DORRICOTT RACING KEEPS ITS FOCUS ON THE SCOREBOARD WHILE PREPARING FOR UPCOMING MICHIGAN SPEEDWAY SUNNYVALE, Calif. (July 21, 1999) - Dorricott Racing returns to Michigan Speedway this weekend with a certainty it has never had before ...
DORRICOTT RACING KEEPS ITS FOCUS ON THE SCOREBOARD WHILE PREPARING FOR UPCOMING MICHIGAN SPEEDWAY
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (July 21, 1999) - Dorricott Racing returns to Michigan Speedway this weekend with a certainty it has never had before - three drivers who are ranked first, second, and third in the driver standings. The only other certainty is that the PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship is far from decided, making the Detroit News 100 at Michigan Speedway, Saturday, July 24, all the more important for Oriol Servia, Casey Mears, and Philipp Peter.
The 50-lap/100.00-mile Indy Lights race around Michigan Speedway's two-mile superspeedway will be round eight of the 12-race series and is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. ET. This will be the third appearance of CART's "Official Development Series" at Michigan and is the featured support event for the CART FedEx Championship Series U.S. 500 set to race the next afternoon. Indy Lights previously raced at Michigan in 1996 and 1998.
Series leader Oriol Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain, holds a 13 point lead over his closest challenger, teammate Casey Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., 85-72. Peter, meanwhile, also hovers in striking range and only 19 points off the pace in third place with 66 points.
Servia is arguably the hottest driver in Indy Lights with four second-place finishes in the last five Indy Lights races. He has only finished out of the top-10 once this season (Long Beach, 12th), and his only podium blemish in the past five races was fifth place in round four at Milwaukee. He has displayed racer's savvy on both ovals and road courses, and his fifth place finish in last year's Michigan event suggests his is formidable on the superspeedways.
A veteran European F-3 driver, Servia is Indy Light's third most consistent driver this season having completed 416 of 422 laps, and 585.281 miles out of a possible 596.225 miles. His consecutive second place finishes at Portland and Cleveland in rounds five and six complemented his third round runner-up showing on the high speed oval of Nazareth Speedway. If the true bottom line is winning the Indy Lights championship, then Servia can answer any doubters of his skills with the word, "scoreboard," to this point of the season.
Mears has been a model of "how to win in the face of any adversity" since the season began. In as much as Mears opened the season with five consecutive top-five finishes, his back-to-back eighth place showings at Cleveland and Toronto are deceiving. Mears was running in fourth and fifth place for much of the race at Cleveland before a part in the fuel distribution system "let go" with six laps remaining. Toronto was a preparation nightmare which was only fully remedied during the pre-race warm-up. Simply stated, Mears drove his Sooner Trailer/American Racing Custom Wheels Lola from 19th to eighth place at the checkered flag.
Mears podium visits have included third place at Nazareth in round three and second place at Milwaukee in round four. After scoring season opening back-to-back fifth place finishes at Homestead and Long Beach, Mears added fourth place at Portland in round five.
Mears, who is the son of legendary Off-Road World Champion and Dorricott Racing team manager Roger Mears, is the only driver in the series who has completed every Indy Lights race lap (422 laps) and every mile (596.225 miles) run to date.
Philipp Peter's second and fifth round victories at Long Beach and Portland distinguish him as one of only two Lights drivers with multiple victories this season. Moreover, Peter has also demonstrated title contending consistency in his driving. He has recorded the second most miles completed (593.221) this season, and is tied with Chris Menninga for second most laps completed (420).
A veteran European road racer, the Monte Carlo, Monaco, resident returns to Michigan with an eye toward redeeming himself after a disappointing race last year. Peter, who drives the Red Bull/Remus/ESTEBE/Chicco d'Oro Lola, started ninth in last year's event. However, it concluded prematurely on lap 16 when a blown tire sent him careening into the outside wall. Peter was uninjured, but the resulting 23rd place finish was not indicative of his abilities on a superspeedway.
Dorricott Racing is only the second team in series history to have three drivers positioned first, second, and third place at any time in the championship standings. Tasman Motorsports Group achieved similar success after round eight (Mid-Ohio) of the 1994 Indy Lights Championship when '94 Lights champion Steve Robertson, Eddie Lawson, and Andre Ribeiro were ranked first, second, and third, respectively. However, Dorricott Racing could establish a new Indy Lights record if it leaves Michigan with all three of its drivers holding down the top-three spots in the championship standings.
ESPN2 will telecast the Detroit News 100 on Sunday, July 25, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET (2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. PT).
Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization based at Sears Point International Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Daily practice, qualifying and race results; and team, sponsor and personnel information may be viewed on Dorricott Racing's web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com.