30 am Qualifying - GTS/GT 12:05 pm Post-qualifying Press Conference for ALMS PROTOTYPE, GTS and GT pole sitters in the Media Center 12:30 pm - 1:15 pm Star Mazda Series/Best Western Championship - 45 Minute Race 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm American Le Mans Series Driver Autograph Session - Location T.B.A.
Sunday, November 7, 1999
7:30 am - 12:30 pm SPORTS CAR Registration 8:00 am Mandatory Briefing for all Women's Global GT competitors in the Driver's Lounge 9:00 am - 9:45 am Women's Global GT Series - 45 Minute Race 9:55 am Post-race Press Conference for Women's Global GT winner in the Media Center 10:00 am - 10:30 am Combined Warm up - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 12:00 pm - 2:45 pm American Le Mans Grand Prix of Las Vegas - 2 Hour 45 Minute Race 3:00 pm Post-race Press Conference for American Le Mans Series class winners in the Media Center