Luczo Dragon Racing, fresh off its merger with de Ferran Motorsports, has strengthened its team by adding a second car and veteran driver Davey Hamilton for three races during the 2010 IZOD IndyCar Series.
Hamilton, who joins 2009 Apex Brazil IndyCar rookie of the year Raphael Matos on the driving strength, is slated for the Indianapolis 500, the Bombardier Learjet 550 at Texas Motor Speedway and another oval race yet to be confirmed. It will be his first multi-race IndyCar schedule since he retired with injuries in 2001.
IndyCar Series runner up in both 1997 and 1998, Hamilton has more than 25 years of experience as a competitive racecar driver, including nine years and 51 races in the IndyCar Series. He has posted eight podiums and 15 top ten finishes, including three top tens at the Indy 500. He retired as a driver after a serious crash at Texas Motor Speedway in 2001. After enduring 21 surgeries to reconstruct his feet, Hamilton courageously returned to the cockpit for the Indy 500 in 2007 and finished ninth. He has entered the last three Indy 500s, but taking to the track on 5 June will be his first race at Texas since his horrific accident.
"It's exciting for me to back and able to run the Indy 500," Hamilton commented, having put together his deal earlier than usual, "but it's always been something I wanted to do, run more than Indy, and I haven't been able to put that together the last several years. I'm able to do that finally.
"This team coming together - Luczo Dragon already has some success and, with Gil joining this team, I'm very excited about the possibilities. Rafa has done a fantastic job, and he's out of his rookie season now, so he's been to these tracks before and has experience. We're hoping to be able to give each other a lot of information to excel the team and to get a victory. Hopefully, we can do it sooner than later."
Having piloted the lone Luczo Dragon car in 2009, Matos is excited to finally have someone to share ideas with, especially someone as experienced as Hamilton.
"It helps a lot," he admitted, "It's extremely difficult to be a one-car team. There's no comparison for data or driver input. Adding Davey, with his experience, as well as Gil, they've been through a lot of the situations I have not.
"I was fortunate to run the full season last year, and I was able to learn a lot, but there's still a lot of learning for me. You don't learn everything in just one year. There's a lot of hard work for me and a lot of hard work for the team. We must improve at a lot of the tracks and we have a really good direction. We have good support from our new sponsor, HP, and I'm just very honoured to be on my second year with the team."