SBRS: CHAMPCAR/CART: Lynx Racing Houston preview

- Lynx Racing is the only championship winning team in auto racing today, the creation of two women, Texas native Jackie Doty and Californian Peggy Haas. - Six former and current Lynx drivers will be competing in three different races this ...

- Lynx Racing is the only championship winning team in auto racing today, the creation of two women, Texas native Jackie Doty and Californian Peggy Haas.

- Six former and current Lynx drivers will be competing in three different races this weekend: Three Lynx graduates in the CART FedEx race at Houston; two on the CART Toyota Atlantic support race at Houston, and one in the Barber Dodge Pro Series race at Road Atlanta.

- The unique Lynx Racing driver development program, called "Destiny by Design," focuses not only a driver's on-track skills, but also on developing visualization and meditation techniques.

Ten years ago, watching an auto race from a hillside in California, a woman from Texas saw something she didn't think was quite fair -- and, in the Texas way, she set out to do something about it. A racing driver herself, she saw that to make it to the top in racing you had to be rich and/or famous, and/or the son of someone rich and/or famous. She decided what the sport needed was the auto racing equivalent of a triple-A baseball team -- a team that had its own money, so they could help out deserving young drivers who had the potential to become champions but didn't have a penny to their name. She enlisted the help of another equally visionary woman and together they rounded up millions of dollars in sponsorship and created the most unique team in auto racing today, Lynx Racing. A decade after that fateful afternoon on a California hillside, Lynx is the only championship-winning race team/driver development program in all of auto racing owned by women, Texan Jackie Doty and Californian Peggy Haas. Lynx is now a 'brand' name widely known and respected in the racing community, and its graduates include three of the drivers competing in the CART FedEx race on Sunday -- Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley. Former Lynx driver Buddy Rice, who won this year's Atlantic championship with his new team, DSTP Motorsports, will be competing in his final Atlantic race before moving up to CART next season. Three current Lynx drivers will be racing this weekend, following in the big bootsteps of their predecessors. David Rutledge and Mike Conte, will be competing in the CART Toyota Atlantic support race for this weekend's Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston, while Sara Senske, the team's first female driver, will drive in the Barber Dodge Pro Series support event (if Atlantic is triple-A, Barber Dodge is college varsity) at the Petit Le Mans Presented by Audi at Road Atlanta. "Peggy and I saw something that needed doing, and everybody told us we were crazy, so we did it anyway," says Doty. "We've learned a lot and had a lot of success over the past ten years, and we've achieved our goal of helping young drivers break through the things that hold them back and make it up to the big time. We're very proud of what our Lynx graduates have achieved, and all three of our current drivers have the same potential and opportunity." Drivers are chosen for the Lynx Racing training program according to a wide variety of factors including an early start in racing and a record of success, strong family support for their chosen career, speed, attitude and willingness to learn as well as media presence, appearance and total dedication to goals. Each Lynx driver is the focus of an intensive, one-on-one training program that includes car setup, race strategy, driving technique, meditation/visualization techniques, testing and development procedures, interpretation of information from on-board data systems and working one-on-one with engineering personnel, as well as public relations and sponsor activities. Drivers that graduate from the Lynx program are thoroughly educated, intelligent, enthusiastic, pragmatic and fiercely focused on winning. Each is an individual, but all have in common those characteristics possessed by winners and champions. "Every Lynx driver, past and present, shares a certain something that tells you unmistakably that they have the right stuff to make it to the top, and that they won't stop until they get there," says Haas. "And that's vital, because even with the help we provide, funding, equipment and both physical and mental training, it's a long, hard road. Our reward is to see how they grow and change and mature during their time with us, and our goal is to see the CART grid populated with drivers who still wear a Lynx patch on their driving suit as a gesture of respect for the team that helped them achieve their destiny." The 40-minute Barber Dodge Pro Series race at the Petit Le Mans Presented by Audi is scheduled to start at 9:30 am, Saturday, September 31. The 43-lap CART Toyota Atlantic race at the Texaco/Havoline Grand Prix of Houston takes the green flag at 9:40 am, Sunday, October 1.

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David Rutledge / Lynx Racing #19 Swift 008.a

Rutledge, 22, of Vancouver, B.C., is in his first year as a Lynx Racing driver and his third year of full-time CART Toyota Atlantic racing in 2000. He finished 9th in the series championship In 1999, and thus far in 2000 has won from the pole at Montreal and finished second at both Long Beach and Laguna Seca. Rutledge began his racing career in karts in 1993, winning championships in 1994 and 1995. He graduated to cars in 1996 at the Bridgestone Racing School, simultaneously working in the mechanic's program and winning the school championship with a record ten wins, seven second-place finishes and three thirds in 21 races. David enjoys playing squash, golf, running, biking and working out at the gym every day.

Mike Conte #17 Lynx Racing / CHAMPS Karting Swift 008.a

Born in Yonkers, New York, Lynx Racing driver Mike Conte, 31, of Seattle, Washington, 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, with whom he scored eight top-10 finishes in 1999, a feat he has repeated in 2000. Conte also races a Porsche in endurance events like the 24 Hours of Daytona and 12 Hours of Sebring. Before he started racing, Conte was a philosophy major at the University of Chicago and a software designer for Microsoft, where he helped create Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer. His sponsor, CHAMPS Karting, is a company developing a chain of top-quality indoor kart racing tracks. The first location recently opened in Redmond, Washington,

Sara Senske / #19 Lynx Racing Reynard 98E

Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington, is now in her fourth year as a Lynx Racing driver. After joining the team in 1997, she competed in six Star Formula Mazda Series races and won the pole for her first-ever oval track race. In 1998, she ran the full 12-race 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. Senske first started racing karts at age 7, won her first race at age 8 and won her first karting championship at age 9. Juggling is among her many skills, and her goal is to be an open wheel racing champion and show that women can be great race car drivers.

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About this article
Series Atlantic , IndyCar , Other open wheel
Drivers Memo Gidley , Patrick Carpentier , David Rutledge , Alex Barron , Buddy Rice