Sunday, May 3, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

E-mail article     Print

Profiles Of 1992 Indianapolis 500 Rookie Drivers


-- Eric Bachelart, 31, Brussels, Belgium. Won the 1991 Indy Lights championship with victories at Long Beach, Detroit, Portand and the Meadowlands. Began racing in 1979, won Belgian Junior Formula Ford championship in 1982, Benelux Formula Ford title in 1984 and French Formula Three championship in 1986. Ran seven races and finished 10th on Indy Lights series in 1990, with best finishes of second at Detroit and third at Phoenix and Cleveland. Made IndyCar debut in 1992, with best finish in three races eighth at Long Beach. Currently 14th in season standings. Driving for Dale Coyne Racing. -- Brian Bonner, 31, Boston. Raced motorcycles from 1975-85, attended driving school at Lime Rock in 1985 and won two of eight Formula Ford races in 1986. Competed in Firestone Firehawk series in 1987 and Saab Pro Series in 1988. Drove Indy Lights series in 1989 with second-place finish at Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca. Finished ninth in IMSA Camel GTP Light series and eighth in Indy Lights in 1990. IMSA GTP rookie of the year in 1991 and finished fourth in the 24 Hours of Daytona. Took IndyCar rookie test with Dale Coyne Racing at Sebring this year but has never driven an Indy race. -- Mark Dismore, 35, Greenfield, Ind. Participated in Rookie Orientation Program and passed Indy 500 drivers test in 1991 but broke his neck, both feet, right wrist and right knee in a crash during practice. Vice president of the largest go-kart retailer in the world. Began racing karts in 1968 and won 40 grand national kart races through 1989. Made IndyCar debut at Mid-Ohio in 1989, won the Formula Atlantic Pacific Division championship in 1990, and ran the first three IndyCar races in 1991 before his crash at Indianapolis. First race since the crash was on Jan. 25 this year in USAC midget race at the Hoosier Dome, where he won a preliminary heat and was third in the 100-lap feature. Driving for Burns Racing. -- Gregor Foitek, 27, Zurich, Switzerland. Son of Karl Foitek, who drove for Ferrari in the 1960s and was a four-time Swiss Touring Car champion. Started racing in the Swiss Championship with Alfa Romeo and had three Formula Ford 2000 wins en route to second place in the series in 1985. Won Swiss Formula Three title in 1986, drove Formula One in 1989-90 with best finish of seventh at Monaco. Test driver for production cars in 1991 and ran four races in Group C, including 24 Hours of LeMans. Made IndyCar debut and finished 21st in Australia. Was 18th in only other race this season at Long Beach. Driving for A.J. Foyt Enterprises. -- Philippe Gache, 29, Lessay-Manche, France. Began racing go-karts in 1981-82, moved to Formula Fords in 1984 and had one victory and six other finishes among the top three. Won five Formula Ford races in 1985, drove Formula Three series in 1986-88, Formula 3000 series in 1989-91. Was third in French Formula 3000 series and 14th in international Formula 3000 in 1991, ran BMW Trophee Andros ice-racing series in 1991-92. Has never driven an IndyCar race. Driving for Dick Simon Racing. -- Jovy Marcelo, 27, Quezon City, Philippines. Attended college in the United States at Brigham Young and St. Mary's (Calif.) and received a degree in business management from Armstrong University in Berkeley, Calif. Began racing sports cars in 1987-88, ran 1989 British Formula Vauxhall Lotus series in 1990. Was second in Toyota Atlantic Pacific Division and was the series rookie of the year. Won Toyota Atlantic championship in 1991 with victories at Lime Rock and Nazareth and runner-up at Phoenix, Mid-Ohio and Laguna Seca. Was 14th in IndyCar debut in Australia and 24th in season standings. Driving for Euromotorsport Racing. -- Kenji Momota, 29, Yokohama, Japan. Began racing go-karts at age 16 in Japan. Won all-Japan Touring Car Series Group A championship in 1985 and raced Formula Three in Japan in 