NA-F2000: Justus to test with Lynx racing

Aaron Justus, the 27-year old phenom from Crestline, California who dominated this year's fiercely competitive U.S. F2000 championship with eight pole positions and five victories will claim his prize of a test with Lynx Racing's ...

Aaron Justus, the 27-year old phenom from Crestline, California who dominated this year's fiercely competitive U.S. F2000 championship with eight pole positions and five victories will claim his prize of a test with Lynx Racing's championship-winning CART Toyota Atlantic team on Wednesday, October 25th at the Buttonwillow Raceway near Bakersfield, California. Justus will test the same Swift 008.a raced this season by Lynx driver David Rutledge to three podium finishes and a win from the pole at Montreal. Rutledge will baseline the car on the Tuesday, October 24th, after which the team will do a seat fitting for Justus. The test will consist of 150 miles around the 'East Loop' of Buttonwillow, which includes slow, medium and high-speed corners. "Some of Lynx Racing's most successful graduates, including Memo Gidley, Alex Barron and Buddy Rice, have come up through the F2000 ranks so we're excited to have Aaron in our Atlantic car and get a true feel for his abilities," says Lynx Racing team manager Steve Cameron. "The testing protocol we'll put him through is the same one David Rutledge went through to become the most recent Lynx driver. We'll give him time to get used to the car, then start having him interact with our engineering personnel to evaluate his feedback. Once he's comfortable, we'll work with him on tuning the car to get more speed out of it. The final run will be a longer one to evaluate both his consistency and speed. When it's all over, we hope to reaffirm exactly how good he really is, and he'll know exactly what it takes to drive an Atlantic car at the championship level." Justus won the U.S. F2000 championship driving for Florida-based Cape Motorsports. During his exceptional season, Justus won both the series championship and the "Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship" comprised of the season's three oval-track events -- where his record was nearly perfect. He captured all three poles with new lap records, set new fastest race laps at two races, led all but two of the 150 race laps and won all three races. In doing so, Justus became only the second driver to sweep a United States Auto Club sanctioned-series, the other being Jeff Andretti, son of legendary Mario Andretti. In the National Championship, Justus was the man to beat at each round and during the thirteen-race season, Justus never relinquished the points lead, led the most laps, captured a series-high eight poles and won five races. The eight poles tied the single-season record and gave Justus twelve for his career, tying the all-time record and making him the first American-born driver to win the U.S. F2000 National Championship since 1996. "To have the kind of season I had with Cape Motorsports and then follow it up with a test for Lynx Racing is a driver's dream come true," says Justus. "I had a lot of struggles and paid a lot of dues on the way up the ladder, but I seem to have built up some career momentum now and, with the help of a lot of people, I'm working to take the next step up in 2001. My goal since day one was to be a driver in the CART FedEx series, and it seems to be moving within reach. I'd like to thank all the people at Cape Racing, the U.S. F2000 series, the CART Toyota Atlantic series, Lynx Racing and especially Jerry Forsythe." Justus has a multi-year contract with CART FedEx team owner Jerry Forsythe and Forsythe Racing, and has his sights set on becoming a driver in the CART Series. Their relationship began in 1999, when Forsythe supported Justus in 9 of the 14 events on the U.S. F2000 schedule. Justus responded with 2 wins and 4 poles. "We are thrilled to be able to support a young driver of Aaron's caliber," said Forsythe Racing team owner Jerry Forsythe. "He is among the best of the up and coming open-wheel drivers in the U.S. We look forward to his bright future." Justus began his racing career in karts in 1981 at the age of 7 in Houston, Texas. After winning National titles in 1985, 1986, 1988, and 1992, he began the transition to cars in 1995 by entering the Russell Racing Championship at the Laguna Seca Raceway in Northern California where he set the track record, won 8 of 16 races, and finished on the podium 14 times on his way to winning the championship. In 1996, Justus was selected by the Team KOOL/GREEN Academy as one of the top 25 most promising young drivers in the sport. In 1999, his contract with Forsythe enabled him to race in 9 of 14 USF2000 events, winning at Charlotte Motor Speedway and Road Atlanta, finishing on the podium at Mosport, Canada and qualifying on the pole four times. His 1999 season also included becoming a finalist in the Valvoline Team USA runoffs. 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. Current Lynx drivers include David Rutledge in the CART Toyota Atlantic series, and Sara Senske, competing in the Barber Dodge Pro Series.

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Series Atlantic , Other open wheel
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Mario Andretti , Buddy Rice , Aaron Justus , Steve Cameron