Treadway Unveils Third Driver
January 17, 2001 | 4:00 P.M. EST
Giaffone brings with him several years of Dayton Indy Lights Championship Series experience and a sponsor in Rio de Janeiro-based Hollywood cigarettes.
"This is a great opportunity for me to continue to grow my racing career," said Giaffone, who placed in the top six in the Indy Lights Series the past three seasons. "I’m really excited about working with the Treadway-Hubbard team and representing Hollywood cigarettes in the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500.
"I’m ready to get in the car and begin testing for the season opener in Phoenix."
That testing begins January 18-21 at Homestead-Miami Speedway, site of the second race of the IRNLS season on April 8. Before he can test, however, Giaffone will be required to pass an IRNLS rookie test, which consists of four phases of 10 consistent laps run in increasing speed increments of 10 mph.
No one expects Giaffone to have trouble adjusting to IRNLS machines or constant oval racing.
"Felipe has demonstrated his oval track racing skills in Indy Lights and we are excited to bring him and Hollywood into the IRL," said Scott Cronk, vice president of Treadway-Hubbard Racing.
Giaffone had his best performance of his Indy Lights career on the high-speed, 2-mile oval of Michigan Speedway. He won the Detroit News 100 there by leading from start to finish after starting on the pole. Giaffone held off a race-long challenge that day from Casey Mears, who was announced Monday to be driving at Galles Racing. In Fontana, Calif., at California Speedway, Giaffone grabbed another pole on his way to fourth in the season standings.
Just in case he has trouble adjusting to life on ovals, Arie Luyendyk will join Giaffone and Hamilton as a third driver at the Indianapolis 500 and will be a driver coach throughout the season.
Giaffone will drive the No. 21 G-Force-Aurora adorned in the traditional colors of Hollywood, which has a longtime relationship with the Brazilian driver.
"Hollywood has invested in developing Felipe Giaffone over the past three years and we are delighted to be joining up with the Treadway-Hubbard Racing team," said Fernando Pinheiro, brand marketing manager for Hollywood. "We believe that Felipe and Treadway will be visiting the winners circle often in 2001."