Dorricott Racing tests two more drivers

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Nov. 18, 2000) - In the second of two scheduled driver test sessions, Dorricott Racing completed a two-day test at Buttonwillow Raceway Park outside of Bakersfield, Calif., Nov. 14-15, of two Indy Lights driver ...

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (Nov. 18, 2000) - In the second of two scheduled driver test sessions, Dorricott Racing completed a two-day test at Buttonwillow Raceway Park outside of Bakersfield, Calif., Nov. 14-15, of two Indy Lights driver candidates seeking positions with Dorricott Racing for the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship. Test participants were 2000 European Formula Palmer Audi (EFPA) champion Damien Faulkner, of Moville (County of Donegal), Ireland, and veteran British and French F3 driver Matthew Davies, of Billericay, Essex, England. 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. "The drivers we have tested have all been extremely talented," said team owner Bob Dorricott. "Choosing a new driver or drivers to join the team will be difficult because each driver displayed tremendous existing talent as well as potential for near term growth. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see many, if not all of them, at some point rise to the top of whatever level they enter next. Unfortunately, we can't accept all of them." In winning the 2000 European Formula Palmer Audi Championship, Faulkner became the Republic of Ireland's first European motor racing champion in 19 years. The 24 year-old Donegal resident was a dominant figure during the EFPA's 20-race season behind six wins and seven pole positions. He earned 12 podium finishes in all and claimed five track lap records. He also became the first driver in EFPA history to win two poles in a single weekend, and was the only driver take a double victory at a single circuit (Oulton Park, August 2000). Faulkner's racing roots are in karting which he began at age eight. He began racing professionally at the age of 17. Prior to racing in the EFPA championship, he competed in Britain in Formula Vauxhall Jr., Formula Ford, and Formula Renault. "I'm delighted I received a chance to test with Dorricott Racing whose professionalism is all I expected and more," said Faulkner. "The test went superbly. The team was magnificent and the whole experience went to plan. It was nice to be quickest on the day but fitness and driver feedback also played a major role in the evaluation. My fitness levels are very high and the engineers were equally happy with my feedback." "There are many differences between my Formula Palmer Audi and the Indy Lights Lola," continued Faulkner. "The main differences regard downforce, power, and weight distribution. However, taking one step at a time, my main objective for 2001 is to win races and fight for a championship at the next level. I firmly believe that Dorricott Racing can provide me with that opportunity." Davies, 22, is rated by many European motorsports experts as one of the most promising British drivers to emerge in recent years. Prior to running British F3 in 2000 for the Renault/Elf/Promatecme team, Davies distinguished himself in British and French Formula Ford competition. His career in racing began in go-karts. "This past season I raced in the British Formula 3 Championship," said Davies. "An F3 car has 240 bhp and is about 60 percent less weight than an Indy Lights car. It was a bit of a physics shock for me when I got behind the wheel of one of Bob Dorricott's car's. Once I learned the circuit and started to understand the characteristics of the car, I started to really enjoy driving it. "The hardest thing to get used to was the power an Indy Lights car has coming out of corners. An F3 car has lots of grip but not much power so they are quite driver friendly. I suppose it has similarities to an Atlantic car where as a Lights car has lots of grunt but not as much grip as I'm accustomed. It was still a tremendously fun car to drive. It was a great experience. It was the first time I'd driven in the States, and the first time that I'd worked with Americans. It was good to experience a different motorsport culture, and a pleasure to work with the Dorricott Racing team. "I thought the test went quite well. I lapped close to the circuit record, but missed the chance to break it. Instead, I broke the under side of the car with an off track excursion in the dying moments of my test. I hope to have the opportunity to come and race in Indy Light's next year. Otherwise I'll continue in F3. I think racing in America would be a great opportunity for me. Lot's of European drivers are coming to the States to race. I feel I need to do something to move my career forward. Running in the Indy Lights championship would be a great next step!"

The 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship will open its season at the Monterrey Grand Prix in Monterrey, Mexico, on Sunday, March 11, 2001.

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Damien Faulkner