DETROIT (January 11, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced Friday that veteran racing engineer Lee Dykstra has joined the company as Director of Technology and Competition. Dykstra begins his responsibilities immediately and ...
DETROIT (January 11, 2002) - Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. announced Friday that veteran racing engineer Lee Dykstra has joined the company as Director of Technology and Competition.
Dykstra begins his responsibilities immediately and reports to CART Vice President of Racing Operations John Lopes. His primary responsibilities will be overseeing CART's technical program and competition staff as well as being responsible for formulating new chassis rules for 2003 and beyond.
"We are thrilled to have an individual of Lee Dykstra's experience join our technical staff," said Lopes. "It is very important to us to have an individual with extensive team leadership skills join CART, and we feel that Lee will take our technical program to the next level. Perhaps most importantly, Lee is very well respected throughout the motor racing world which is extremely valuable to CART."
Dykstra most recently served as race engineer on the #77 Forsythe Championship Racing Ford-Cosworth/Reynard, which was driven by Bryan Herta in the 2001 CART FedEx Championship Series, while maintaining his position as president of Special Chassis Inc. Since 1979, the Indianapolis-based company performed design and engineering on several race- and championship-winning cars in Champ Car, Dayton Indy Lights Championship, IMSA GTP and GTO, Can-Am, and Trans-Am competition.
After graduating in the top 15 percent of his class with a B.A. in Mechanical Engineering from the General Motors Institute in Flint, Mich., Dykstra's racing career began in 1968 as a Senior Project Engineer with Kar-Kraft Inc. in Dearborn, Mich. With Kar-Kraft, he was responsible for the design and development of the Trans-Am Ford Mustang, (1968-79) that won the Trans-Am title in 1970.
He went to work for Ford Motor Company as Senior Design Engineer in 1970, and was responsible for handling and braking on the Ford ESV safety vehicle, developing a handling "fix" package for the Pantera. He also developed after-market race packages for the Mustang and Pinto during his six-year tenure with the auto manufacturer.
From 1976 until joining Special Chassis Inc. in 1979, Dykstra was president of DeKon Engineering in Libertyville, Ill. where he designed and engineered the IMSA championship-winning Chevrolet Monza in 1976 and '77. At DeKon, Dykstra also designed race cars for Buick and Ford Australia and two short-track Chevrolet Camaros for private individuals. Dykstra has worked with racing legends such as Bobby Rahal, Emerson Fittipaldi, Danny Sullivan and the late Al Holbert during his distinguished 33-year career.
"I'm looking forward to helping CART improve its working relationship with the teams and manufacturers," Dykstra said. "I believe that my technical experience is valuable to CART, and I am excited about the prospects for the future of this series. This is a great opportunity for me to apply everything I've learned in my career and help CART and the FedEx Championship Series reach new heights."
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. The 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series season kicks off March 10 at Monterrey, Mexico and the 19-race schedule will be broadcast by new television partners, CBS and Fox Cable Networks Group, including Speedvision/Speed Channel. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.CART.com.