Lynx Racing Drivers on the Fast Track

LYNX DRIVERS PAST AND PRESENT ARE ON THE FAST TRACK Half a dozen Lynx Racing drivers, past and present, are on the fast track these days. Last Sunday, the team's most recent graduate, Memo Gidley, drove his ...


Half a dozen Lynx Racing drivers, past and present, are on the fast track these days. Last Sunday, the team's most recent graduate, Memo Gidley, drove his #15 Alpine/Walker Racing Honda to a 12th place finish in his fourth-ever CART FedEx race at the Toronto Molson Indy. "We were going well at the beginning and moved up to sixth, I think. Then we picked up some debris a third of the way through and I had to come in to replace a cut tire. That put us in the back, and we had our work cut out for us. It was hard to make up ground after that as the track got slicker, but we fought hard and ended up back in the points. You work hard for these points!" Finishing immediately ahead of Gidley, after having run as high as second, was Patrick Carpentier, Lynx Racing's 1996 Atlantic champion, in his #33 Player's/Forsythe Mercedes. Current Lynx driver Sara Senske became the first woman to finish on the podium at the Irwindale Speedway's new 1/2-mile oval in Southern California later that same night -- a distinction she also holds at the Pike's Peak International Raceway in Colorado. After finishing third in the heat race, she started fifth in the main event and raced wheel-to-wheel for 75 laps to finish third -- her third podium finish in a row in the hotly-contested Star Mazda Series. She also set the fastest lap of the race, which was won by Ronnie Bucknum. "This is a driver's track, and a race that requires a lot of strategy and tactics," said Senske. "This was very close, very exciting racing, and I feel that in doing well here I've really accomplished something. Every driver in the series is hungry to win, but they'll all give you racing room, but not half an inch more. At the end of the race, both sides of my car had multiple tire marks, which I'm tempted to leave on for the next race so they'll know I'm ready to race as hard as it takes." Senske will be racing again this coming weekend in Saturday's Star Mazda support race that is part of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) event at the Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, California. She'll also compete in the second round of the innovative new Women's Global GT Series on Sunday. Also racing at Sears Point, in the GT class of the ALMS main event, will be Lynx driver Mike Conte. In addition to competing in the KOOL/ Toyota Atlantic Championship as teammate to Lynx Racing's latest CART FedEx prospect Buddy Rice (who has scored podium finishes in each of the last three KOOL/Toyota Atlantic races and currently sits second in the points), Conte races a Porsche under his own Contemporary Motorsports banner. He and co-driver Bruno Lambert, who also drives in the same Star Mazda series as Senske, scored a podium finish in the Superflow 12 Hours of Sebring earlier in the year. "An Atlantic car and a Porsche are as different as chalk and cheese," says Conte. "The Porsche is more powerful, but heavier, while the Atlantic car is nimble and much faster around the corners. The driving techniques are completely different, and the Porsche competes in an endurance contest where you have to pace yourself over a period of hours while an Atlantic is 45 minutes of flat-out, on-the-edge racing. Both offer their own challenges and rewards, and I'm happy to be following in the footsteps of racing legends like Dan Gurney and A.J. Foyt who successfully raced both sports cars and formula cars." Conte and Rice will be teamed again in their Atlantic cars at the Grand Prix Player's du Trois Rivieres on August 1. Also taking a major step forward in his career on the same weekend as the Sears Point race will be Lynx Racing's 1997 Atlantic champion, Alex Barron. He drove for Dan Gurney's All-American Racers in 1998 and the first part of 1999, but has been released from his contract and will race in the U.S. 500 at Michigan International Speedway as Al Unser Jr.'s teammate on Marlboro Team Penske. "We had a really good test with the Penske chassis at Michigan and Fontana, and I'm excited about the opportunity," says Barron. "It's built like a Rolex, and they have a data book on the car six inches thick. The Penske is a bit better than the Lola aerodynamically, and it responded very predictably during the test with gains of about 10% every time we went out. It feels to me like a car capable of winning." Lynx Racing, owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, is a unique driver development program now in its ninth year of operation. The team's mission is to seek out young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the resources and training to realize that potential. For further information on Lynx Racing and its drivers, please visit the team's web site at www. Mike Conte also has a web site that covers both his Atlantic and sports car racing activities at

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series General
Drivers Bruno Lambert , Al Unser Jr. , Patrick Carpentier , Dan Gurney , Buddy Rice , A.J. Foyt
Teams Team Penske