Dorricott aims to stay ahead

Indy Lights Champion team Dorricott Racing is preparing its trio of drivers for the 2000 season. After winning the year with Oriol Servia, the team challenges in 2000 with experienced drivers Casey Mears and Townsend Bell, and rookie Jason Bright

Dorricott aims to stay ahead

After off-season testing at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in California, the team is confident it can repeat 1999's triumph.

Bright, the young Australian, follows the example of Scott Dixon, the talented Antipodean who stunned the series regulars last year, and only narrowly missed the rookie of the year title.

Bright comes from a season in the competitive Shell touring car championship in his native Australia, where he was consistently the leading Ford driver in that series and became the first driver in the series' history to qualify in the top five for every round.

The switch from tin-tops back to single seaters will be hard, but the team believe Bright has the talent to cope. "We have a week off before our next tests so we'll have time to think about things before we begin some serious testing," said Bright.

Casey Mears, on the other hand, will start his third season in Indy Lights with a definite eye on the championship. The 21 year old has not yet won a race, but has been strongly consistent - rarely out of the top ten, the nephew of CART legend Rick Mears believes the team's test programme has given him his best chance yet.

"The test went really well" said Mears. "The track was slower this test so we didn't set any records although we learned a lot. I'm looking forward to the upcoming test. We are going to try some new things. We have all ready improved on the car from last year to suit my driving style."

Holder of the #1 race number, Barber Dodge star Townsend Bell was ecstatic at getting into the Lola chassis after the winter break.

"It only took a few laps to get into a rhythm again," he claimed, "and then we began making changes to the car. The Dorricott team is a dedicated and enthusiastic group. I am thrilled to be involved. Casey, Jason and I get along quite well and we all have high hopes for this season."

"The cars ran well and the drivers got up to speed really fast," agreed assistant team manager Shane Seneviratne. From the optimistic note of the team members, Indy Lights' top team will be as hard to beat in 2000 as it has been in the past.

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