With no great surprise, Guthrie Meyer Racing has revealed that its first signing for the 2009 Firestone Indy Lights season will be Sean Guthrie, son of team co-owner, and former IndyCar rookie of the year, Jim.
Guthrie Jr finished tenth in this season's Indy Lights championship, earning one top five and six top ten finishes without being able to improve on the 37-race career-best fourth he earned Milwaukee in 2007. He has raced with the family team, known simply as Guthrie Racing prior to the new-for-2009 Guthrie Meyer merger, in each of his three Indy Pro Series/Indy Lights seasons.
"It's really great to be able to work with my son," Jim Guthrie admitted, "We have been racing together since he was five years old and it is something that is very special to me. Sean continues to mature as a race driver and, with Butch's help, this will be his best season ever."
Guthrie brings additional experience and success from karting, SCCA Formula Ford and the Star Mazda Pro Series to his Indy Lights campaign, and earned the Ethos for Earth Hard Charger Award in this year's Lights competition. Having established himself as a regular threat for the top ten, however, he is looking for a break-out year in 2009.
"I am very excited with the merger between my dad, Guthrie Racing and Butch Meyer," Guthrie commented, "Guthrie Racing has been building a world class team since 2005, when we first entered the Star Mazda Pro Series, and, from that day forward, we have had big dreams and high expectations.
"We have been slowly fulfilling those expectations, but I think Butch will bring the rest of the needed ingredients to speed up that process. The cars and team will be completely new from what people have seen from Guthrie Racing in the past, and I am confident that Guthrie Meyer Racing will be the team to watch out for in 2009. I am very happy that I am going to be a part of that."
The ninth Firestone Indy Lights season begins with an early April double-header on the streets of St Petersburg, with Guthrie Meyer Racing hoping to field as many as four cars. While announcements regarding additional drivers and sponsors will be forthcoming in the near future, co-owner Meyer is looking forward to working with its first signing.
"I'm am really looking forward to working with Sean," the former series technical director said, "I have watched him over the last couple years and have always been impressed with his racing ability. Sean is a class act on and off the track, an excellent driver and a fierce competitor - and his 'stand on the gas' attitude will surely put GMR in the winner's circle."