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INDYCAR NEWS 

Conquest calls time on IndyCar bid to focus on sportcars

Ana Beatriz, Conquest/Andretti, Indianapolis 500 2012Conquest Racing has sold its DW12 IndyCar chassis and will focus exclusively on sportscars in 2013.

The long-time IndyCar and Champ Car entrant moved into the American Le Mans Series last year, finishing its inaugural season as runner-up in the LMP2 class.

Team owner Eric Bachelart said that it makes sense for his team to continue in that direction in the immediate future.

"We made this decision this week," he said. "After considering many scenarios we decided that the time for putting together a competitive programme in IndyCar was running out, and it was better to step back as opposed to creating a last-minute programme that didn't live up to our standards."

Conquest is exploring options in several categories of the ALMS, and Bachelart believes that the experience the team gained last year will provide a strong base for its 2013 campaign.

"Fighting for the P2 championship with no previous experience was a very positive experience for us, and we proved what we can do as a team," he said.

Conquest, Petit Le Mans 2012"We are currently evaluating different programmes for the ALMS in the P2, PC and GTC categories, where we know that once again we can build a championship-winning effort and fight for wins with the rest of the teams out there."

Conquest's last full-time IndyCar effort was as a single-car team for Sebastian Saavedra in 2011.

It collaborated with Andretti Autosport to field Ana Beatriz in the Sao Paulo and Indianapolis events last year (pictured top right).

Its withdrawal follows a similar announcement last week from Michael Shank Racing, which drew a line under its IndyCar aspirations after struggling to put a programme together, and HVM downscaling from a full-time entrant to work in collaboration with other teams.

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