Mexico City, December 21st, 2002.- Mexican giant Modelo Group with its Corona Beer brand announced today the creation of a new CART team called the 'Corona Racing Team' with young Mexican driver Rodolfo M. Lavín to race in the Bridgestone-CART series, a deal signed for the next two years under the technical management of renowned Walker Racing team.
Lavin who has completed seven years racing in the Indy Lights Series from '96 to year 2000 and in the Toyota Atlantic Series in 2001 and 2002, always with the Corona sponsorship, got the Christmas good news yesterday after the deal between the involved parties were properly closed, adding an unprecedented fifth Mexican driver to the Bridgestone-CART 2003 Series.
Being it so close to the Christmas festivities, the driver chose the Corona stand at Mexico City's Auto Expo in order to be available for media and fan interviews and tell the world about his dream come true, being the first San Luis Potosí (Mexican State and it's capital city) driver to reach such heights in auto racing.
Rodolfo spent the afternoon there signing autographs and receiving congratulations and best wishes for the season starting next February 23rd in Florida.
"It suddenly comes to me how important this deal is, I can only thank Modelo Group for having created this new team after so many years sponsoring me in the CART's support categories in which I have had so many experiences including some accidents, but also podia" said Lavin and continued "it's hard to explain how I feel knowing that I'll now be racing beside my fellow countrymen and the racing stars that I have always admired in the international scenery, but I also understand that it's a very big commitment and I'll approach it professionally".
Rodolfo' racing career started at an early age in go-karts in San Luis Potosi, his hometown, at 10 he tested in a formula Vee and at 15 he did his first complete season, finishing third in the 'Formula Azteca' championship.
Next year he attended the Skip Barber School in San Francisco and in 1994 he took part in the Reynard 903 Nissan 2.4 liter powered Formula 'N' of the Mexican 'Corona Cup', finishing as runner-up behind Champion Alfonso Toledano and in front of third place Columbian Juan Pablo Montoya!
In 1995 Rodolfo repeated as Formula 'N's runner-up and beginning in 1996 he did five Dayton Indy Lights seasons where he improved year after year until he chose to go on in the much more competitive and modern Toyota Atlantic Series.
Last year he climbed to a third place in the championship standings after his second place at the Milwaukee Mile and completed every racing lap, always in the lead lap until an accident at Road America put an end to a record sustained only by him and Michael Valiante.
Rodolfo wasn't able to race at the season finale in Denver, his car being disabled, but he proved to be a very regular and trustworthy driver having finished six times among the top ten and suffered only one retirement. This background encouraged Corona to create the new team with which Rodolfo will start as a rookie in the Champ cars.