Red Bull Cheever Racing has withdrawn the entry for the No. 53 Red Bull Cheever Racing Dallara-Infiniti for the Gateway Indy 250 after Tomas Scheckter elected not to participate in the race this weekend.

The team will compete with Eddie Cheever Jr. in the No. 51 car and Buddy Rice in the No. 52 car.

Team owner and driver Eddie Cheever Jr. said: "After not showing up for a scheduled technical briefing yesterday we called and were informed by Tomas that he was not going to participate in the race this weekend. He did not offer any further details.

"This news was very shocking after the time and effort that both Red Bull Cheever Racing and TWR have put into preparing his car for this race, as we have done all season. We have a contract with Tomas through 2003, which we fully intend to enforce.

"Although this is a surprise, it will not have a negative impact on our performance this weekend."

It is understood that Scheckter was not happy about being omitted from Red Bull Cheever Racing's recent test at the demanding 1.25-mile oval and although there were rumours flying about on Friday evening that Scheckter was considering withdrawing from the event, Cheever stated that he was not aware of any problems until Saturday morning.

Scheckter decision not to race should seal his fate with the Red Bull squad as he and Cheever have not seen eye to eye all year despite Cheever's remarks to the contrary. Whether he picks up a new ride for the remaining 2002 IRL races at Chicagoland and Texas remains to be seen although the young South African driver has previously stated that he would like to remain in the IRL for at least one more year.

 

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