Bob Dorricott, one of most respected names in North American open-wheel racing and a two-time Dayton Indy Lights Championship team owner, died on Friday, aged 65. He had been battling cancer for some time.

Born in Los Angeles in 1937, Dorricott first developed his motorsport skills during the 1950's as a drag racer in Altered class. He later gained national recognition as a consistent front-runner in SCCA Pro Sports 2000 competition that included five National titles between 1989 and 1995.

Dorricott Racing's roots extend back over 13 years, when Dorricott and son, Bob Dorricott Jr, increased their racing interests from a championship-winning Sports 2000 programme to running partial Firestone Indy Lights Championship schedules from 1990 through 1993 with the younger Dorricott behind the wheel. Their initial entry was the 1990 season finale at their home track of Laguna Seca where Bob Jr qualified 15th and finished tenth.

Dorricott Racing ran its first full season in 1994. The year was highlighted with the team's first pole for both team and driver at Nazareth. It expanded into a two-car effort in 1995 and won its first race at Detroit's Belle Isle with Robbie Buhl. Buhl, who finished second in that year's championship, also won three poles at Milwaukee, Detroit and New Hampshire, while Dorricott Jr earned his second consecutive pole at Nazareth.

In 1996, Dorricott Jr took the year off, while Jeff Ward and Shigeaki Hattori completed the two-car programme and earned twelve top-ten finishes in 22 race starts. This included a pair of poles for Ward at Toronto and Vancouver. Dorricott Jr resumed racing for the team in 1997 and was joined by Luis Garcia Jr. The team's best showing was a fourth-place in Savannah with Garcia.

Dorricott Jr retired from racing at the end of the 1997 season, but Dorricott Racing maintained a multi-car program with Austrian driver Philipp Peter and Catalonian Oriol Servia. Bob Dorricott then orchestrated the framework for a three-car team when he added young sprint car ace Bud Kaeding to the mix for four Indy Lights races.

A combined four second-place finishes in 1998 prefaced a visible rise into the motorsports elite in 1999 when Dorricott ran a his first full-season with three drivers including Servia, Peter, and Casey Mears. The result was multi-record breaking that included 35 finishes in 36 starts and first, second, and third place in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship with Servia winning the title.

A second place finish for Dorricott Racing in the 2000 Dayton Indy Lights Championship and Indy Lights rookie Townsend Bell was accentuated by a third place finish for Mears, sixth place for Australian Jason Bright, and a combined four victories.

Dorricott Racing concluded an outstanding Indy Lights tenure by winning the 2001 Dayton Indy Lights Championship behind Bell, and Damien Faulkner, of Ireland, finishing in third place. It was the third consecutive year that Dorricott Racing placed at least two drivers in the top-three final driver standings.

Dorricott changed his team's direction for 2002 with its entry into the Toyota Atlantic Championship. The success of the venture was never more evident than when he watched his team, and second-year Dorricott Racing driver Jon Fogarty, win its first Atlantic race at its very first attempt at Monterrey, Mexico, in March.

Dorricott made all decisions on his choice of drivers throughout his career. His last selections reaffirmed his unrivalled ability to see talent just as it is beginning to blossom. His appointment of Mexican Luis Diaz was overwhelmingly validated when Diaz won the pole position outright at Monterrey. The introduction of Alex Gurney to the Dorricott Racing moniker not only brought one of America's greatest racing names back to the forefront, but it also showed how Dorricott could see a young driver's major-league ability before it happened.

A leader on and off the track, Dorricott was also acknowledged in national and international business circles for his success as a high-profile business executive in the 'high tech' Silicon Valley. Dorricott retired from his non-racing business pursuits in the spring of 2001 after a career-long tenure as president and CEO of Sunnyvale Valve and Fitting Co Inc, a northern California-based distributor of high quality fluid control components. He was also a member of the American Racing Series Inc. [ARS] board of directors, the former corporate operating body of the Dayton Indy Lights Championship.

Dorricott and his wife, Phyllis, devoted much of their off-track energy to the advancement of medical research, development, and care of children afflicted with life threatening and disabling illnesses. They remained actively engaged in the promotion and missions of the Lucille Packard Children's Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, in Palo Alto, California, until Bob's death.

Bob Dorricott is survived by his wife, Phyllis, daughter Pam, sons Bob Jr and Jeff, and six grandchildren.