Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske, one of the hottest young drivers in auto racing today, is a woman driven to extremesâ€¦ this week particularly. She (along with a small army of movie and TV stars and famous athletes) just spent...
Lynx Racing driver Sara Senske, one of the hottest young drivers in auto racing today, is a woman driven to extremes… this week particularly.
She (along with a small army of movie and TV stars and famous athletes) just spent four days at the Willow Springs Raceway in the Southern California desert going through the training program required for her to drive in the "Pro" division of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday, April 7.
Then, on Tuesday, she starts testing at the Sebring International Raceway in Florida for the first race of her second season as a full-time driver in the Barber Dodge Pro Series on Saturday, March 17. The BDPS is a training series for open-wheel drivers, a major rung on the ladder Senske is climbing on her way to realizing her ambition of driving in the CART Fed Ex series and racing in the Indy 500. The season-opening event is a support race at the 49th Annual Superflo 12 Hours of Sebring.
"It's been one of those weeks where I'm not sure what city I'm in when I wake up in the morning," says Senske. "But it's all been fabulously educational both in terms of hardware and people. For a driver, any kind of seat time is good, and it seems like I've spent more time in a race car than out of it lately. And meeting the celebrities and athletes who are racing in the Pro-Celebrity event was a real eye-opener. They're all very focused and intent on doing well in the race. Now, though, it's time to focus on my main goal of winning my first race in the Barber Dodge Pro Series."
Drivers in the Barber Dodge Pro Series will be practicing some part of each day Tuesday through Friday, with qualifying from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Friday, March 16. The BDPS race is a 40-minute timed event beginning at 9:10 a.m. Saturday, March 17. The race will be televised on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) Tuesday, April 10, with repeats on Thursday, April 12 at 3:00 a.m. and Sunday, April 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Sara Senske, 21, of Kennewick, Washington, is now in her fifth year as a Lynx Racing driver. First signed in 1997, she competed in the final six Star Formula Mazda Series races, and won the pole for her first-ever oval track race, at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. In 1998, she ran the full Star Mazda season, scoring four top-5 and six top-10 finishes. In 1999, she again ran a full Star Mazda season as well as a full season in the inaugural Women's Global GT Series. In a total of 20 races, she finished every lap of every race, won once from the pole in the WGGTS, and was on the podium three times.
In 2000, she ran the full schedule of Barber Dodge Pro Series races, scored one top-10 finish and will compete there again in 2001. She will also drive in the "Pro" division of the Toyota Pro/Celebrity race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Senske first started racing karts at age 7, won her first race at age 8 and won her first karting championship at age 9. Her hobbies include ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, hiking, writing poetry and listening to music, including contemporary Christian, jazz and classical. She lists 'juggling' among her skills, her favorite TV show is "I Love Lucy" and her favorite foods are Italian, Thai and Mexican. If she couldn't be a racing driver, she'd like to be on the U.S. Women's Olympic hockey team.
Senske, like her Lynx Racing teammate David Rutledge, has moved near the Lynx headquarters in Sonoma, California to increase her rapport with the team by spending several days each week at the shop. In the mornings, she trains at the local gym and several afternoons a week goes to one of the kart tracks in the area and spends several hours driving an 80cc shifter kart specially equipped and tuned to simulate the driving experience of her Barber Dodge Pro Series car.
2001 marks the 11th anniversary of Lynx Racing, one of the most unique organizations in auto racing today. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is both a championship-winning racing team and a uniquely successful driver development program that focuses on a driver's mental, psychological and spiritual growth in addition to their on-track skills.
The Lynx mission is to seek out young drivers with the desire and potential to become champions at the highest levels of the sport and provide them with the funding, equipment and training to take the last step toward realizing that potential, a process the team calls 'Destiny by Design.' Lynx alumni include CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley.