Mark Taylor to run at US GP

Irl Indycar Series Standout Taylor to Race Porsche at Usgp INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 11, 2004 -- Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series rookie standout Mark Taylor will drive in the two Porsche Michelin Supercup races June 19-20 during the...

Irl Indycar Series Standout Taylor to Race Porsche at Usgp

INDIANAPOLIS, Friday, June 11, 2004 -- Indy Racing League® IndyCar® Series rookie standout Mark Taylor will drive in the two Porsche Michelin Supercup races June 19-20 during the United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Taylor, a native of Great Britain who lives in Indianapolis, won the 2003 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series^championship with Panther Racing before climbing to the IndyCar Series this year with the team. Taylor finished 30th in his first Indianapolis 500 last month in the No. 2 Menards/Johns Manville Racing Dallara/Chevrolet/Firestone.

"I'm very excited about the chance to drive in the Porsche Supercup," Taylor said. "For me, it's a thrill to participate in another event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, because I was so blown away by the history and tradition of the Indianapolis 500. Although we didn't finish as we would have liked, the entire month of May was a highlight of my young career."

Porsche Michelin Supercup races are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (EST) Saturday, June 19 and 9:40 a.m. Sunday, June 20. Each race is 16 laps on the 2.605-mile road circuit.

Practice and qualifying take place Friday and Saturday as part of the support schedule to Formula One during the United States Grand Prix.

Taylor, 26, will drive the No. 1 Porsche AG factory car in the race. He has plenty of road-racing experience, competing in British Formula 3 open-wheel road-course racing in 2001-02. Before that, he raced on road circuits in British Formula Ford, Formula Vauxhall Junior and karting.

"I would just like to thank Panther Racing, (team co-owner) John Barnes and everybody at Menards and Johns Manville for allowing me to take part in this event," Taylor said. "It's going to be an experience."

Rising American road-racing star Patrick Long will join Taylor in a Porsche factory car, driving the No. 2 Porsche AG car.

Long, 22, from Westlake, Calif., competed in the Porsche Michelin Supercup in Europe last year as a Porsche factory driver, finishing second at the Nurburgring in Germany and third at Monaco. Long finished second in the highly competitive British Formula Ford series in 2001 and also beat F1 superstar Fernando Alonso in the 1998 Winter Cup championship karting event in Italy.

There are eight other American drivers scheduled to race in Porsche Michelin Supercup competition at Indy besides Long, including five for The Racers Group team based in Sonoma, Calif.

Wolf Henzler of Germany leads the standings with 80 points after four of 12 races this season in the No. 5 Infineon-Team Farnbacher PZM Porsche. Henzler, who won one Supercup round in both 2002 and 2003 at Indianapolis, has won three races this season, at Imola, Italy, Barcelona, Spain and the Nurburgring in Germany.

Klaus Graf of Germany is second in points, with 52, in the No. 46 tolimit Motorsport Porsche.

Other prominent Supercup competitors at Indianapolis include four-time series champion Patrick Huisman of The Netherlands and three-time Indianapolis 500 starter Alessandro Zampedri of Italy.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the Porsche Michelin Supercup, the world's fastest international, single-marque sports car series, will compete as a support event at the United States Grand Prix.

In addition to racing at Indianapolis, the Porsche Michelin Supercup, now in its 12th season, accompanies Formula One to 10 European events and is the only Gran Turismo racing series to run exclusively as a support series to the Formula One World Championship.

All Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars are technically identical with 3.6-liter engines that produce 390 horsepower and can travel from 0-62 mph (0-100 kph) in less than four seconds.

Tickets: Tickets for the United States Grand Prix can be purchased online at www.indianapolismotorspeedway.com, or by calling the IMS ticket office at (317) 492-6700 or (800) 822-INDY outside the Indianapolis area. Parking and camping information also can be obtained through the ticket office.

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Series General
Drivers Mark Taylor , Klaus Graf , Fernando Alonso , Patrick Huisman , Patrick Long , Wolf Henzler , John Barnes
Teams Panther Racing