More young American drivers winning races is the generally agreed-upon formula for jump-starting the re-birth of open wheel road racing in the USA - but one need look no further than Lynx Racing's Bryan Sellers to see the next American Champ Car star.

Although he has already tested successfully with the Newman-Haas Champ Car team, Sellers will drive in this year's Toyota Atlantic Championship with Lynx in an attempt to increase his experience before looking to step up to the top flight in 2005.

"I'm stepping into some big shoes at the Lynx team, but I'm ready for it," says the 21-year old, "The new owners of Champ Car have done a heroic job in saving the series, and the future looks bright. I'm just one step away from that future, and I'm driving for a team that Champ Car team owners keep an eye on.

"Lynx is kind of a 'finishing school' for drivers who are ready to make the jump to Champ Cars, and I was fortunate enough to drive four Atlantic races with Lynx last year, so my education is already in high gear. Our pre-season testing has gone extremely well, so we're ready to go racing."

Like most open-wheel racers today, Sellers started young and showed championship form early by winning the US-based World Karting Association National Championship in 1998. That same year, he competed in two Star Mazda races, winning both times. In 1999, Sellers competed in the Skip Barber Formula Dodge Series, winning 15 of 26 races on his way to capturing the Midwest championship and rookie of the year honours, before moving on to win seven Skip Barber Dodge National Championship races and finish second in the 2000 championship. He also won the prestigious Team USA Scholarship to race in New Zealand, where he beat then-team-mate AJ Allmendinger - who would go on to become the 2003 Toyota Atlantic champion - in six of eight races.

In 2002, driving for Cape Motorsports in the intensely competitive Formula Ford Zetec Championship, Sellers scored eight wins and started from the pole seven times, on his way to the championship. As a result of that success, he was named to the American Auto Racing Writers and Broadcasters Association [AARWBA] All-American First Team, joining such notables as CART champion Cristiano da Matta, drag racer John Force, IRL champion Sam Hornish Jr, sportscar ace Boris Said and NASCAR champ Tony Stewart in the line-up. Sellers' championship also earned him a test in Christian Fittipaldi's Newman/Haas Racing Lola-Toyota at Sebring.

"Bryan's accomplishments, his personality and his drive to succeed remind us a lot of some previous Lynx drivers, and he fits right in with the team," says Lynx team manager Steve Cameron, "He has tremendous speed, his technical feedback is impressive and he learns fast.

"It's going to be a very competitive Atlantic season, with some extremely quick drivers coming back for their second full year, but Bryan has so much talent and determination that we're confident he'll be competing for race wins right from the start and challenging for the championship all year."

Sellers part-time deal in 2003 saw him running alongside Champ Car aspirant Michael Valiante, and team co-owners Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty are sure that he can replicate the young Canadian's achievements.

"We're very pleased to have a rising star like Bryan join Lynx Racing," they said, "He's obviously a tremendous young talent, and he has that certain sparkle in his eye that, in our experience, distinguishes a driver who's both fun to be around and has a bright future. He's just exactly what we look for in a Lynx driver, and we're confident he'll succeed in both Atlantics - and then in Champ Cars. They could use another fast young American driver, and we're happy to help him get there."

Sellers will compete with additional backing from several long-time sponsors in 2004, including 3-Dimensional Services, a company specialising in high-tech prototyping. He will also receive support from Microsoft executive Rick Waddell's Drive4USA programme which, like Lynx Racing, seeks to identify young drivers with championship potential and provide them with the funding and support to move up the ladder to the top levels of motorsports.