INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001 - 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. and David Donohue, son of 1972 Indianapolis 500 winner Mark Donohue, will drive Porsche factory cars in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup races ...
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2001 - 2001 Indy Racing Northern Light Series champion Sam Hornish Jr. and David Donohue, son of 1972 Indianapolis 500 winner Mark Donohue, will drive Porsche factory cars in the Porsche Pirelli Supercup races Sept. 29-30 during the SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
Hornish will drive the No. 1 Porsche AG 911 GT3 Cup car, while Donohue will be his teammate in the No. 2 Porsche AG entry.
Two rounds of the Porsche Pirelli Supercup will take place on the Speedway's 2.606-mile Grand Prix circuit during the SAP United States Grand Prix, at 3 p.m. (EST) Sept. 29 and 9:20 a.m. Sept. 30.
Hornish, from Defiance, Ohio, clinched his first Indy Racing championship on Sept. 2 at Chicagoland Speedway in the No. 4 Pennzoil Panther Dallara/Oldsmobile/Firestone. He has recorded two victories and nine top-three finishes in 12 starts this season, his second in Indy Racing and first with Panther Racing.
In addition to his success in oval racing, Hornish also has extensive road-racing experience in Toyota Atlantic, U.S. F2000 and World Karting Association events earlier in his career.
Donohue, from Malvern, Pa., has extensive experience in many different kinds of racing since his professional career started in 1994. He has competed in sports cars, touring cars, the NASCAR Busch Series and Craftsman Truck Series, Indy Lights and tested an Indy Racing League car with Panther Racing.
Among Donohue's career highlights is driving for the GT-2 class-winning team in a Dodge Viper GTS-R factory car in the 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours. Donohue also earned five victories in the American Le Mans Series and posted podium finishes in the FIA GT Championship in 1999 in the Viper.
Hornish and Donohue are two of the four Americans competing in the Supercup races at Indianapolis. George W. Frazier, from Prospect, Ky., will drive the No. 14 Kadach Tuning & Service entry. Gunnar Jeannette, from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., will drive the No. 19 Carsport Supercup Team Swiss entry.
The American contingent will join the regular Porsche Pirelli Supercup drivers at Indianapolis in the series' season finale.
Jorg Bergmeister of Germany, who won the second Supercup race last year at Indy, enters this event as the series leader with 157 points. He also has won six of the 10 races this season in the No. 5 Infineon Technologies - Team Farnbacher entry. Bergmeister's teammate, Marco Werner of Germany, is second in the standings with 132 points. Wolf Henzler of Germany is third with 123 in the No. 21 PZ Rhein-Oberberg/J. Alzen Motorsport entry.
Other notable drivers in the field are former Le Mans 24 Hours overall winner Stephane Ortelli of Monaco and two-time Indianapolis 500 starter Alessandro Zampedri of Italy.
In addition to racing at Indianapolis, the Porsche Pirelli Supercup, now in its ninth season, accompanies Formula One to 10 European events and is the only GT racing series to run exclusively as a support series to the Formula One World Championship. Races are approximately 43.5 miles (70 km).
All Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are technically identical with 3.6-liter engines that produce 370 horsepower and can travel from 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than four seconds. The most noticeable change for the cars this year is a larger rear wing, which more than doubles downforce at the back of the car.
Every round of the Porsche Pirelli Supercup, the world's fastest international single-marque sports car series, have two factory cars reserved for guest drivers. Past Indianapolis 500 winners Al Unser Jr. and Mario Andretti drove in the Supercup races in September 2000 during the inaugural SAP United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis.