Lynx Racing team principals Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, the first-ever female owners of a championship-winning, professional open-wheel racing team, have announced that they will return to racing in the Pacific Formula F1600 series with a two-car effort as part of the Lynx Driver Academy.
Past Lynx Racing drivers include Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, top endurance such as racers Michael Valiante, Memo Gidley, Dane Cameron and Bryan Sellers, as well as Champ Car standouts Patrick Carpentier and Alex Barron.
The Pacific Formula F1600 Series is a six-weekend, 12-race series running on tracks up and down the U.S. West Coast that is designed to provide an affordable transition for drivers as young as 13 to move from karting to open-wheel racing. A spec formula is designed to reduce costs to about the level of a season of karting, and cars are built with a lightweight tubular space frame designed to maintain the highest levels of driver safety.
“When we started Lynx Racing in 1990, we did so because we saw a need to help young drivers develop through to the upper levels," says Haas. "After 15 years in the Atlantic series, with many wins and championships we thought our work was done! But once again we see that young drivers – particularly West Coast drivers – need help to make the jump from karting to racing and the Pacific Formula F1600 series provides the ideal opportunity.”
The Lynx Racing Academy will provide the cars, team, training and guidance for the team drivers. The drivers will be responsible to secure sponsorship to cover the operating cost of the race season and other criteria. The drivers will undergo PR training, driver coaching and career planning as part of the program.
"In the past we provided complete financial support for our drivers and that was appropriate for an era in motorsports when a truly talented driver could find a paying ride with a fully funded team," says Doty. "But racing, like everything else, is evolving and obtaining sponsorship is harder and more competitive than ever. As a result, Lynx has to evolve with the times and the times require the drivers bring funding to the team they want to race for. Our expanded mission is to make sure that not only are they brilliant drivers, but also have a realistic view of the motorsports economic environment and the skills to secure the sponsorships needed to move their career forward."
For the Lynx Driver Academy, Haas and Doty will provide driver training and guidance, career planning and performance review. Cameron Racing will run the team and provide all technical operations. Former Star Mazda Communications Director Peter Frey will provide PR and media training. Steve Cameron will provide driver coaching and data training. All are veterans of the original Lynx Racing program.