INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 7, 2002 -- Second-generation open-wheel racer Arie Luyendyk Jr. will drive the No. 5 car for Luyendyk Racing in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series. "I'm definitely looking forward to running in the Infiniti Pro...
INDIANAPOLIS, Tuesday, May 7, 2002 -- Second-generation open-wheel racer Arie Luyendyk Jr. will drive the No. 5 car for Luyendyk Racing in the 2002 Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series.
"I'm definitely looking forward to running in the Infiniti Pro Series," said Luyendyk, 20. "It's the perfect opportunity to step up and do something new. I think we have a strong chance to win races and go for the championship."
Luyendyk's Infiniti Pro Series entry will carry the famous No. 5 associated with his father, just one of many traditions the younger Luyendyk hopes to continue.
"After the Infiniti Pro Series, I definitely would like to move up to the IRL," said Luyendyk. "I want to be really prepared when I move up to the Indy Racing cars. I'm only 20. I'll do at least one season or possibly two in the Infiniti Pro Series to get ready for the IRL. The Indy 500 is the best race in the world, and I'd like to be part of it."
Luyendyk began racing karts at age 10 and advanced to Formula Ford 1600 competition when he was 16. For the past two seasons, he has competed in the U.S. Formula Ford 2000 championship, earning five top-five and 13 top-10 finishes in 26 starts. He also enjoyed success in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series and the Dutch Formula Ford 1800 Series.
"It's a great plus to have the Luyendyk's competing in the Infiniti Pro Series," said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Infiniti Pro Series. "Arie Luyendyk has been racing open-wheel cars in the United States for over 20 years now, and his involvement in the Infiniti Pro Series shows that he firmly believes it is the best direction for young drivers to take. Arie Jr. has shown great promise, and he'll certainly benefit from his father's vast experience on ovals. We're very pleased to have two generations of outstanding open-wheel racers join us in the Infiniti Pro Series."
The inaugural season of the Infiniti Pro Series will begin July 7 at Kansas Speedway and culminate with the Sept. 14 season finale at Texas Motor Speedway 100-mile Infiniti Pro Series "sprints" will take place at the same track and on the same day as Indy Racing League events except for the Texas race, which will take place the day before the IRL's season-ending Chevy 500.
Infiniti Q45 engines will power new Dallara Automobili chassis built for the series, with Firestone Firehawk tires used exclusively on all cars. The V8 engines will produce approximately 450 horsepower for the single-seat winged chassis, providing an ideal training ground for the 650-horsepower, single-seat winged cars of the Indy Racing League.