|J. R. Hildebrand|
RLR/Andersen Racing is pleased to announce that J.R. Hildebrand, the 2006 Cooper Tires Formula Ford 2000 champion, will drive its No. 25 Indy Pro Series car this season.
Hildebrand, 20, a native of Sausalito, Calif. who resides in Indianapolis, joins Andrew Prendeville of Las Vegas as RLR/Andersen Racing's two Indy Pro Series drivers for the 16-race season. The Palmetto, Fla.-based team also fields multiple cars in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear and the F2000 Championship presented by Hoosier Racing Tire.
With the announcement, Hildebrand is reunited with engineers Dominic and Nicholas Cape, who guided him to his F2000 championship in 2006 before becoming RLR/Andersen Racing's chief Indy Pro Series engineers in 2007. Hildebrand and the Cape brothers had a phenomenal year in 2006, winning a record 12 of 14 F2000 races enroute to the title. They also set the record for the most consecutive victories in a season with seven; the most laps led in a season; and the most poles in a season.
Hildebrand drove for Newman Wachs Racing in the 2007 Champ Car Atlantic series, finishing seventh overall as the top American rookie. His best finish was second at Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland in June.
Hildebrand also drove in the Indy Pro Series doubleheader at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. with RLR/Andersen Racing last August. He suffered a wrist injury on lap two of the first race that spoiled his chances for good results there, but he was very competitive in practice and qualifying. He passed his Indy Pro Series rookie test with another team last month in Nashville, Tenn.
Hildebrand is a former winner of the prestigious Team USA Scholarship program, finishing third overall in the Formula Palmer Audi Autumn Cup in 2005 in Europe. He was second overall and Rookie of the Year in the Pacific F2000 Zetec Formula Ford series in 2005. He earned the championship in the SCCA Formula Russell series in 2004.
Hildebrand has been accepted to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, although he's currently on a deferral with that institution while he pursues his racing career. He was graduated a semester early from Redwood High School in Corte Madera, Calif., in December 2005 as a National Merit Scholar with a
4.12 grade point average.
The first race of the 2008 Indy Pro Series season is in 24 days at Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla.