CHAMPCAR/CART: Final Participant Named in Driver Development Program

BILL LESTER NAMED FINAL PARTICIPANT IN CART AFRICAN-AMERICAN DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DETROIT (Oct. 14, 1999) - Californian Bill Lester was named today as the final driver chosen to participate in the 1999 Championship Auto Racing Teams' ...

BILL LESTER NAMED FINAL PARTICIPANT IN CART AFRICAN-AMERICAN DRIVER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

DETROIT (Oct. 14, 1999) - Californian Bill Lester was named today as the final driver chosen to participate in the 1999 Championship Auto Racing Teams' African-American Driver Development Program.

Lester joins Los Angeles-native David Francis Jr. and Columbus, Ohio's Andrew Kelley as the three drivers selected to test in an October 26 Toyota Atlantic session at Buttonwillow Raceway in California.

"Bill is an accomplished driver and one who has aspirations to race open-wheel cars in our series," said Andrew Craig, chairman and CEO of CART. "We wish him well in his test and hope that this will lead to bigger and better things for him in open-wheel racing."

Each driver will be run through the test session by the race team professionals at Arciero-Wells Racing. A formal, written evaluation will be provided to each driver and, if merited, one of the three drivers could move to an Indy Lights test with Team KOOL Green.

Arciero-Wells recently won the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship while Team KOOL Green, which fields one car in the CART PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship, is in the chase for the FedEx Championship Series Champ Car title, the ultimate North American open-wheel racing prize. Toyota Atlantic cars are powered by 240-horsepower engines while the Indy Lights machines run 425-horsepower engines. Champ Cars run 850-900 horsepower engines.

"We are honored to be part of this program and look forward to working with each driver to determine the potential he has," said Cal Wells, co-owner of Arciero-Wells Racing.

Lester first raced in 1989 and has experience in road racing events and karting. He has experience in both IMSA and SCCA Trans-Am competition and has served as a professional driving instructor. Lester's most recent racing effort came earlier this year when he ran in the NASCAR Busch Grand National Series at Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Lester, who lives in Oakland, Calif., has a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and has worked for Hewlett-Packard Company as a Research and Development Project Manager.

"To be selected for CART's program is an honor and I am excited about getting behind the wheel of one of Arciero-Wells' cars to prove my mettle," said Lester. "I can't wait until later in the month when we are testing."

Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc (NYSE:MPH) owns, operates and markets the FedEx Championship Series, which is comprised of 20 races in five countries on four continents in 1999. With two races remaining in the season, Colombian rookie Juan Montoya and Scotsman Dario Franchitti are locked in a battle for the PPG Cup and the $1 million prize that accompanies it. CART also owns and operates its top two development series, the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship and the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Learn more about CART's open-wheel racing series at www.cart.com.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Dario Franchitti , Bill Lester
Teams CIP