Lynx Racing announced today that it has latched on to an All- American rocket -- Bryan Sellers, the 20 year old reigning Formula Ford Zetec champion from Centerville, Ohio, has been signed to partner current Toyota Atlantic points leader Michael...
Lynx Racing announced today that it has latched on to an All- American rocket -- Bryan Sellers, the 20 year old reigning Formula Ford Zetec champion from Centerville, Ohio, has been signed to partner current Toyota Atlantic points leader Michael Valiante beginning with the Laguna Seca round of the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship season. The team also has an option on Sellers for the full 2004 Atlantic season when Valiante finishes his two year Lynx `scholarship' and graduates to Champ Cars.
Sellers will begin his tenure with the team at the Atlantic series test at Portland International Raceway on April 30 May 1, and will make his first start as Valiante's teammate at Laguna Seca on June 14. Sponsorship is in place to run at least five races, and the team will be working to secure additional funding that will allow Sellers to compete in all the remaining events.
At this point, Sellers will run with backing from several long-time sponsors, including laser-cutting specialists 3 Dimensional Services. He will also receive support from Microsoft executive Rick Waddell's Drive4USA, a program which like Lynx Racing seeks to identify young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the funding and support to move up the ladder to the top levels of motorsports. Waddell and his Kart2CART program (now re-named Drive4USA) sponsored Grant Ryley, Valiante's teammate during the 2002 Atlantic season.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime, and things have been moving very fast since we signed the deal," says Sellers. "I had the opportunity to spend a day in the car at a Lynx test earlier this year, and was really impressed with how fast and well-prepared it was, as well as the professionalism of the engineering staff and crew. I'll be living near the team headquarters in Sonoma from now on and will spend as much time in the shop and with the team as possible so I should be pretty much up to speed by the time I get in the car. I'm really looking forward to being Michael's teammate, and hope to be able to contribute to his run for this year's championship."
In 2002, driving for Cape Motorsports in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship, Sellers scored eight wins and started from the pole seven times on his way to the championship. As a result, he was named to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association (AARWBA) All-American First Team, joining such notable drivers as Cristiano da Matta, John Force, Sam Hornish Jr., Boris Said and Tony Stewart. His championship also earned him a test at Sebring in Christian Fittipaldi's No. 11 Lilly Newman/Haas Racing Toyota Lola.
Prior to racing cars, Sellers competed in karts for eight years, winning the World Karting Association National Championship in 1998. That same year, he competed in two STAR Mazda races, winning both. The following year, Sellers competed in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series. In 26 races, he won 15 times en route to capturing the Midwest championship and the Rookie of the Year honors. In 2000, Sellers finished second in the Skip Barber Dodge National Championship, winning seven races.
"Bryan's accomplishments, his personality and his drive to succeed remind us a lot of some previous Lynx drivers, and he fit right in with the team," says Lynx team manager Steve Cameron. "He has tremendous speed and his technical feedback is impressive, so he'll be a big help in testing and in developing setups on race weekends. We're looking forward to helping Bryan's career, but we're also committed to giving Michael all the tools he needs to win the championship this year, and a fast teammate will be critical to keeping that effort on track."
2003 marks the 13th anniversary of one of the most unique and successful organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, the mission of Lynx Racing is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest level of the sport and provide them with funding, equipment and training that focuses on their mental and spiritual development as well as their on-track skills a process the team calls `Destiny by Design.' The `scholarship' provided by the team is worth $2.5 million over two years. Graduates of the Lynx Racing program include such open-wheel racing stars as Patrick Carpentier, Buddy Rice, Memo Gidley and Alex Barron.
"We're very pleased to have a rising star like Bryan join Lynx Racing," say team co-owners Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty. "He's obviously a tremendous young talent, and he has that certain sparkle in his eye that, in our experience, distinguishes a driver who's both fun to be around and has a bright future. He's just exactly what we look for in a Lynx driver, and we're confident he'll succeed in both Atlantics and then in Champ Cars. They could use another fast young American driver, and we're happy to help him get there."