Eric Bachelart (born February 28, 1961 in Brussels) is a former race car driver and current team owner, born in Belgium.
Eric started his racing career in Belgium, but ended it in the United States. His European single-seater attempt turned out to be a dead-end street when he didn't get further than a couple of did-not-qualifies in the 1988 F3000 season. Although he was a star in the national touring car championship, Belgian Procar, driving for Audi and Peugeot, his heart seemed to be set on single-seaters.
In 1991 he was to become the inaugural Indy Lights champion, which brought him in the frame to enter a near-full CART season with the tail-enders team of Dale Coyne, while racing in the Procar series back home at the same time. A seventh place was to be a highlight. After a failed attempt to qualify for the 1993 edition of the Indianapolis 500, he did one more CART season in 1995, again only racing when his Belgian Procar schedule allowed it, before bringing an end to his single-seater career. After another year in Belgium (the 1996 highlights being entering the 24 Hours of Le Mans marathon with the Racing-For-Belgium Ferrari 333SP and the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps with the Peugeot 806 multi-purpose vehicle), his racing career was brought to a definitive end, although he did return to the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps twice, in 1998 and 2000.
Eric subsequently founded the Conquest Racing team in 1997, initially running in the Indy Lights championship. The team raced Laurent Rédon in the 2002 IRL before switching to Champ Car, which suddenly became the cheaper series due to Honda and Toyota switching to the IRL. Mario Haberfeld raced for them in 2003, with future F1 driver Tiago Monteiro in a satellite team ran by Emerson Fittipaldi from their HQ. England's Justin Wilson joined for 2004, teamed from mid-season by teenager Nelson Philippe. For 2005 they ran Philippe and Andrew Ranger, one of the youngest teams in the championship's history. But Ranger has proven to be competitive to be held onto for another year, being partner by Dutchman Charles Zwolsman for 2006. In 2007 Eric Bachelart signed young Kiwi native Matt Halliday to be part of his Champ Car entry with a 4 race contract. After those four races Halliday was replaced by Jan Heylen. His team moved to the IRL IndyCar Series as a result of open-wheel unification.
|Indy Lights Champion|