Title Hopes for Dorricott at Chicago

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (August. 17, 1999) - - The 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship is far from decided, but one driver is definitely holding an advantage as the series makes its inaugural stop at the Chicago Motor Speedway, on Sunday,...

SUNNYVALE, Calif. (August. 17, 1999) - - The 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship is far from decided, but one driver is definitely holding an advantage as the series makes its inaugural stop at the Chicago Motor Speedway, on Sunday, Aug. 22. The Mi Jack 100 - round 10 of the 12-race 1999 PPG-Dayton Indy Lights Championship - is scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. (ET) for a 100 lap/100 mile sprint around Chicago Motor Speedway's 1.0-mile oval. It is the primary weekend support race to the CART FedEx Championship Series Target Grand Prix later that day. In addition to hosting its first major league open-wheel racing event, the Windy City's racing community will also be focusing on Dorricott Racing's Oriol Servia, of Pals, Catalonia, Spain. Servia has scored a series leading 112 points to assume a 20-lead in the Indy Lights championship. Ironically, his two Dorricott Racing teammates, Philipp Peter and Casey Mears, are his closest challengers and tied for second place with 92 points. Dorricott Racing is the only team in series history to have three drivers first, second, and third place in the championship for more than one week. Dorricott Racing tied the record at Toronto in round seven and hasn't looked back. The previous standard was set by the Tasman Motorsports Group after round eight (Mid-Ohio) of the 1994 Indy Lights Championship. 1994 Indy Lights champion Steve Robertson, and teammates Eddie Lawson and Andre Ribeiro were first, second, and third place, respectively. Servia is figuratively following in the footsteps of past Dorricott Racing great and former Indy Lights champion, Robbie Buhl. Buhl, who ran for Dorricott Racing in 1995 where he finished second place in the championship, was a master at scoring points. In 1992, Buhl captured the Firestone Indy Lights Championship behind a CART record 11 consecutive top-three finishes. His single victory of the year came in round 11 at Nazareth. His ability to finish races and score points was the championship difference. Servia, too, has resurrected the fact that consistent finishes that score points are the critical factors. He has seven consecutive top-five showings coming to Chicago behind five second-place and two fifth place finishes. He has only finished out of the top-10 once this season (Long Beach, 12th). A veteran European F-3 driver, Servia is Indy Light's third most consistent finisher this year having completed 498 of 504 laps and 760.353 miles out of a possible 771.297 miles. Peter's electrifying victory at Michigan in round eight combined with his second and fifth round victories at Long Beach and Portland made him the first Indy Lights driver to win three races in 1999. Furthermore, his overall consistency underscores the value of finishing races. He is second place in Indy Lights for consistent showings with 768.293 miles and 502 laps completed. A European road racing veteran, the Austrian-born Peter holds the distinction of winning the closest race in CART-sanctioned history. Peter's Red Bull/Remus/ESTEBE/Chicco d' Oro Lola literally battled nose-to-tail for more than 96 miles before Peter prevailed over Casey Mears by an imperceptible 0.002-seconds - the closest race finish in the history of Indy Lights and CART-sanctioned events - in round eight on Michigan Speedway's two-mile superspeedway oval. The previous closest victory in Indy Lights history was when Calvin Fish defeated Mike Groff by 0.028-seconds at Nazareth Speedway in 1988. The former record for the closest victory in CART-sanctioned history was Mark Blundell's 0.027-second victory over Gil de Ferran at Portland in 1997. Mears, of Bakersfield, Calif., is what model consistency looks like. The son of legendary Off-Road World Champion and Dorricott Racing team manager Roger Mears, Mears is the only driver in the series who has completed every Indy Lights race lap (504 laps) and every mile (771.297 miles) run to date. Besides runner-up at Michigan, 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. His Sooner Trailer/American Racing Wheels Lola has scored top-10 finishes in each race and hasn't finished lower than ninth place. The leader board sports a 19-point gap between Peter and Mears, and fourth place Felipe Giaffone, of Brazil, 92-73. Derrick Higgins, of Ireland, is fifth with 68 points. Although Giaffone and Higgins pose formidable threats to Dorricott Racing's title ambitions, a Dorricott driver will leave Chicago leading the series regardless of the race outcome. Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization based at Sears Point International Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. Race results, team and sponsor information may be viewed on Dorricott Racing's web site, http://www.dorricottracing.com. ESPN2 will telecast the Mi Jack 100, Sunday, Aug. 22, from 11:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. PT (Monday, August 23, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. ET). k

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Series Indy Lights
Drivers Felipe Giaffone , Casey Mears , Robbie Buhl , Gil de Ferran , Oriol Servia , Mark Blundell , Calvin Fish , Eddie Lawson , Roger Mears , Andre Ribeiro , Steve Robertson