Thursday, March 11, 2010

Alex Lloyd to Drive #19 IZOD IndyCar for Dale Coyne Racing

Alex Lloyd in 2007 Indy Lights Road Runner 100
Photo Credit: IndyCar Media

Dale Coyne Racing went into 2009 as one of IndyCar racing's single-car efforts without much expectation for what the season with Justin Wilson would bring. At the Watkins Glen round, the victory for their #18 machine was monumental than and continues to change the way Dale Coyne Racing operates. For the 2010 IZOD IndyCar season, car owner Dale Coyne presented in January a Boy Scouts of America paint scheme as a second full-time entrant campaigning the #19 for the team. Signing Milka Duno to pilot the #18 car just a week ago, anticipation for what driver will be seated in the #19 car was resolved on March 10th, with only 2 days before the first IZOD IndyCar practice takes place in Sao Paul, Brazil. Englishman Alex Lloyd will take the wheel of the Boy Scouts of America #19 for the entire IZOD IndyCar season.

This late IndyCar announcement came somewhat interesting for two reasons. Firstly, Alex Lloyd was heavily speculated to drive for Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing. Secondly, it was rumoured that the Boy Scout of America would want an American driver to pilot the #19 car. Graham Rahal was highly rumoured with team owner Dale Coyne confessing his interest in the 21 year old free agent.

Arriving from Manchester, England, Alex Lloyd career started in karting. Lloyd swiftly moved through the ranks of Formula cars earning the prestigious McLaren Autosport BRDC (British Racing Drivers' Club) Award for most outstanding young driver in 2003. With previous award recipients being 2-time IndyCar champion Dario Franchitti and 2009 F1 World Champion Jenson Button, Lloyd's racing future turned towards the United States as a competitor in the IRL Indy Lights Series. With his parent selling the family home in order to finance Alex Lloyd's first season in the IRL ladder series in 2006, he won twice in his rookie season. Signing for Sam Schmidt race team the following season, Lloyd was crowned the 2007 Indy Lights champion thanks to 8 victories in the series.

While Lloyd has been without a full-time ride for the past 2 seasons in either the IRL Indy Lights or IndyCar Series, car owners such as Chip Ganassi were very interested in the driver providing him with a test driver job. Target Chip Ganassi Racing also offered Lloyd the opportunity to run two Indianapolis 500 races in 2008 and last year. With Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing, Alex Lloyd was offered an opportunity to run the 2009 season ending race a Homestead-Miami Speedway finishing 8th in his 3rd ever IndyCar start.

Even though Alex Lloyd is arriving ready for his debut race with Dale Coyne Racing on the Streets of Sao Paulo race, the formal announcement joining the team and driver will not be made until two weeks later in St Petersburg, Florida (Yes, the driver announcement is coming after the driver has already competed in the car).

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