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DATE News (chronologically)
02/24/10
irl
DeFerran Luczo Dragon adds car for Hamilton
Gil De Ferran
Luczo Dragon Racing, fresh off its merger with de Ferran Motorsports, has strengthened its team by adding a second car and veteran driver Davey Hamilton for three races during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series, it was announced today.

Hamilton, who joins 2009 Apex Brazil IndyCar Rookie of the Year Raphael Matos as the Luczo Dragon drivers, is scheduled to enter the Indianapolis 500, the Bombardier Learjet 550 at Texas Motor Speedway and another oval race. It will be his first multi-race IndyCar schedule since he retired with injuries in 2001.

“I have known Davey for many years and he still harbors strong ambitions as a driver particularly regarding the Indy 500. He has also shown a keen interest in helping develop our team and young drivers,” de Ferran Luczo Dragon President and Managing Partner Gil de Ferran said. “He is a highly experienced oval driver that can not only bring us a good result, but very importantly, can help bring us a point of reference and lift the whole team’s performance. His presence in the team I am sure will be beneficial to Rafa, who for the first time will have a teammate in IndyCar.”

Hamilton, the IndyCar Series runner up in 1997 and 1998, has more than 25 years of experience as a competitive racecar driver, including nine years and 51 races in the IndyCar Series. He has posted eight podiums and 15 top 10 finishes, including three top 10s at the Indy 500.

“I am really looking forward to the opportunity to work with de Ferran Luczo Dragon team,” Hamilton said. “They have proven in a short time that they have what it takes to be competitive, and I believe this is a great opportunity for me to put a strong showing at the Indy 500. Raphael Matos is a great talent and I look forward to being his teammate and working together to help improve our on track performance.”

Hamilton retired as a driver after a serious crash at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001. After enduring 21 surgeries to reconstruct his feet, Hamilton courageously returned to the cockpit for the Indy 500 in 2007 and finished ninth. He has entered the last three Indy 500s. When he takes the track on June 5, it will be Hamilton’s first race back in Texas since the horrific accident.

“I will have mixed emotions for sure going to Texas and competing on that track for the first time since the accident, but it is important for me to return to Texas and to finish that race,” Hamilton said.

Luczo Dragon Racing was formed in 2007 to race the Indianapolis 500 with Ryan Briscoe finishing fifth in the team’s initial race. After a six-race schedule in 2008, Luczo Dragon ran its first full season in 2009 and claimed the Rookie of the Year title with Matos behind the wheel.  The team merged with de Ferran Motorsports just last week and has taken its initial step to becoming a two-car operation.

“We have been working hard on expanding our program,” de Ferran said. “We wanted to make sure we were expanding in the right way with the right amount of funding so that we make the right investment and make it worthwhile for everyone involved. Our sponsors were the key to making this happen.”

De Ferran Luczo Dragon’s sponsors in 2010 include HP, McAfee and Bell Micro. The team also provides an unsolicited donation of the United States Air Force sponsorship as a show of support for the Armed Services personnel.

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