1986-87. Had two seconds in Formula Ford national series and was seventh in points in the Formula Atlantic western series in 1988. Drove 14 races on the American IndyCar Series in 1989, with best finish second at Owego, N.Y., and fourth overall in standings. Drove Indy Lights series in 1990-91. Has never driven an IndyCar race. Driving for Teamkar International. -- Nelson Piquet, 39, Brasilia, Brazil. Three-time world champion on Formula One circuit. Attended school in California, started racing go-karts after returning to Brazil in 1967. Moved to sedan racing, Super Vee and European Formula Three. Made Formula One debut in 1978 and got the first of his 23 victories in 1980 at Long Beach. Won Formula One titles in 1981 by one point over Carlos Reutemann and in 1983 by two points over Alain Prost. Switched from Brabham to Williams team in 1986 and had personal best of four victories but finished third in points. Won third Formula One championship in 1987, drove for Lotus in 1988-89 and Bennetton in 1990-91. Has never driven in an IndyCar race. Driving for Team Menard. -- Ted Prappas, 36, Los Angeles. Drive in Rookie Orientation Program and passed Indianapolis 500 rookie test in 1991 but unable to qualify after crashing both his primary car and backup. Started racing Super Vee in 1982. Won Western Formula Atlantic title in 1986, entered American Racing Series in 1988 and got first ARS victory at Detroit in 1989. Second in ARS season standings in 1990 and made IndyCar debut in 1991. Started 12 Indy races, with best finish sixth at Long Beach. Has driven all three Indy races this season and is 16th in standings. Driving for P.I.G. Racing. -- Lyn St. James, 45, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Road racing veteran trying to become the second woman driver in Indy 500 and first since Janet Guthrie in 1977-79. Began racing sports cars in 1976, ran IMSA Kelly American Challenge series 1979-81, rookie of the year in IMSA Camel GT series in 1984 and first woman to run a closed-course lap above 200 mph in 1985. GTO driver of the year in 1985 when she was the first woman to win an IMSA race. Teamed with three men to win GTO division of 24 Hours of Daytona in 1987, and broke her own women's closed-course record with 212.577 mph at Talladega. Won 24 Hours of Daytona again in 1990 and tested at Indianapolis. Drove off-road and competed in Formula Three in 1991. Has never driven an IndyCar race. Driving for Paragon Motorsports. -- Paul Tracy, 23, West Hill, Ontario, Canada. Started racing go-karts 1983-84 and had 74 wins in 82 starts to take Canadian Junior championship once and Canadian Senior championship tree times. Youngest driver ever to win Canadian Formula Ford title at age 16, with 14 victories in 20 races in 1985, and youngest winner in Can Am history in 1986. Drove Forumla 2000 in 1987 and American Racing Series in 1988 with a victory at Phoenix in his debut. Eighth in ARS in 1989 and series champion in 1990 with nine wins in 14 races, leading 471 of a possible 657 laps. Made IndyCar debut in 1991, later joined Penske Racing for testing and limited schedule. Ninth in season standings this year with best finish fourth. -- Jim Vasser, 26, Discovery Bay, Calif. Started racing quarter-midgets for family team in 1971 at age 6. Made road racing debut in 1984 with five victories in 11 SCCA Formula Ford starts. Was North American Pro-Formula Ford champion and rookie of the year. Started from pole on all 10 Formula Ford races and won five of them in 1985, and won Formula Ford championship with seven victories in 1986. Drove Formula Atlantic 1987, SCCA Corvette Challenge and American Racing Series in 1988, and Canadian Formula 2000 and SCCA Pro Sports 2000 in 1989. Won five races in Canadian Formula 2000 series in 1990 and six victories in Formula Atlantic series in 1991. Best finish in three IndyCar starts this year was seventh at Long Beach. Driving for Hayhoe-Cole Racing.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.


Get home delivery today!