LADY LYNX -- Rising Star Sara Senske Will Run For The Win In The Star Formula Mazda Feature Race Under The Lights At The Irwindale Speedway On Saturday, July 17 One of the hottest young racing drivers in the country, who just happens to be...
LADY LYNX -- Rising Star Sara Senske Will Run For The Win In The Star Formula Mazda Feature Race Under The Lights At The Irwindale Speedway On Saturday, July 17 One of the hottest young racing drivers in the country, who just happens to be female, will be demonstrating her skills in the Star Mazda feature race under the lights at Irwindale Speedway this Saturday night. Sara Senske, 20, of Kennewick, Washington, has been racing karts since she was seven, won her first race at age eight, and is on the fast track to be the next woman to drive in the Indy 500. She drives for Lynx Racing, the only championship-winning, woman-owned racing team in auto racing today. Co-owned by Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, Lynx is now in its ninth year of operation and counts among its alumni CART FedEx drivers Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron and Memo Gidley. Lynx Racing's mission is to identify young drivers with that special something it takes to become a champion at the highest levels of the sport. The team them provides them with the funding, training and equipment to develop their skills and make the jump to the top levels of the sport. Sara Senske is the team's newest and youngest member, and the Star Mazda series in which se currently competes utilizes single-seat, open-wheel 'formula' cars that are similar, though smaller and less powerful, to those that run in the CART or the IRL. Their place in the big picture of racing might best be described in baseball terms -- if CART and the IRL are the major leagues, driving in the Star Mazda Series is the high school varsity team. The next step up is college varsity, the U.S. F2000 series, followed by the triple-A KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Lynx Racing has affiliated teams at each level, and Senske is being groomed to rise through the ranks, with the ultimate goal of becoming the first female driver to win an Indy-car race and championship. "My father was a driver, and he encouraged my dream starting when I was very young," says Senske. "I started in karting, as virtually every big-name driver today did, and won my first race at age eight. Ever since then, my focus in life has been to become a successful professional driver and to use that success to help other women get into the sport. And driving for Lynx Racing is a major step toward that goal. Lynx has a reputation among racers and teams for signing the top drivers and teaching them to be champions, and in my heart, I've always felt like a champion." Early in her racing career, Senske won three karting Grandnational events, won the International Karting Federation Region 6 Gold Cup Championship in 1988 and again in 1989, and was the regional champion three years in a row, 1990-1993 in the Junior II 4-cycle class. After making the switch from karts to cars at the Skip Barber Racing School in 1996, she scored five podium finishes and one victory in the Skip Barber Western Race Series, and was voted 'most improved driver.' Senske signed with Lynx Racing in 1997 and finished 8th in the 1998 Star Formula Mazda Championship. She is currently fifth in the 1999 championship points battle, and also drove in the first-ever race in the new Women's Global GT Series at Road Atlanta earlier this year. "We chose Sara not because she's female, but because we saw in her that special something that we've come to recognize as championship potential," says Lynx Racing co-owner Peggy Haas. "We've always wanted a woman driver on the team, but we weren't willing to sign someone for that reason alone. Lynx drivers have to be capable of taking the opportunity and knowledge we give them and rising to the top levels of the sport, and Sara has that quality." When not behind the wheel of her racing car, Senske is a student who pursues her interests in communications and sports marketing at Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington. Her hobbies include ice skating, rollerblading, skiing, biking, writing poetry and listening to contemporary Christian, jazz and classical music. She counts the Bible as the greatest influence on her life, and Indy 500 driver Lyn St. James as her 'racing hero.' Her favorite TV show is "I Love Lucy," her favorite food is Thai and the thing about her that would surprise people is that she can juggle. If she couldn't be a racing driver, she'd like to be on the Olympic Women's Hockey Team. ___________________________________
Schedule of Events
Saturday, July 17
10:00 a.m. Gates open for competitors 11:30 a.m. Star Mazda driver's meeting 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Star Mazda practice 1:50 p.m. - 2:20 p.m. Star Mazda practice 2:40 p.m. - 3:10 p.m. Star Mazda practice 3:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Star Mazda practice 5:30 p.m. Star Mazda qualifying 7:30 p.m. (approx.) Star Mazda heat races / 25 laps 8:30 p.m. (approx.) Star Mazda main event / 75 laps
Wednesday, July 14, 1999