Conquest signs Philippe Conquest Racing confirmed today that it has signed 23-year-old Frenchman Nelson Philippe for the Sonoma and Homestead-Miami rounds of the 2009 IndyCar Series season. The team also announced its association with the I Drive Green program for these events.
Nelson Philippe, who made his IndyCar Series debut in this year’s Indianapolis 500, will be making a return to both Conquest Racing and the IndyCar Series. Philippe piloted the Conquest car in six races in 2004 before running a full season in 2005. The Frenchman also competed with Conquest in the final two races of the 2007 Champ Car World Series season.
Created by Nelson Philippe and Environmental Specialist Jean Paul Libert, the I Drive Green program aims to educate drivers with a more environmentally friendly attitude. The program uses expert training technologies to educate corporations and US families to reduce Co2 emissions. Such an initiative has a great appeal: increase safety, reduce fuel consumption, sustain a green lifestyle and cure one of the top American environmental priorities: Air quality. California being one of the greenest states in the US and with Miami positioning itself as the Greenest city in America, these two races are perfect markets for I Drive Green. Details of the I Drive Green Academy launch campaign will be released next week along with all its sponsors.
“We’ve always maintained an excellent relationship with Nelson and we’re very happy to have him back with us once again,” expressed Conquest Racing Team Owner Eric Bachelart. “We first had Nelson with us back when he was an 18 year-old rookie and it’s been nice to see him mature into the race car driver he is today. He had his first taste of the Dallara back in May on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and we look forward to seeing him back in an Indy car at Infineon Raceway and Homestead-Miami Speedway.
“We’re also excited to be promoting and partnered with such an innovative and interesting project that is the I Drive Green program. We are looking forward to working with Nelson to go racing fulltime in 2010.”
Philippe, who fluently speaks French, English, Italian and Spanish, has a total of 42 starts in a major open-wheel racing series (41 in the Champ Car World Series) with one win back in 2006 when he was driving for CTE-HVM Racing. He was the youngest driver to ever start a Champ Car race at the age of 17 years, eight months and 25 days and holds the record for the youngest race winner in Champ Car history after his win at Surfers Paradise in 2006 when he was only 20 years old.
“I’m very happy to be returning to Conquest Racing and to be continuing my work with the I Drive Green Program. It is an excellent team with who I have very much enjoyed working with in the past and look forward to working with again this season,” told Philippe. “I’m excited to get back behind the wheel of an Indy car again and can’t wait to drive it on the road course at Sonoma. By doing only three races this year, I am keeping my rookie status and I can’t wait to fight for the Rookie of the Year title in 2010. I’d also like to thank Eric for giving me this opportunity.”
Conquest and Philippe will be on track at Infineon Raceway for an IndyCar Series test on Thursday, August 13 before taking to the track the following week for the Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma. The Homestead-Miami race takes place October 10, 2009.
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