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IL: First Russian to join grid

Sergey Mokshantsey will become the first Russian driver to compete in the Indy Lights Series after inking a deal with the Brian Stewart Racing team for 2009.

The 26-year-old will drive the #3 entry this season and heads to the United States having previously competed in F3 in both Russia and Italy, as well as the International Formula Master series.

"It takes a lot of desire to be a high-level racer, especially if you come from a country like Russia," team boss Stewart said. "Sergey has shown he has that desire and he has been successful in series he's raced in throughout Europe."

Mokshantsev enjoyed a successful test with the team at Kentucky last year and will be amongst the rookie drivers to hit the track at Homestead early next week as he sets out on a journey that he hopes will result in a slot in the Indy 500.

"I looked at racing tracks and series in Europe but I'm intrigued about racing on ovals," he said. "NASCAR and IndyCar Series races are shown a lot in Russia and so that's what brought me to test at Kentucky last year. It was a lot of fun.

"The Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series is growing in Russia. I hope to be the first Russian to race there as well."

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