(Sebring, FL 3/17/00) -- Lynx Racing drivers Mike Conte and Sara Senske will start 2nd and 21st, respectively, in their races during this weekend's 48th running of the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring. Conte, 31, of Seattle, Washington, and ...
(Sebring, FL 3/17/00) -- Lynx Racing drivers Mike Conte and Sara Senske will start 2nd and 21st, respectively, in their races during this weekend's 48th running of the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring.
Conte, 31, of Seattle, Washington, and co-drivers Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert, put their #23 Cranium/Alex Job GT Porsche on the provisional pole for the 12-hour race early Thursday, only to be bested by 1/10th of a second in the final four minutes of final qualifying by the #5 Dick Barbour Racing Porsche driven by Dirk Muller and Lucas Luhr.
"There was some controversy over qualifying because they did the time with four minutes to go and we sent Randy out to try and get the pole back, they deliberately blocked him on both laps," says Conte. "But that's racing, not the pretty part maybe, but the pole is only for bragging rights anyway, and we're solidly in the field on the front row of the GTU class with a good car a solid driving team. There was only one on-track session for us on Friday, which we decided to skip and spend the time working on fueling and driver change procedures. There's a forty percent chance of thunderstorms tomorrow, so we've got a dry race plan and a wet race plan and we're as ready as it's possible to be going into an event like this where preparation and luck are equally powerful forces and everything can turn upside down in an instant. It's going to be interesting."
Conte finished third in the GTU class at this event last year, and will be co-driving the #23 Cranium/Alex Job GT Porsche at Sebring with Randy Pobst and Bruno Lambert. The trio combined to lead the GTU class and run sixth overall in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January until the last in a series of engine problems in the 23rd hour relegated them to finishing 5th in class and 16th overall.
Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington, is one of the top young female racing drivers in the U.S. and in her first-ever qualifying session for the Barber Dodge Pro Series support race, put her #19 Lynx Racing Reynard 98E 21st on the grid after a new set of tires upset the balance she had been working to achieve during practice.
"I had a pretty good car in practice, maybe a top ten car, but then they put a new set of tires on for qualifying and the car picked up a massive push that I just couldn't get dialed out," says Senske. "I could go back to a soft setup that we tried earlier with some success, but all the fast guys are running really stiff cars and Lynx team manager Steve Cameron and I decided that I need to start getting comfortable with that kind of setup right from the start, so that's what we're doing. The first race of the season is always a wild one, and the driver who keeps their head while still going fast is in the best position to do well, and that's right where I want to be."
She competed in the Star Mazda race at Sebring last year, qualifying 7th and finishing 6th in a race filled with crashes and yellow flags. This weekend's race will mark the opening of her campaign to capture the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series Rookie of the Year award.
2000 marks the 10th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's spiritual and psychological growth in addition to their on-track skills. The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'destiny by design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.
<pre> Event Information: Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring Presented by Dodge Sebring International Raceway / Sebring, FL March 13 - 19, 2000
Saturday, March 18, 2000 7:30 am - 7:50 am Combined Warm Up - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 8:35 am START Barber Dodge Pro Series - 40 Minute Race 10:10 am START 48th Annual Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring Presented by Dodge - 12 Hour Race
Television information: The race will be broadcast live, flat-to-flag on SpeedVision, beginning at 9:30 am EST and continuing through 10:30 pm EST.