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No entry for Conquest Racing in 2013

Conquest Racing has confirmed that it will not be fielding an entry in the 2013 IndyCar championship, and will instead be focussing on its American Le Mans Series program.
Conquest Racing will not be returning to the IZOD IndyCar Series in 2013, the team announced on Wednesday.

“We made this decision this week," said team principal Eric Bachelart, adding that the team intended to dedicate itself to American Le Mans Series sportscar racing instead.

"After considering many scenarios we decided that the time for putting together a competitive program in IndyCar was running out," he explained. "It was better to step back as opposed to creating a last minute program that didn't live up to our standards."

Conquest last ran full-time in the IndyCar series in 2011 with Sebastian Saavedra leading their campaign. Prior to that, the stable of Conquest drivers had included the likes of Justin Wilson, Alex Tagliani, Tomas Scheckter and Bertrand Baguette over the course of 16 years competing in IndyCar, IRL and Champ Car.

After IndyCar updated its technical specifications and introduced the DW12 chassis, Conquest was unable to fund a full-time entry in 2012 and moved to ALMS instead. Bachelart said that the ALMS move was the silver lining of this week's decision to bid farewell for now to IndyCar.

"The good news is that this decision allows us to focus purely on our sportscar program, which we debuted very successfully last year," Bachelart said, adding that the team had finally sold off the sole DW12 chassis that it had previously bought, laying to rest any suggestion of a quick return to IndyCar duty or a possible Indianapolis 500 entry in May.

Conquest enjoyed a strong maiden series in ALMS last year with drivers Martin Plowman and David Heinemeier Hansson, whose two wins and three pole positions kept them in strong contention for the P2 championship before finally ending the season as worthy runners up.

"Fighting for the P2 championship with no previous endurance experience was a very positive experience for us, and we proved what we can do as a team," said Bachelart. "We are currently evaluating different programs for ALMS, in the P2, PC and GTC categories, where we know that once again we can build a championship winning effort and fight for wins with the rest of the teams out there."

Bachelart, himself a former race driver and 1991 Indy Lights champion, added that he was looking forward to an exciting future in ALMS, which next year merges with the NASCAR-owned Grand-AM championship.

"We are also very excited about the unified series in 2014 as it is opening a lot of exciting possibilities for us which we will work on throughout this year," he said, adding that Conquest is also looking into expanding into the highly competitive PC and GTC categories.


Related Pictures

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The new `12 OAK-Pescarolo designed for the LMP2 class in the American Le Mans Series presented by Tequila Patrón. [Photo Credit: Conquest Endurance/OAK Racing]
Conquest Racing`s Sebastian Saavedra in Toronto. (Picture Credit: Chris Jines for IndyCar Media)
Pippa Mann sits in her car in pitlane at Indianapolis Motor Speedway [Picture credit: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media]
Conquest owner Eric Bachelart [Photo Credit: Ron Mcqueeney for IndyCar Media]
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates with his daughter Mikaella after winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest.  (Photo by Phillip Abbott/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Helio Castroneves, Driver of the #3 Automobile Club of Southern California Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates winning the pole with the fastest qualifying time Friday, August 29, 2014, for Saturday`s Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California. Castroneves will start in the front row with teammate Juan Pablo Montoya, who qualified second fastest. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Michael L. Levitt/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, takes the chequered flag Sunday, August 24, 2014 to win the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Gregg Ellman/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Target Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6, races to victory Sunday, August 24, 2014, winning the IndyCar race at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
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Will Power, driver of the #12 Verizon Team Penske Chevrolet IndyCar V6, celebrates his victory Sunday, August 17, 2014 at The Milwaukee Mile in West Allis, Wisconsin. Power has the driver championship points lead heading into the final two races of the season.  (Photo by Lesley Ann Miller/LAT for Chevy Racing)

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