Scheckter to drive for Conquest Racing
Conquest Racing is welcoming a seasoned IZOD IndyCar Series veteran this weekend to its team with Tomas Scheckter signing on to pilot its #36 Dallara at Chicagoland Speedway for the Peak Antifreeze and Motor Oil Indy 300.
The South African brings with him tons of experience gained over the course of his 100 plus starts in the open-wheel racing series. Since his first Indy car race in 2002, he has gone on to claim 43 top-tens including a couple of wins and has led over 1300 laps.
“I’m very happy to be joining Conquest Racing,” expressed Scheckter, who has made four starts this season with Dreyer & Reinbold Racing. “Eric (Bachelart) and I have been talking for quite a while and when this opportunity to drive for them came up, I immediately took advantage of it.
“I know some of the guys on the team for having worked with them in the past and I am really looking forward to working with them again as well as with everyone else. We’re coming together a little bit at the last minute but I am confident that we can come out with a good result, there are a lot of good people on this team.”
The 29-year-old driver has seven starts at Chicagoland Speedway with a best finish of fourth and 118 laps led on the 1.5-mile tri-oval.
“I’m pretty excited to be getting back into an Indy car at Chicagoland. I really like that track. I’ve led laps there and last season I had the quickest lap of the race. There’s a lot of side-by-side racing and it’s always fun to be racing at night. I can’t wait.”
Team owner Eric Bachelart was thrilled to announce that Scheckter was joining his Indianapolis-based team.
“Tomas and I have been in contact for quite some time and it is great to finally be able to put a deal together. He brings so much experience to the team. We’re really excited to have the chance to work with him.
“He will also be a good pairing for Bertrand and will be able to help him develop his oval racing skills,” added Bachelart. “I’m looking forward to a good weekend from both drivers.”
For the first time this season, Conquest Racing’s rookie Bertrand Baguette will have a veteran driver as a teammate. The young Belgian plans to absorb as much oval racing knowledge as possible from the driver who has made over 90 starts on ovals.
“It will be great to have a driver with a lot of experience on ovals like Tomas on the team this weekend,” said Baguette. “It hasn’t always been easy this season because we were two rookies but having Tomas will be a great help. I look forward to learning from him.”
Baguette who has constantly been improving week in and week out will be making only his fifth oval start of his career this weekend. While he would rather be going back to a road course where he has been putting in strong performances lately, he’s looking forward to returning to ovals.
“I have to be honest and say that I am a little disappointed to not be going to a road course this weekend because we have been doing so well on them and another couple of them on the schedule would have been great, but I’m confident heading back to ovals.
“On my first four ovals, I did quite well in the race despite some bad luck. The team has been doing really well lately and I think I can continue my progression on this type of track and finish off the season on a good note starting this weekend at Chicagoland Speedway.”
Conquest Racing will be on track at Chicagoland Speedway starting Friday, August 27, 2010 with a first practice session at 9:15 a.m. CT before qualifying at 1:00 p.m. CT. Teams will get a final 30-minute practice session at 5:00 p.m. CT also on Friday.