In the same way Via Motors works with Bob Lutz, Echo Automotive, Inc. announced yesterday that motorsports personality and industry advocate, Arie Luyendyk, is now part of its advisory board.
Echo Automotive, Inc. (Echo) describes itself as a developer of technologies enabling the cost effective conversion of existing fleet vehicles into fuel-efficient hybrids.
“As well as his extraordinary skills on the racetrack, Arie is passionate, informed and engaged as a supporter of automotive innovation,” said Echo COO and Managing Director, Patrick van den Bossche. “We are thrilled to have his expertise, enthusiasm, visibility and broad industry relationships to aid us as we spread the word about the exciting possibilities our EchoDrive system offers. I have known Arie for a number of years and it’s a real pleasure to draw on his experiences as a consummate professional, especially in the area of automotive innovation.”
Arie Luyendyk began his racing in the early 1970s with a number of European national titles. He then moved to the United States in 1984 where he immediately won the Super Vee championship. He ran his first full Champ Car season in 1985 winning the rookie of the year title for both the season and at the Indianapolis 500.
His first win in the series came in 1990 where he won the Indianapolis 500 with a record average speed of 185.981 mph (299.307 km/h) that still stands to this day. He took his second Indy win at the 1997 race after qualifying for pole position.
During this period, he also qualified as Indy 500 pole sitter in 1993 and again in 1999 and further enjoyed his selection to participate in the 1992, 1993, and 1998 editions of the prestigious International Race of Champions.
After a brief retirement at the end of 1999 he returned to the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002, but after an accident during practice in 2003 he retired from the series.
Other memorable victories during his career include the 24 Hours of Daytona and the 12 Hours of Sebring.
In a testament to his impact on the sport, the last corner of the Zandvoort race track in the Netherlands carries his name.
Echo said he is a well-respected statesman for the sport both at home and abroad with ongoing interests in many different facets of the industry.
“When I was approached to look things over, I was impressed to find such a well-considered business offering really smart technology aimed at such a clearly defined market” said Luyendyk. “The fleet vehicle sector is a potentially huge opportunity and the Echo team is very focused on that. In racing, efficiency is always an advantage and therefore I have a great appreciation of Echo’s dedicated approach. I am looking forward to supporting the company’s efforts and am very pleased to be affiliated with them.”