Dorricott driver test at Buttonwillow

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2000) - In the first of two scheduled off-season driver test sessions, Dorricott Racing completed two days of thorough testing with four Indy Lights driver candidates seeking positions with Dorricott Racing for...

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Nov. 9, 2000) - In the first of two scheduled off-season driver test sessions, Dorricott Racing completed two days of thorough testing with four Indy Lights driver candidates seeking positions with Dorricott Racing for the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship. Testing was held at Buttonwillow Raceway Park outside of Bakersfield, Calif., Nov. 6-7. Test participants included current Indy Lights driver Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, Mexico; 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series champion Nilton Rossoni, of Curitiba, Brazil; 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series runner-up Jon Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif.; and 2000 European Formula 3 driver and 1999 European Formula Ford champion Marcos Ambrose, of Australia. Each driver received an equal amount of task specific and orientational track time over the two days. The test was structured to allow Dorricott Racing to assess driver ability in all aspects and not just lap time. Ambrose traveled the most miles to test with Dorricott Racing by flying over 16 hours from his home country of Australia to Los Angeles. The 24-year-old Aussie lived in Bedford, United Kingdom, this past season while competing in the 2000 European Formula 3 Championship. He was also named Australia's "Young Driver of the Year" for 2000. "This has been a great experience," said Ambrose. "I think the level of the team, the car, and the set-up for the test was first class. It was enlightening to be on the inside of a good team that works well together. "It's different than what I've done before. This is the first car I've driven with more horsepower than grip. It's quite a jump from Formula 3 in Europe. Indy Lights cars are also much heavier than Formula 3. The leap in horsepower is significant because you have to start feeding the power much later. This isn't an element in Formula Three. It's a real challenge under a two-day test session because you only have a limited amount of time to adjust your driving style to the car." Prior to Formula 3, Ambrose ran two years (1998-99) in the highly visible British Formula Ford championship and two years in Australia's Formula Ford championship (1996-97). He also won the Australian Go Kart Championship in 1995. "As for next year, I've found myself in a position where I successfully ran Formula 3 in Europe but it cost me a lot personally and financially," Ambrose shared after his test. "I don't think we ran the operation as well as it should because we didn't have the budget. Now I have to consolidate where I am professionally. In order for me to demonstrate my skills and expose my pedigree in racing, I have to race in a highly competitive series that looks to highlight driver performance either through equal equipment or a higher level of overall competition. "I see my future next year and the year after in Australia in the Supercars. I think I can re-establish myself through the Supercars and prove I deserve another crack at racing overseas again. With that said, understand that I love Australian racing and I might likely want to stay there. It's a toss up right now but my present desires and finances fortunately dictate that I return to Australia." The 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship was Diaz's first season of full-time Indy Lights competition where he finished 13th in the final standings. Rossoni, 19, won the 2000 Barber Dodge Pro Series Championship behind six wins and 175 championship points. Fogarty, 25, was Rossoni's closest challenger in Barber Dodge competition this season and finished in second place behind three wins and 155 points. "We were extremely impressed and pleased with the results of Marcos' test," said team owner Bob Dorricott. "It was obvious from the moment he met the team that he is a class act who has the talent and savvy to be fairly viewed as a rising star in professional motorsports. He adapted very well to the Indy Lights Lola and it appeared he really enjoyed running with higher horsepower than he had available in the past. He was certainly laying down lap times that rate with the best drivers we have ever tested at Buttonwillow." kk

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About this article
Series Indy Lights
Drivers Jon Fogarty , Luis Diaz , Marcos Ambrose , Nilton Rossoni