Redon On A Conquest

The Indy Racing League might have let the cat out of the bag last week when it released the participant list for next week’s Test in the West, but Mi-Jack/Conquest Racing confirmed Friday that Laurent Redon is the team’s driver for this season.

Redon, a rookie, competed in two IRL races for Conquest last season. He finished seventh at Chicagoland and 11th at Texas.

“We were impressed with Redon last season, and we are excited that we can continue together for a full season,” said Mike Lanigan, president of Mi-Jack. “He's shown himself to be a very competitive driver, and we can't wait to get started.”

Redon, 28, comes to the IRL from F-1. He was the test driver for Benetton in 1999 and for Minardi in 1998. He completed his IRL rookie test last year at Chicagoland Speedway before competing in the race.

The team also acknowledged that it is using Infiniti engines to power its No. 34 Dallara. Team owner Eric Bachelart said the engine’s performance last season helped convince him to make the switch from the Aurora (Chevy in 2002).

“The Infiniti engine package came on strong at the end of 2001, and with Tom Walkinshaw Racing preparing the motors, we are confident in the level of quality and performance,” Bachelart said. “Also, Infiniti has installed Bernard Dudot as program director for the IRL. Dudot was the man behind Renault's championship-winning involvement in Formula One with Williams and Benetton. He is highly respected within the industry.

“We had a strong run in Indy Lights, and I am pleased that we are now in a position to take on new challenges with the Indy Racing League. The IRL is a growing series, and it becomes more competitive every year. For me, personally, this season I will return to the Indianapolis 500 where I have competed as a driver, so I am highly motivated. We're ready.”

Craig Perkins is Conquest’s chief engineer. Veteran engineer Jeff Braun is the team’s technical director.

Pro Series Schedule Released
The addition of a race at Michigan International Speedway has completed the Indy Racing Infiniti Pro Series’ inaugural seven-race schedule.

The Pro Series will compete at the 2-mile track in Brooklyn, Mich., on July 28. The race will consist of 50 laps.

“Michigan International Speedway will be the first high-banked superspeedway to host an Infiniti Pro Series event, and I know from my prior experience at the track that it will produce some incredibly exciting racing,” said Roger Bailey, executive director of the Pro Series. “Like the other first-class venues on the 2002 schedule, Michigan will give our Infiniti Pro Series drivers an excellent opportunity to gain experience in close, high-speed competition and will provide race fans with some outstanding open-wheel entertainment.”

The Pro Series Season begins July 7 at Kansas Speedway. The full schedule follows:

July 7, Kansas Speedway
July 20, Nashville Superspeedway
July 28, Michigan International Speedway
Aug. 11, Kentucky Speedway
Aug. 25, Gateway International Raceway
Sept. 8, Chicagoland Speedway
Sept. 14, Texas Motor Speedway

Three Indy Icons Headed to Hall
Three men who made their name at Indianapolis Motor Speedway will be inducted into the Auto Racing Hall of Fame in May.

The late Sid Collins, longtime Indy 500 announcer, car owner Andy Granatelli, an Indy 500-winner in 1969, and car owner Roger Penske, an 11-time winner of the Indy 500, will be enshrined in a ceremony at the Adam’s Mark Indianapolis Airport Hotel on May 17.

PDM Cruising with Kruseman
PDM Racing will put 2001 Sprint Car Racing Association champ Cory Kruseman through an IRL rookie test Feb. 11 at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Kruseman, of Ventura, Calif., also has experience in stock cars, USAC Silver Crown cars and midgets. He won the Chili Bowl midget race in 2000 and was the non-winged world champion in 1999.

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