Lauren George will officially assume the role of Firestone Indy Lights team owner at Vision Racing with effect from this weekend's Freedom 100 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, having been handed the opportunity to take charge from her 18th birthday earlier this month.
Vision Racing co-owners Tony and Laura George confirmed that their daughter will oversee the team's Lights operation, which includes the #21 Dallara driven by Australian James Davison, ahead of the blue riband, despite the fact that she is planning to attend Notre Dame University on completing her school studies.
"Laura and I have decided to bring Lauren into ownership with the intent of making her responsible for directing our Firestone Indy Lights programme," IRL CEO George Sr said, "She has literally grown up around the sport and has developed a passion for it. Given her desire, ambition and acumen, her mother and I agreed that this would be a perfect opportunity for her. We are very proud of her and are excited for both her and the team."
When you attend your first Indianapolis 500 Pole Day at just four days old, perhaps racing savvy comes naturally, but George Jr isn't taking the appointment and subsequent assignment lightly. Nor is she resting on any laurels.
"Since the formation of Vision in 2005, I have watched the team grow from the ground up and have been able to see first hand the many challenges of operating a successful racing team," she said, "I have been known to offer my dad my 'two cents' about the team from time to time, mostly when it's not asked for, so maybe this is my parents' way of showing me just how difficult it is to operate a team. Regardless, I'm excited for the opportunity and plan on giving it my full attention and devotion."
George will graduate from Park Tudor School this month but, for someone who just celebrated their 18th birthday and will be attending their 19th consecutive Indianapolis 500, balancing racing and everything else life brings just comes with the territory.
"Just because I will be completing my studies, I don't think the day-to-day operation is going to change at all," she noted, "We have a wonderful group of guys at the shop, from the two-car IndyCar team all the way down through the Lights team and our partnership with Bryan Herta and Steve Newey, so I have no concerns about the team's direction.
"Looking forward, I think one of my main objectives is to make the team sustainable so that, in the future, Vision can give talented young drivers, who we believe have the potential to be great assets to IndyCar on and off the track, the opportunity to show their ability to the top teams in IndyCar."