Talented F3000 veteran returns home to chase Indy dreams with Duesenberg Racing DENVER, Colorado (February 25, 2004) ... Keith Duesenberg Racing and the Western Union Speed Team are proud to announce that they will campaign their sophomore year...
Talented F3000 veteran returns home to chase Indy dreams with Duesenberg Racing
DENVER, Colorado (February 25, 2004) ... Keith Duesenberg Racing and the Western Union Speed Team are proud to announce that they will campaign their sophomore year in the Indy Racing League Menards Infiniti Pro Series with one of Europe's hottest up-and-comers behind the wheel -- Phil Giebler from Oxnard, Calif.
Giebler, 23, tested with the Western Union Speed Team at Phoenix International Raceway in February at the IRL's annual Test In The West. Although it was Giebler's first oval track experience and his first-ever look at a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car, driver and team quickly gelled and Giebler finished the day third-fastest overall, impressing all who were in attendance.
"I knew from the first moment I got on track with this team that we could contend for a championship this season," said Giebler. "The crew and I communicated very well and they helped me get comfortable very quickly with the racecar."
The Western Union Speed Team finished second in the Menards Infiniti Pro Series standings in 2003, notching two victories and eight top-five finishes in twelve starts. Team owner Keith Duesenberg feels that, with Phil Giebler behind the wheel, a championship could be on the horizon.
"After following Phil's career overseas, everything we've heard about him exceeded those reports," said Duesenberg. "We were impressed with Phil both in and out of the car. He's smart, a quick learner, and a solid communicator with a great sense of humor. The Western Union Speed Team is pleased to have a driver with such great potential. We see Phil as that last piece of the puzzle in our pursuit of the Menards Infiniti Pro Series championship."
Giebler, who has built an impeccable reputation in the European Formula ranks with his determination, persistance, and skill, is considered to be on the fast track to competing in the world-renowned Formula One World Championship -- a goal he has had since he was a teenager. For years he has navigated the difficult waters of European racing, struggling to find sponsorship and relying on his impressive talent to open doors that normally only respond to money. His committment to his goal and his outstanding performances without the benefit of testing or top equipment eventually landed him a ride in the International F3000 series -- one step away from F1. The politics and financial requirements at the F3000 level, however, presented huge roadblocks for Giebler. Although several teams were eager to sign the young American, they would not do so without extravagant sums of personal sponsorship money.
Enter Western Union and Duesenberg Racing. Together, they offered Giebler everything that he lacked in Europe -- a full-season ride in top equipment with solid backing and proper testing. The opportunity to win races and chase a championship in his home country -- not to mention the prospect of making it to the world-famous Indianapolis 500 -- was too enticing for Giebler to turn down.
"Driving for a team like Keith Duesenberg Racing and a sponsor such as Western Union is something every race driver dreams about," Giebler continued. "Instead of chasing funding, we will be chasing that championship trophy. None of us doubt that we can win races together, and there's no better way to turn heads -- here or in Europe -- than by winning races.
"This opportunity will allow all of us to build for the future, and I'm thrilled and excited to be a part of it."
The Menards Infiniti Pro Series kicks off its 2004 campaign at the newly-renovated Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. on February 29th.
ABOUT WESTERN UNION
Western Union is a global leader in money transfer and message services, with a history of pioneering service dating back more than 150 years.
Western Union continues today to help consumers and businesses transfer money or make payments using money orders and other electronic systems. Consumers can quickly and easily transfer money to more than 170,000 Western Union Agent locations in over 190 countries and territories worldwide. Western Union also markets more than one quarter billion money orders every year.
Western Union is an industry leader with an eye toward providing fast and reliable money transfer and messaging services.
Western Union Financial Services, Inc. is a subsidiary of First Data Corp. (NYSE: FDC).
Phil Giebler/Career Highlights
* Competed in four rounds of Intl FIA F-3000 Championship (Out of ten races)
* Scored points in second round. With no testing...First time in the car was Barcelona race weekend
* Signs to drive for David Sears' Den Bla Avis FIA F-3000 team
* 2nd quick in Intl F-3000 open test (late season)
* Three days of Euro F-3000 testing: Fastest in first two days, 2nd quick on day three. (2 year old cars/50 less HP)
* 3rd quick in Intl FIA F-3000 open test with Coloni Motorsports at season's end
* 3th in Spanish F3 Championship: 2 second's, 4 thirds, 5 top five's, 3 top ten's, 2 track record's, 3 fastest laps, 1 pole
* Fastest (by 2/10's) in Euro F-3000 Shootout that consisted of 36 top drivers from premiere junior series around the world.
* Competed in the final round in British F3/Silverstone: 2 top ten's in qualifying, scored points in race 1 with 6th place finish, running 6th before being taken out of race two (without a single day of testing)
* Competed in the German F3 Championship (first 6 races of season)
* Hancook Tire Test Driver (UK/F3)
* Champion - Formula Palmer Audi Winter Championship (4 races) 1 win, 1 second, 1 third, 2 pole positions, 3 fastest laps and 1 track record
* Winner of the Valvoline Team USA Scholarship
* Runner-up - French Formula 3 Championship; 4 wins, 11 podiums, 8 pole positions, 7 fastest laps, 3 track records (12 races)
* ELF Factory Driver
* Winner - Formula 3 ELF/La Filiere factory ride
* Runner-up - French Formula Renault/La Filiere Campus Championship; tied for most wins (3), 8 podiums, 5 pole positions, 6 fastest race laps, 2 track records (11 races)
* First and only American to win in the history of the La Filiere Campus Championship
* Winner - ELF/La Filiere Campus Scholarship
* Winner - Formula A North American Karting Championship in Charlotte, NC
* Winner of the George Kuglar Memorial Cup (Charlotte, NC)
* Runner-up - International Formula A Karting Championship
* Runner-up - American Formula A Constructors' Championship
* Winner - Skip Barber Championship; 4 wins, 7 podiums, 8 fastest race laps, 7 poles
* 8 wins while competing in 125cc Shifters
* 2 wins in Formula A Constructors' Championship
* Winner of the George Kuglar Memorial Cup (Charlotte, NC)
* Invited to race in Brazil's International Race of Champions (only American in event)
* 3rd in Japan's Ayrton Senna Cup in Suzuka (Formula A)
* Invited to compete in the Team Green Academy (first car experience/FF2000)
* Rated 8th in the world: Intl/FIA (Formula A) Karting
* Runner-up - American Formula A Championship
* Won more than 15 regional IKF events
* Signed with the U.S. Factory Tony Kart Team to compete in 125cc Shifters and Formula A
* Won 4 U.S. Grand National Karting Championships
* Won 5 California State Karting Championships
* Won more than 60 IKF-sanctioned events
* Won 3 IKF Series Championships
* First stepped into a Kart at the age of 10 years old