INDIANAPOLIS (December 20, 2002) - Former Champ Car driver Stefan Johansson announced today the formation of American Spirit Team Johansson, a complete two-car effort that will campaign the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford.
"I've always been a great believer in CART ever since I competed in the series," said Johansson. "The Champ Car series has great racing at awesome venues and a proven fan base with more than two-and-a-half million people attending races last year and we hope to help grow that fan base even further. We're very excited about the team's debut in 2003 and we're looking forward to competing in CART for many years to come."
Details on sponsorship and driver lineup for the two American Spirit Team Johansson Ford-Cosworth/Reynard/Bridgestone Champ Cars will be announced in early January at the team's Indianapolis-based headquarters.
"We're in the final stages of securing two American drivers for our 2003 effort and we'll be prepared to fully unveil all of the details about the team shortly after the first of the year," said Johansson. "I am certain we'll have a very competitive lineup and our sponsor partners will receive excellent value as we move forward to ensure that we will have a successful first season in the highly-competitive Champ Car Series."
A native of Vaxjo, Sweden, Johansson began his CART career in 1992 and won Rookie of the Year honors with Bettenhausen Racing, which still competes in CART under the Herdez Competition banner. Johansson contested the Champ Car series until 1996 and tallied four podium finishes with a best result of third.
Johansson also amassed 79 starts in his eight-year Formula One racing career competing for such teams as Ferrari and McLaren. Johansson also enjoyed success in endurance racing, having posted an overall win at LeMans, three overall wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring and most recently he was crowned champion of the European Le Mans Series LMP900 class in 2001.
The announcement adds to a growing list of teams including Newman/Haas Racing, Player's/Forsythe Racing, Walker Racing, Patrick Racing, Dale Coyne Racing, Fernandez Racing, Team Rahal and Rocketsports Racing to compete in the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, which officially kicks off February 21-23 in Florida with the inaugural Grand Prix of St. Petersburg.