Hylton Motorsports and Lynx Racing will host CART Mentor Program drivers at Chicago; Patrick tests Pro Series Car at Sebring in preparation for late season action. INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2002) - Toyota Atlantic Championship contenders Hylton ...
Hylton Motorsports and Lynx Racing will host CART Mentor Program drivers at Chicago; Patrick tests Pro Series Car at Sebring in preparation for late season action.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2002) - Toyota Atlantic Championship contenders Hylton Motorsports and Lynx Racing will open their doors to the first CART Mentor Program and Barber Dodge Pro Series participants AJ Allmendinger and Marc Breuers this weekend at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago. Current Pro Series point leader Allmendinger will team up with defending Atlantic champions Hylton Motorsports and drivers Ryan Hunter-Reay and Roger Yasukawa. Currently sitting third in Pro Series points, Breuers will join two-time Atlantic champion Lynx Racing and its drivers Michael Valiante and Grant Ryley.
Both drivers will attend and participate in every aspect of the race weekend with their respective teams, including debriefings, engineering sessions and team meetings, plus Toyota Atlantic press and sponsor events. They will be in pit lane with headsets during all practice and qualifying sessions as well as the race.
The Ladder System connection for the participating Hylton and Lynx teams is apparent as three of the four team drivers -Hunter-Reay, Yasukawa and Valiante - are veterans of the Barber Dodge Pro Series while Grant Ryley serves as an instructor at the Skip Barber Racing School at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
"We are excited for AJ to join us this weekend," stated owner Keith Hylton. "He has shown his worthiness to join the Atlantic ranks based on his performance this year. The Mentor Program is a case in point where teams are starting to participate with the Ladder System as it is intended. It is an excellent program and a great opportunity for AJ to get an inside look at a championship Atlantic team."
"Lynx was originally conceived as a driver development program twelve years ago and we're delighted to be part of the CART Mentor Program and take Marc Breuers under our wing at Chicago," said Peggy Haas, co-owner of Lynx Racing. "The Barber Dodge Pro Series is a tremendous training ground for drivers but the Atlantic series is a big step up in terms of commitment, complexity and interacting with a team, so I'm sure this weekend will be an intense and educational experience for him."
"Our whole mission is to help young racers get ahead in the sport, and if we can help Marc Breuers in some way this weekend, then we'll be doing our job," commented Jackie Doty, co-owner of Lynx Racing. "Climbing the ladder in racing is difficult to do, and so we try to assist every young driver who comes to us in whatever way we can. We can't give them all rides, but sometimes, information and a little good advice are enough to get them going in the right direction."
The CART Mentor Program is designed to increase the line of communication between drivers and teams and expand the future opportunities for the drivers of the CART Ladder System.
FIRST TEST GOES WELL FOR DANICA PATRICK
Danica Patrick, recently signed to a contract by CART FedEx Championship Series competitor Team Rahal, completed a successful two-day test in a Barber Dodge Pro Series car on June 25th and 26th at Sebring International Raceway, Fla. The test sessions were in preparation for her three Pro Series races later in the season at Mid-Ohio (August 11), Road America (August 18) and Montreal (August 25).
Over the two days, Patrick completed close to 200 laps or 300 miles on the 1.7 mile, 8 turn New Sebring road course. It is a shorter, modified version of the 12 Hour course and is often used by Champ Car teams for testing.
"I enjoyed driving the Pro Series cars and I think they are going to be extremely fun to race," said Patrick, who is moving to the Columbus, Ohio suburb of Dublin next week to be close to Team Rahal's Hilliard headquarters. "The cars give you good feedback and don't do anything without communicating it to the driver first. Still, they are challenging to drive."
Pro Series Senior Driver Coach Barry Waddell, who worked one-on-one with Patrick, was impressed with her initial foray with the Dodge Reynard 98E.
"I was very impressed with her professional manner and especially her approach to learning a new car and a new track," commented Waddell. "She has a very good feel for the car. While she is extremely quick, she is not abusive to the car. She truly understands what the car is doing and she has a very good method for building up to speed.
"I have no doubt she will be extremely competitive in the Pro Series," continued Waddell, a former Pro Series competitor himself. "We look forward to having her with us."
As part of her deal with Rahal, Patrick will move up to the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship for the 2003 racing season.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship resumes action this weekend at the CART Grand Prix of Chicago on June 29th and 30th.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series will return to action next weekend at the Molson Indy Toronto, July 5th-7th.
The Formula Dodge National Championship will return to action with Rounds 9 and 10 at Mont Tremblant, Quebec on August 2nd-4th.