Another new IndyCar team ready to join ranks

We have had this team on our 2011 IndyCar Silly Season page for months. AFS Racing owner Gary Peterson said last year that he would explore possibilities to enter the IZOD IndyCar Series full time in 2011. The team is on its way with the purchase of two cars and a Honda engine lease agreement.

The team, which hasn't named a driver, won't participate in the Open Test on March 14-15 at Barber Motorsports Park. The goal is to compete in the season-opening Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on March 27, according to general manager/vice president of operations Neil Micklewright.

"It is impossible to overestimate the challenges that await us in the IZOD IndyCar Series," said Neil Micklewright, formerly of Forsythe Racing. "We are assembling a first-class crew with which to build and enter reliable, fast cars for AFS Racing. The technical and performance issues are great, but we can rise to the challenge as we seek to establish ourselves in the premier form of motorsport in North America.

"The AFS team is excited to begin our campaign with the inaugural event of 2011 and get that first race under our belts."

Peterson, a former driver in Firestone Indy Lights and a championship-winning team owner in the series, said he's looking forward to a long tenure in the IZOD IndyCar Series.

"I couldn't be happier with what Neil has brought to this team," he said. "It is amazing to work with such a veteran of open-wheel racing. With the expertise of (engineer) Tom Brown on our side as well as the entire IndyCar crew, this is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in my racing career. I'm especially excited about making history with the AFS entry in the 100th anniversary of the Indy 500."

Brown, also formerly of Forsythe Racing, said it's an exciting time to be involved in the series.

"As the new car design and new engine packages are introduced for the 2012 season, I think we will be able to compete from a level playing field," he said. "Everything we are doing now is to help us be prepared for the future."

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