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Richard Philippe signs with Genoa
Richard Philippe
Frenchman and Miami resident Richard Philippe signs for the 2009 Season to pilot the #36 Genoa / Funkemotions.com Firestone® Indy Lights™ car. Having successfully tested all winter with Genoa, it comes as no surprise to anyone that Richard and Genoa would be together when the green flag dropped on the 2009 season.

In 2005, at the age of 15, Richard achieved the distinction of being the youngest person to win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when he won the Formula BMW USA race at Indy. Richard continued on to win the Formula BMW overall championship with 3 wins, 6 pole positions, and 5 fast laps. He ran ChampCar Atlantics with Forsythe in 2006, before racing in Europe in 2007 (Formula Renault World Series with Fortec) and in 2008 (Formula 3 Euro Series with Carlin and SG Formula). At the age of 16, Richard also had 3 exciting ChampCar tests with Conquest and Forsythe, where he lapped a mere 0.2 seconds off of Paul Tracy’s best time at Sebring.

Testing with Genoa in January of 2009, Richard set a new track record at Palm Beach International Raceway, a full 0.6 seconds faster than the next car. Two days later, he backed that road course performance up on the oval at Homestead-Miami Speedway, finishing the day with the fastest time of the day.

Richard states, “This off-season has been the longest of my life but I’m happy to be able to join Genoa in this new endeavor for the team and myself. I’ve been able to create a special bond with Thomas [Knapp] and Leon, and I can’t wait to get going at St Pete! The season is long and the ovals present a new challenge that is very exciting to me!”

Funkemotions.com is a web-based retailer, specializing in an eclectic mix of high end lifestyle and otherwise unobtainable art, watches, health/beauty products, sporting goods, and gadgets.

Genoa returns to the Firestone® Indy Lights™ series for 2009, bringing with it a motorsports legacy that spans three decades. In more than 225 starts, the team’s heritage includes a championship, 16 wins, 18 poles, and a front row start in the 1998 Indianapolis 500 with the likes of Ivan Capelli, Thiago Medeiros, Jimmy Vasser, and Greg Ray in Formula 3000, Atlantic Championships, Firestone® Indy Lights™, and IndyCar.

Mark Olson states: “It’s been a tremendous pleasure getting to know Richard. With the economy and everything, the off-season has had its challenges, but Richard has been rock solid in his commitment and dedication to the team and to the 2009 championship. He’s going to do very well on the racetrack and in life. He develops the car so quickly, he’s well spoken, and he’s amazing with the fans and the media. He’s the whole package. I can’t wait to see his future success and I’m happy to be an important part of it.”

The team will be participating in a private test at Sebring International Raceway on Monday March 30th before heading to St. Petersburg for the first two races of the 2009 Season.

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