After running rookies Duncan Tappy and Jonathan Bomarito in its second car at the opening rounds of the Firestone Indy Lights championship, Genoa Racing has turned to the more experienced Dillon Battistini to partner Richard Philippe at Kansas Speedway this weekend.
The Briton, who won on his Lights debut in 2008 and went on to become the most successful driver in the series that year despite missing the title, will pilot the #63 Dallara in the Kansas Lottery 100, carrying sponsorship from UK-based Motorsport Insurance Services as he re-acquaints himself with the US open-wheel scene ahead of a possible IndyCar programme and Indianapolis 500 debut.
“I am very grateful to my management, for getting things put together with Genoa," admitted Battistini, who's oval experience will be used to help ease Philippe's learning curve, "The #63 car is clearly a good seat out there.
"I am looking forward to working with the Genoa team, and very confident in our ability to come away from Kansas with a top result, even though everything has come together so quickly. Thomas [Knapp] has assembled a very professional and talented team, and I'm looking forward to helping them out in any way I can."
“I think it's important for Richard to have the best possible team-mate to push him, to learn from, and to work together with on the track so, when we approached Dillon's management with the idea and they agreed, we jumped at the opportunity," Mark Olsen, president of Genoa Lights, confirmed, "Dillon's a proven winner. If it weren't for the economy he'd be in the thick of things in IndyCar this year, so it's very lucky for us to be able to have him at Kansas.”
The Briton, a former Asian F3 champion, admitted that it was nice to be getting back into the cockpit after a winter spent negotiating possible drives in the IndyCar Series.
"Our primary focus has been IndyCar and the Indianapolis 500," Battistini commented, "It seems as if I've done nothing but workout and go to meetings for months now. I think it'll be a nice mental break to get in a car this weekend... then, hopefully, the 500 and maybe more.”