Sebring; Long journey.. first step

{TX} Fast Facts: Lynx Racing drivers Mike Conte and Sara Senske in the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring - Mike Conte finished third in the GTU class of this event last year. He is a former Microsoft software designer who was ...

{TX} Fast Facts: Lynx Racing drivers Mike Conte and Sara Senske in the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring

- Mike Conte finished third in the GTU class of this event last year. He is a former Microsoft software designer who was involved in the creation of Windows 95 and Internet Explorer

- Sara Senske is one of the top female racing drivers in the U.S. She ran the Star Mazda and Women's Global GT Series last year. She won the Portland round of the WGGTS from the pole.

- Both drive for Lynx Racing, the only championship-winning team in motorsports owned by women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty. Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley

(Sebring, FL 3/13/00) -- Lynx Racing drivers Mike Conte and Sara Senske will begin a journey of a thousand miles at this weekend's 48th running of the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring, the first race of the 2000 American Le Mans Series. The difference is that Conte will do the distance in half a day while Senske's travels will be spread over half a year and a dozen races. Conte, 31, of Seattle, Washington, 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. When not competing in endurance races, Conte drives with Lynx Racing in the CART Toyota Atlantic series, where he scored eight top-10 finishes in 1999 and finished 11th in the championship. 2000 marks Conte's third year as an Atlantic driver and his second season with Lynx. This year he will be teamed with David Rutledge, 21, of Vancouver, B.C. when the 12-race Atlantic season begins with a double-header at the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami at the Homestead-Miami Speedway on March 25-26. Conte is a former software designer for Microsoft who was involved in the creation of many of the company's most popular products, including Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. "Sebring is world-class event and so it carries some extra pressure. But we've got the same team assembled that, except for a fluke mechanical failure, would have won the 24 hours at Daytona last month, so I'm feeling confident for the race," says Conte. "I've got a crazy week scheduled. I fly from Seattle to Sebring on Sunday the 12th so I can test the Porsche at Sebring on Monday. Then I fly Monday night to California to test the Lynx Atlantic car for two days. It's our last chance to run the car before the Homestead race and we need all the time we can get. Then I get on a red-eye flight to Sebring on Wednesday night to get back for the 12 hour. I am hoping that it will help my endurance training! Sebring is my last race this year in the Porsche and nothing would be better than to bring home a win for the Alex Job team." Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington, is one of the top young female racing drivers in the U.S. 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. Senske competed in the Star Mazda series last year, as well as the inaugural season of the Women's Global GT series, where she won from the pole at Portland. She finished 4th in the WGGTS championship and 6th in the Star Mazda championship and in 20 races (14 Star Mazda and 6 WGGTS), completed every lap of every event, scoring one win, one pole position, three fastest race laps, three podium finishes, six top-5 finishes and six top-10s. "This is my first race in the Barber Dodge Pro Series cars, but I've done quite a bit of pre-season testing in them here at Sebring, so I'm feeling anxious about the start of a new season in a new series but comfortable with the car and the track," says Senske. "This is a very important season for me and my goal of climbing the ladder to race in the CART FedEx series, and I'm feeling optimistic. But I'm also trying to keep my expectations for this race and this season rooted in reality because there are a number of very good drivers in the series who've been running for several years, and several hotshoes over from Europe. The competition is going to be fierce, but I feel I have the talent and the backing from Lynx Racing to wheel-to-wheel with the best young drivers in the world." 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.

Born in Yonkers, New York, Lynx Racing driver Mike Conte, 31, did not drive -- or even own -- a car for many years before beginning his racing career in 1993. 2000 is his second year with Lynx, where he scored eight top-10 finishes in 1999. Conte also races a Porsche in endurance events like the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring (where he finished third in 1999). Before he started racing, Conte was a philosophy major at the University of Chicago and a software designer for Microsoft, where he helped create Windows 95 and Internet Explorer. His sponsors include Traxx Racing, a chain of indoor kart racing tracks, and White-Black Design, which specializes in the development of motorsports data acquisition software. His racing heroes are Ayrton Senna and Jimmy Vasser, and his advice to young drivers is "Don't rush it. Learn the fundamentals while they still let you make mistakes." His favorite book is Moby Dick, his favorite music is classic jazz and his favorite TV show is NYPD Blue. His hobbies include mountain biking, snowboarding and squash, and his street car is a 1974 Porsche 911 with no radio.

Sara Senske / #19 Lynx Racing Reynard-Dodge 98E

Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington, is now in her third year as a Lynx Racing driver. First signed in 1997, she competed in the final six Star Formula Mazda Series races, and won the pole for her first-ever oval track race, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 1998, she ran the full Star Mazda season, scoring four top-5 and six top-10 finishes. In 1999, she again ran a full Star Mazda season as well as a full season in the inaugural Women's Global GT Series. In a total of 20 races, she finished every lap of every race, won once from the pole in the WGGTS, and was on the podium three times. In 2000, she will focus on the Barber Dodge Pro Series. Senske first started racing karts at age 7, won her first race at age 8 and won her first karting championship at age 9. Her hobbies include ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, hiking, writing poetry and listening to music, including contemporary Christian, jazz and classical. She lists 'juggling' among her skills, her favorite TV show is "I Love Lucy" and her favorite foods are Italian, Thai and Mexican. If she couldn't be a racing driver, she'd like to be on the U.S. Women's Olympic hockey team..

<pre> Event Information: Superflo 12 Hours at Sebring Presented by Dodge Sebring International Raceway / Sebring, FL March 13 - 19, 2000

Wednesday, March 15, 2000 8:30 am - 9:00 am Practice - Barber Dodge Pro Series 9:15 am - 10:15 am Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 12:45 pm - 1:45 pm Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 3:15 pm - 3:45 pm Practice - Barber Dodge Pro Series 4:00 pm - 4:20 pm Qualifying - GTS and GT

Thursday, March 16, 2000 10:00 am - 11:00 am Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 11:15 am - 11:45 am Qualifying #1 - Barber Dodge Pro Series 2:05 pm - 2:25 pm Final Qualifying - GTS and GT 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm Combined Night Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT

Friday, March 17, 2000 8:30 am - 9:00 am Qualifying #2 - Barber Dodge Pro Series 9:15 am - 10:15 am Combined Practice - PROTOTYPE/GTS/GT 11:15 am - 12:15 pm Driver Autograph Session for all 12 Hour Drivers in the tent located at pit in entrance

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

Circuit information:

The Sebring 12-hour race in 2000 is the 48th to be held. A long-distance classic, it is not only a test of endurance because of the hours involved. With its new pit lane and a hotel to add new distinction to the former airfield, the 5.95-kilometer (3.7-mile) long course still suffers from a variety of rough patches. The joints and seams between the concrete slabs, the changing types of surface and various wavy patches and bumps demand a great deal from a car's suspension tuning and the driver's concentration.

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.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Bruno Lambert , Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Randy Pobst , Ayrton Senna , Alex Job