San Diego, CA (January 3, 2002) - Allen Berg, former FIA F1 driver and owner of Scuadra Fortia announced today that Argentinean Waldemar Coronas has committed to drive for the team in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series. Coronas, whose previous experience includes back-to-back championships in the ILP/Formula de las Americas Series (1999-2000), will drive one of the Scuadra Fortia's two Swift 014.as.
"The addition of the 2nd Scuadra Fortia entry driven by Waldemar Coronas reinforces the team's serious and professional approach to the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. I understand that Waldemar (Coronas) is one of the stars of the future and I am very happy that he has chosen Toyota Atlantic as the next step in his racing career," said Vicki O'Connor, President & CEO of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Series.
Scuadra Fortia will enter into its first Toyota Atlantic Championship season fresh off of winning the 2001 drivers and teams championships in the ILP/Formula de las Americas Series, with former Mexican F2 champion Allen Berg at the wheel, who displayed complete dominance in Mexico with his new team then-called Scuadra Berg-Guerrero.
"Waldemar will arrive in Monterrey (Mexico) on a winning note after being victorious at Mexico City during the season finale of the 2001 ILP/Formula de las Americas Championship, where he drove for us. We are all thrilled to have him back with us," said former Rookie of the Year in the Atlantic Series, Allen Berg.
"I am really happy to be joining Scuadra Fortia for the 2002 Toyota Atlantic season. I am looking forward the first race at Monterrey, Mexico, which will be kind of my home race. There, I have a lot of friends since my previous team was based in Monterrey. Now, I am working-out like crazy to be ready for the opening round. Hopefully, I will get myself up to speed with the new Swift quickly," Coronas said. "Also, I am talking with some potential sponsors in Argentina, because I think this is a unique opportunity for them to get a lot of exposure through motor racing, since the Toyota Atlantic Series runs in the NAFTA market (Mexico, USA and Canada)."
Coronas, who is well-known in Latin America by his nickname "Baldi", was runner-up in the ILP/Formula de las Americas Championship in 1998. He started his successful career in motor racing in 1986, in the karting school APAD in Argentina, where he was the best driver of the tenth class. Later he won several championships in karting. From 1991 to 1993 he competed in Formula Renault Elf, where he had a good performance. In 1995 he raced in Italy, where he was runner-up in the FIA Cup Formula 2000 Series, also he was champion under-21 in the Italian Formula 2000. The following year he went race in Mexico and in his rookie season he notched 3 wins and 3 poles en route to a 5th place finish in the Mexican F3 Championship race. The following season he climbed into third-place overall in the Mexican F3 Championship.
Coronas will enter in a new stage of his career with Eduardo Figueroa as team mate. Figueroa started his motor racing career last year in the Mexican F3 Series and from his first testing at the Autodromo Monterrey (not the CART permanent circuit), he showed great potential, being able to set good times running half of a second behind the track record (for the Mexican F3 Series). Also, during his maiden season in the Series he challenged the championship and the Rookie of the Year title, achieving a couple of podiums and finishing several times in the top-5, being runner-up for several weeks in the point standings.
"My partners (Ezio, Jorge and Eduardo Figueroa), and I feel we have all the ingredients to mount a successful first season with our new International project called Scuadra Fortia. Definitely, we will be competitive. I think we have the perfect combination of drivers: one is a young and promising rookie (Figueroa), and the other is a young & well-experienced driver (Coronas)," Berg said.