Feb 24

Indy Lights: Beatriz confirmed at Sam Schmidt Motorsports (+photo)

Ana Beatriz returns to Sam Schmidt Motorsports in 2009

As a proven series race winner.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports has announced that Ana Beatriz will return to the cockpit of the No. 20 Healthy Choice/Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry in the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights series.

Confirming speculation that Beatriz would return to the Indy Lights series with Sam Schmidt Motorsports for a second season of competition in 2009, the Brazilian has officially signed with the Indianapolis-based team.

Beatriz enters the 2009 season as a strong contender for the championship crown, having become the first women to win in series history in her rookie season and been part of the title fight until the final checkered flag waved.

As part of multi-car operation at Sam Schmidt Motorsports, Beatriz will partner Colombian rookie Gustavo Yacaman and one or two yet to be named drivers.

A native of Sao Paulo, Brazil, Beatriz enters the 2009 Indy Lights campaign having impressed many in her inaugural season one year ago. Bia, as she is known, immediately got up to speed in her North American racing debut, routinely running at the front of the highly competitive field.

When the season ended in Chicago, she had not only become the first female to win in Indy Lights via her victory at the Nashville Superspeedway, but also finished third in the championship fight via six podium finishes, nine top-fives and 62 laps led.

As result she was awarded both the Rookie of the Year and Firestone Indy Lights Rising Star awards at the year-end banquet.

Prior to racing in the Indy Lights series, Beatriz was a multiple karting champion in her native Brazil, the 2003 Brazilian Formula Renault Championship rookie of the Year and a multiple Formula Renault race winner, earning three Gold Helmet awards.

Widely considered one of the premier teams in Indy Lights competition, Sam Schmidt Motorsports is owned and operated by former Indy Racing League race winner Sam Schmidt.

A dominant force since entering the series in 2003, the team has won a series record 27 races, and captured a series-high three titles.

Beatriz will get behind the wheel of her Sam Schmidt Motorsports entry this week (February 23-24) as part of the Firestone Indy Lights series test at the Homestead-Miami Speedway.

The 2009 season commences on April 4-5, with Rounds One and Two on the Streets of St. Petersburg, Fla.

source: eformulacarnews.com