Patrick Carpentier will have a new team-mate as the Grand Am Rolex Series heads to Mid-Ohio this weekend with Kris Szekeres coming in to partner the Candian for the seventh round of the season.
The 27-year-old has already gained three top ten finishes in twelve GT class starts during his Grand Am career – and has two starts in the Daytona Prototype class, including the Rolex 24 at Daytona with the SAMAX team earlier this year.
"I'm really excited to be back with the team and I'm looking forward to driving with Patrick,” he said. "There is a lot to learn and I know that working alongside him will be my greatest asset. I have signed for the next two races and I'm working with my sponsors to conclude a deal that would enable me to complete the season with SAMAX. It's great to be back!"
Carpentier himself was pleased to welcome Szekeres back into the team for a race at one of his most successful circuits. In six Champ Car starts between 1997 and 2003, he finished five times in the top seven with three consecutive podium results: a third place in 2001, a much publicised win in 2002 and a second place finish behind then team-mate Paul Tracy in 2003.
"Mid-Ohio brings back fond memories," he said. "It is a great track and I have enjoyed much success there including several podiums and a memorable win in 2002 where I promised in the post race qualifying press conference that I would run the track naked if I won. I did win. After the race, I almost kept my promise when I ran across the finish line with only a chequered flag covering me up.
“On the team front, I am happy to hear that Kris could be my team-mate for the rest of the year. I met him when he was a member of the second SAMAX entry at the Rolex 24 at Daytona earlier this year. Since the beginning of the season, the numerous driver and team personnel changes haven't really hurt us, but it hasn't helped the team to gel much either. With Kris coming on board, things should improve and I'm really looking forward to working with him."
Currently sixth overall in the standings, the team will now hope to make moves back up the standings with a solid run this weekend – with a gap of just five points to third placed Gainsco Racing.