Mexico City, Mexico (December 5, 2001) - New Latin American Team Scuadra Fortia announced today that will participate in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series with Mexican driver Eduardo Figueroa.
"The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series is extremely pleased the Scuadra Fortia will be joining the Series for the 2002 season. While the team and driver are new to the Series. I expect them to be very competitive under the leadership of Allen Berg, whose racing credentials speak for themselves and with their past experience, their driver Eduardo Figueroa should be contending for the "Rookie of the Year" title as well as race wins," said Vicki O'Connor, President & CEO of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series.
Former Scuadra Berg-Guerrero, which successfully won the 2001 drivers and teams championships in the ILP/Formula de las Americas Series in Mexico with former FIA F1 driver Allen Berg, builds a new project called Scuadra Fortia for its International effort in the premier Series CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series.
Allen Berg, Team Owner of Scuadra Fortia said: "In less than one year, we displayed complete dominance in Mexico with our new team called Scuadra Berg-Guerrero in 2001 season. We've developed a strong reputation in Mexico in a very short time. After that, the four-equal partners: Ezio, Jorge and Eduardo Figueroa, and myself decided to go international, with a two-car effort featuring Eduardo Figueroa as our driver and a second driver will be announced in January."
"Our Mexican project was a five-car effort with two entries in the ILP/Formula de las Americas Championship and three entries in the Mexican F3. In the latter, we had modest results with two young & promising rookies and in the ILP/Formula de las Americas, we swept with all possible titles," he added.
The successful team won 5 races out of the 10 race schedule (Aguascalientes, Zacatecas, Mexico City and twice in Guadalajara). Also, the team enjoyed 9 podiums, one pole and started from the front row three times. In Mexico, this was an unprecedented record for a rookie team in its maiden season.
Berg retired as driver one race before the last, after securing the ILP/Formula de las Americas driver and team championship. "I thought it was the best way to retire: winning the race and the championships. Now, I want to dedicate myself to run the team, developing new driving talent and helping to promote them to the CART teams," Berg said.
"We decided to go to Toyota Atlantic because it will be the premier small bore open-wheel Series in North America next year; the only Series supported by CART and the timing is right. A new chassis is coming out and the playing field will be level for all of the teams," He added.
"After our success record in Mexico, we want to establish a Latin American that can be successful in the International arena. We feel confident that we can do it. There are several Latin drivers involved in the Toyota Atlantic Series, but just a few Latin teams. As CART will have a bigger presence in Mexico with two races in 2002, and in one of them will be sharing honors with Toyota Atlantic, We feel this Series is a commercially viable option for Latin American companies interested in a motor racing related commercial investment, since the media interest and exposure will be high," Berg said.
"Our long term goal is to compete at the highest level of the sport when the time is right. Now, we are focused in Toyota Atlantic. We are realistic that in our first year in a new category, and drivers unfamiliar with the circuits it will be difficult to be competitive straight away. That is not to say that we will not be out to win races. It's just that we are planning more for the long term."
"Our plan is to bring our top staff from Mexico and combine it with the best personnel available in the US to build a team that works towards one common goal, like we did it in Mexico. The equipment we are acquiring will lack nothing compared to other teams," Berg said.