A fast American takes the next step up the ladder. "Nothing humbler than ambition, when it is about to climb." -- Benjamin Franklin (Sonoma, CA / November...
A fast American takes the next step up the ladder.
"Nothing humbler than ambition, when it is about to climb."
-- Benjamin Franklin
(Sonoma, CA / November 12) -- Lynx Racing today announced the signing of Bryan Sellers, 21, of Centerville, Ohio as the team's driver for the 2004 CART Toyota Atlantic season.
Sellers was the 2002 Formula Ford Zetec champion with eight wins and seven pole positions; he drove four Atlantic races with the Lynx team in 2003. He will step into the seat vacated by Lynx Racing's latest graduate, Michael Valiante, who will move up to the CART Champ Car series with Walker Racing next season. Valiante won three Atlantic races in 2003, and finished third in the series championship.
"I grew up dreaming about someday driving for Lynx Racing, and I'd like to thank the team owners, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty for the opportunity," says Sellers. "Now my goal is to live up to the faith that the team, my sponsors and my parents have all demonstrated by working hard, driving fast and winning races. Being the Lynx driver is a `total immersion' experience, so I'll be moving to Sonoma to live and work with the team. I'll be going to the gym and the race shop every day, driving a kart several times a week and spending lots of time getting in synch with my engineer, Rick Cameron. Lynx offers a lot, but they also expect a lot, and I wouldn't have it any other way."
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 Formula Mazda races, winning both. The following year, Sellers competed in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series, winning 15 of 26 races en route to capturing the 1999 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 impressed us with his focus, speed and technical feedback in testing and during the four races he drove with the team last year," says Lynx team manager Steve Cameron. "He's smart, fast, hard-working and a proven winner with a bright future in both Atlantic and Champ Cars. He has things to learn, of course, but that's what this team is all about, and we're confident that Bryan will be a top contender for the 2004 Atlantic championship."
Lynx Racing is one of the most unique and successful organizations in motorsports today. Now entering its 14th year, Lynx Racing is a combination of racing team and driver development program created and owned by two women Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers who have the potential to become champions at the top levels of the sport.
"There needs to be a certain chemistry between a team and driver, and Bryan `clicked' immediately with the team last year," says Lynx co-owner Peggy Haas. "He definitely has that certain `something' that marks a rising star, and we're very happy to have him in the car full-time next season."
Once a driver is identified, the Lynx team provides him with a `scholarship' worth $1.2 million per year to drive for Lynx Racing, as well as a comprehensive education in the arts and sciences of auto racing everything from on-track racing strategy and working with sponsors and media to meditation and visualization techniques that help clear the mind of doubts and hesitation; it's a completely unique process the team calls `Destiny by Design.'
Graduates of the Lynx program include such open-wheel racing stars as Patrick Carpentier (Player's/Forsythe), Alex Barron (Red Bull Cheever Racing), Memo Gidley and Buddy Rice (Thorsport Racing NASCAR Craftsman Truck).
"Bryan is very much in the Lynx mode, and it will be interesting to watch him develop on all levels," says Lynx co-owner Jackie Doty. "He has the technical savvy of an Alex Barron combined with the natural driving talent of a Memo Gidley. We're all excited about his future."
In 2004, the racing series in which Lynx competes -- the Toyota Atlantic Championship will mark its 31st year of producing some of the top open-wheel drivers in the world, including Michael Andretti, Bobby Rahal and Jacques Villeneuve.
Atlantic is the triple-A baseball of open-wheel auto racing, a place where the stars of tomorrow hone their skills at 160 mph in front of the Champ Car team owners who are their potential future employers. Atlantic cars are `spec' race cars, placing a premium on driver skill and team preparation. The 1260-pound, single seat race cars are powered by 1.6-liter, 250 horsepower Toyota engines, have a top speed of approximately 160 mph and will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.