CARPENTIER RETURNS TO MID-OHIO - SCENE OF PAST SUCCESSES Thursday, June 21, 2007 - Patrick Carpentier will have a new teammate this weekend for Round 7 of the 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule to be run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in ...
CARPENTIER RETURNS TO MID-OHIO - SCENE OF PAST SUCCESSES
Thursday, June 21, 2007 - Patrick Carpentier will have a new teammate this weekend for Round 7 of the 14-race Grand-Am Rolex Series schedule to be run at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio. Kris Szekeres of Hartland, Michigan has joined the SAMAX Motorsports team for this Saturday's 400 kilometers run and will be on board for the following event in Daytona. Carpentier is happy to return to Mid-Ohio. The Canadian driver has always enjoyed success at the 3.634-kilometer road course. In six Champ Car starts between 1997 and 2003, he finished five times in the top seven with three consecutive podium results: a third place in 2001, a much publicized win in 2002 and a second place finish behind then teammate Paul Tracy in 2003.
"Mid-Ohio brings back fond memories," said Carpentier. "It is a great track and I have enjoyed much success there. Several podiums and a memorable win in 2002 where I promised in the post race qualifying press conference that I would run the track naked if I won. I did win. After the race, I almost kept my promise when I ran across the finish line with only a checkered flag covering me up. On the team front, I am happy to hear that Kris (Szekeres) could be my teammate for the rest of the year. I met him when he was a member of the second SAMAX entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year. Since the beginning of the season, the numerous driver and team personnel changes haven't really hurt us, but it hasn't helped the team to gel much either. With Kris coming on board, things should improve and I'm really looking forward to working with him."
The 27-year old Szekeres, who was born in Chicago, entered the Grand-Am Series in 2005 recording three Top-10 results in 12 GT Class starts. Szekeres has also competed twice in the Daytona Prototype class of the Rolex 24 at Daytona, the first time with Southard Motorsports in 2006 and this year with SAMAX Motorsports where he finished sixth overall. He shared seat time in the #7 Dynamic Technology Pontiac Riley with Czech driver Tomas Enge, Americans Chris Festa and Roger Yasukawa and Christian Montanari, a citizen of the Republic of San Marino.
"I'm really excited to be back with the team and I'm looking forward to driving with Patrick (Carpentier)," said Szekeres. "There is a lot to learn and I know that working alongside him will be my greatest asset. I have signed for the next two races and I'm working with my sponsors to conclude a deal that would enable me to complete the season with SAMAX. It's great to be back!"
Team principal Peter Baron, who is looking for some stability in his driver line-up, was happy to have Szekeres on board for the next couple of races and was positive about Kris's future with the team. "I think that Kris will be with us for the rest of the season. It will be nice to have a steady line up of drivers and not have to introduce a new partner to Patrick and the team at each race weekend. Not that it really hurt us so far except for the last race where we had an unfortunate engine failure. We've finished in the top five most of the season. However, stability is a good thing in the long run. We lost some ground in the team standings the last time around and we have to get back into contention with a good result this weekend."