Tomas & Tomas Try Their Hand at Watkins Glen Scheckter Has Family Ties to Thunder Road WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.. -- Panther Racing drivers Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge will join the IndyCar Series this weekend in the series' first run at Watkins...
Tomas & Tomas Try Their Hand at Watkins Glen
Scheckter Has Family Ties to Thunder Road
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y.. -- Panther Racing drivers Tomas Scheckter and Tomas Enge will join the IndyCar Series this weekend in the series' first run at Watkins Glen International Raceway. The race will be held on Sunday, and is the third and final road-course event of the 2005 season.
Scheckter got a limited number of laps at The Glen earlier this season when he participated in the IndyCar Series open test, which was called early due to rain. Scheckter's father Jody, cousin Jaki and uncle Ian all have competed at Watkins Glen in different motorsports series. His father won a F5000 race there in 1973 and cousin Jaki won the 1995 Barber Dodge Pro Series event, the same year he won the Barber Dodge Championship.
Tomas' father Jody -- who was the 1979 Formula One World Champion -- made his F1 debut at Watkins Glen in 1972.
There was a chicane added to the Watkins Glen track back in 1975 to slow speeds in the Esses, just prior to the third turn. It was Jody Scheckter who suggested its implementation for driver safety, and the new section of track was aptly named the "Scheckter Chicane".
Ironically, that was where Ian Scheckter crashed in his only F-1 start at the track in 1977. The chicane was removed in 1984.
Enge was unable to attend the test because he was competing in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The IndyCar Series rookie has been strong at both St. Pete and Infineon road course events this season, and led laps in both races. His career-best IndyCar finish came three weeks ago at Infineon Raceway, when he took the checkered flag in fifth.
The Watkins Glen Indy Grand Prix will be held this Sunday, Sept. 25th. and broadcast live on ABC at 3:30 p.m. (EDT) , with additional coverage provided by the IMS Radio Network.
"I've raced at tracks all over Europe where my dad's won, won World Championships. From that aspect, it does not mean a massive amount to me, and I don't have any extra knowledge that anybody else doesn't have. It's just another track where I have to do a good job for Panther Racing. (Watkins Glen) is a good track, the American road tracks are very different compared to European tracks. There are always good combinations of different corners, elevation changes and different runoffs. These weekends are really tough, the second or third time we come here it will be easier on us."
"I have never raced at Watkins Glen and unfortunately I had to miss the test there because of I was racing at Le Mans. I know the circuit only from TV footage, but the real preparation will start at the track. When you go around the track you are looking not only to the corners but also the curbs are important as well because sometimes you can use them, and sometimes you cannot. I think the track should suit us because it is a rather quick one. The setup we have is based on our experience from tests and other races. Our RockStar Chevy was quick at both St. Pete and Infineon, so we have reason to believe we can repeat it this weekend."
Panther Tracks: Pennzoil Panther Race Engineer David Cripps has engineered three drivers to Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year awards: Lyn St. James (1992), Christian Fittipaldi (1995), Tora Takagi (2003), and Cripps now works with the 2002 co-Rookie of the Year Tomas Scheckter ..... Tomas Scheckter was named Indianapolis 500 co-Rookie of the Year in 2002, and scored his first IndyCar Series victory in the same year at Michigan International Raceway ... Panther has a total of 15 IndyCar Series victories .... Panther Racing won back-to-back IRL Championships in 2001 & 2002 and the Menards Infiniti Pro Series Championship in 2003 ... A total of eleven drivers have started a race for Panther: Sam Hornish Jr. (44), Tomas Scheckter (31), Scott Goodyear (30), Tomas Enge (11), Townsend Bell (11), Buddy Lazier (6), Mark Taylor (6), Dave Steele (2), Dan Wheldon (2), Billy Boat (1) and Robby McGehee (1).