After Victorious Start, Junior Is Still in Fast Lane
As the saying goes, “there is no rest for the weary.” But after winning the opening two rounds of the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights championship, Dutch rookie Junior Strous really doesn’t mind the demanding schedule between races.
|Junior Strous and a field of tulips in his home country of Holland. He was there during the Easter break. Strous is well funded as can be seen by the many sponsor decals on his driving suit. He is eyeing IndyCars for 2010.|
The driver of the No. 18 Shell V-Power/Knaus Dallara entered by Winners Circle Group Racing returned to his homeland after winning a pair of 40-lap Indy Lights races on the streets of St. Petersburg, Fla. After a couple of days of well-earned rest, Strous flew to Holland on Wednesday and rarely slowed up after arriving on Dutch soil.
“I had a busy schedule,” Strous said, in a somewhat understated manner. “I had to coach the board of directors for the Dutch company, Ziggo Cable and Internet, at the Spa Francorchamps track in Belgium. They were having a race incentive there. There were also TV meetings with SBS6, a Dutch channel that will now air all of the Indy Light races in Holland and also do background stories.”
After visiting with his sponsors--Shell in Holland and Knaus in Germany--Strous made several appearances at the Dutch National Auto Show with the Knaus Aston Martin GT4 racecar he will drive in the European Championship. In addition to the appearances and meetings, Strous also found time to work with another promising young Dutch driver.
“I am coaching Jeroen Slaghekke, who is only 15 years old,” Strous explained. “He will be competing the Suzuki Swift Cup series and won the pole for the Easter (weekend) race at Zandvoort. I was hoping to watch his race, but it is on Easter Monday and I will be traveling to Los Angeles, where I will compete in the next Indy Lights race.
“I had a busy and hectic time back home and drove about 2,000 kilometers in northern Europe. But the sponsors were really happy and it was nice to pay them a visit and show them the coolest trophies I have ever won in my life!”
Now, there is another trans-Atlantic flight back to the United States as Strous begins his preparation for the upcoming race in the streets of Long Beach, California.
“I will use the week before the race to prepare for the bumpy street race ahead,” Strous said. “I will do a lot of running on the beach. I know the track quite well, having raced there in Atlantics two years in a row. It’s my favorite racetrack, and I love the setting and the atmosphere.
“Winners Circle Group Racing is confident after two wins at St. Pete, but we’re not overconfident. We are working hard and the Indy Lights Series is the most competitive feeder series in the world with top drivers representing a number of countries.”
And after two sensational victories at St. Pete, it’s likely those drivers will have their eyes on the man who leads the point standings--Junior Strous.