Wicks tests for Sam Schmidt at California Speedway
Fontana, CA. (February 3, 2003) — Sam Schmidt Motorsports has invited noted driver and World Speed Record holder Russ Wicks to test its Infiniti Pro Series racecar during the Indy Racing League's "Test in the West" held today at the California Speedway.
The IRL sanctioned event will allow Schmidt to evaluate the performance of Wicks, who has previously tested at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Schmidt already likes what he sees in Wicks' background. "Russ has a lot of experience at high speeds and I expect him to be very competitive in the Infiniti Pro Series." Wicks is one of few to have traveled above 200 MPH on both land and water.
The Infiniti Pro Series follows the Indy Racing League to America's premier oval tracks. Powered by a Q45, 450 horsepower engine with a six speed sequential gearbox, the Dallara built chassis can average speeds in excess of 180 MPH on a 2-mile super speedway.
Traveling at these speeds is not a new experience for the Seattle native. Wicks is one of few to have traveled above 200 MPH on both land and water. In June 2000, Wicks broke the World's longest-standing major speed record on Lake Washington. His turbine powered, Unlimited Hydroplane set a new propeller-driven mark of 205 MPH through the measured mile. For his achievement Wicks is listed in the recently published Guinness Book of Records 2003.
This opportunity for Wicks comes at an important time in his motorsports career. Russ recently formed American Challenge, a consortium of successful business leaders, innovative, technical engineers and motorsports professionals focused on returning the "outright" World Water Speed Record to the United States. Wicks' American Challenge Team is in the design stage of building a 400 MPH jet powered watercraft.
Schmidt, a veteran IRL driver himself, believes giving Wicks some seat time is an important step for both of them. "I have all the confidence in his abilities as a race driver and the Infiniti Pro Series is an ideal championship for Russ while his American Challenge project develops."
Support for Wicks was provided by SuperGraphics, a division of GM Nameplate, the industry innovator in large format graphics. "We are pleased with our ongoing relationship with Wicks, and excited about the Infiniti Pro Series initiative," said Greg Root, President of SuperGraphics.
For more information on Sam Schmidt Motorsports: www.samschmidtmotorsports.com