JACKSON, MI - - SEPTEMBER 4, 2001 - - U. E. "Pat" Patrick announced today that Patrick Racing will field a third car for Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series leader Townsend Bell at the German 500, September 13-15 at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, ...
JACKSON, MI - - SEPTEMBER 4, 2001 - - U. E. "Pat" Patrick announced today that Patrick Racing will field a third car for Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series leader Townsend Bell at the German 500, September 13-15 at EuroSpeedway in Lausitz, Germany and the Rockingham 500, September 19-22 at Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, England.
Bell, who successfully tested for Patrick Racing at Mid-Ohio on August 12 and Chicago Motor Speedway on August 22, will drive the #19 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard. He will join Roberto Moreno, who pilots the #20 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, and Jimmy Vasser, who is behind the wheel of the #40 Visteon/Patrick Racing Toyota Reynard, in the three car effort.
"We are very please to have the opportunity to run Townsend at these two overseas races," Patrick said. "He has done an outstanding job in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series, which I created specifically for young drivers to give them an opportunity to showcase their talents. Townsend has clearly demonstrated his ability in the Indy Lights. He leads the series in points, wins and poles. Additionally, both his tests with Patrick Racing went extremely well. Putting him in one of our cars for the next two races is the next logical step for both him and Patrick Racing," Patrick concluded.
Bell drives the #30 DIRECWAY Dorricott Racing Lola in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series. The 26-year-old resident of San Luis Obispo, California leads the championship standings by 22 points, 131-109, with three races remaining. He has four wins and five poles in nine Lights races this year. Bell has six career Indy Lights wins and was the "Rookie of the Year" in 2000.
"Needless to say I am ecstatic about running my first race in the FedEx Championship Series," Bell said. "It is something I have been working towards for several years. I want to thank Mr. Patrick for this tremendous opportunity.
I would also like to thank all of my sponsors and supporters who have stuck with me over the years. In particular I would like to thank Dorricott Racing for providing me with the means to show my abilities."
Bell continued by saying, "The Visteon/Patrick Racing team clearly has put great cars on the track this year and I am confident I will have the tools I need to do the job. I am cautiously optimistic about showing well in my first race."
Patrick Racing Technical Director Ed Nathman, who also serves as Jimmy Vasser's race engineer, will move over to work with Bell, while Technical Coordinator Mike Sales will step in as chief mechanic. Sales, was the chief mechanic for Raul Boesel in 1996 and Adrian Fernandez in 1997 and 1998, before being elevated to his current position. The crew will consist of existing Patrick Racing team members plus some members of Dale Coyne's team.
Patrick Racing is coming off a thrilling victory last weekend at the Molson Indy Vancouver. Moreno scored the team's first win of the season and notched his third podium performance. He is currently eighth in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series standings with 74 points. Vasser holds down the 15th position with 50 points.
Patrick Racing, which is in its 29th year of competition, is one of the most successful teams in the history of Champ Car racing. The team has captured 45 victories, three Indianapolis 500 wins and two national championships (1976 - Gordon Johncock and 1989 - Emerson Fittipaldi). U. E. "Pat" Patrick is the co-founder of CART and the "father" of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series.