SAM SCHMIDT MOTORSPORTS AND VICTOR CARBONE JOIN FORCES FOR 2011 FIRESTONE INDY LIGHTS

INDIANAPOLIS — Sam Schmidt Motorsports announced today that Brazilian Victor Carbone will be one of the team’s drivers for the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season.

Carbone, from Sao Paulo, comes to Sam Schmidt Motorsports after having spent the last two seasons racing in F2000 with Alegra Motorsports where he won the championship in 2010 with eight podium finishes, including six victories, along with six poles and four fast laps.

“I am really excited for the 2011 racing season as I will have a great opportunity in driving with Sam Schmidt Motorsports,” Carbone said.  “They have just won the championship, so I will be working with some of the best people available.”

The 18-year old had the chance to test with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in December, getting his first taste of the Firestone Indy Lights machine.  The jump to the Firestone Indy Lights vehicle from the F2000 car is a big step, but one that Carbone is confident he can handle.

He said, “I am aware this is a big step, and things are different from the F2000 world.  Even though there is many differences, I feel the two years I spent in F2000 gave me the necessary foundations for me to make this move.  I will work very hard to listen, learn, and do whatever it takes to achieve good results.”

Team owner, Sam Schmidt, has been impressed with Carbone’s maturity and expectations, and most importantly, his results in the December test.  He said, “We’re going to give Victor all the tools he needs to be successful in 2011, but make no mistake, this is a big step for him.  He’s got a learning curve ahead of him, but as a team, we’re confident that we can put together great results this year.  The maturity and experience he already has at 18 is incredible, and I can’t wait to see what he does when the racing season begins.”

Prior to his stint in F2000, Carbone raced in the Skip Barber ladder system, competing in the Skip Barber Regional Series and the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Championship Presented by Mazda, both in 2008.  He was also a successful kart racer, winning in various classes in Brazil and the United States.

Sam Schmidt Motorsports, the all-time leaders in race wins (37) and championships (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010), will kick off the 2011 Firestone Indy Lights season on March 27th on the Streets of St. Petersburg.  Coverage of the event will be available on indycar.com.  For more information on the team, visit www.spmindycar.com.  For more information on Firestone Indy Lights, visit firestoneindylights.com.