2005 ATLANTIC CHAMPION CHARLES ZWOLSMAN TO TEST MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING CHAMP CAR INDIANAPOLIS (December 6, 2005) -- After getting a taste of life behind the wheel of a Champ Car in November, Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama...
2005 ATLANTIC CHAMPION CHARLES ZWOLSMAN TO TEST MI-JACK CONQUEST RACING CHAMP CAR
INDIANAPOLIS (December 6, 2005) -- After getting a taste of life behind the wheel of a Champ Car in November, Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama 2005 series champion Charles Zwolsman will get a chance to showcase more of his skills in a 750-horsepower machine later this month.
Zwolsman, the 26-year-old Dutch sensation who captured the Atlantic crown as a rookie this season, will test for the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Champ Car team December 13-14 at Florida's Sebring International Raceway. The test will mark the second Champ Car experience for Zwolsman, who turned in an impressive debut performance competing for Team Australia at the Champ Car season finale at Mexico City in early November.
"We've been talking to the (Mi-Jack Conquest Racing) team for a while now and I'm really happy to get the chance to test for them," said Zwolsman. "They're a good team and I like working with them and I'm looking at it like I've got two days in the car to gain as much experience as I can. Of course, you always hope that you're quick because that can only improve your chances for making something happen for next season."
After signing on to compete with Condor Motorsports just a couple of weeks before the first Atlantic race of the season in Long Beach this year, Zwolsman proved his talent from the outset while producing a remarkable season in North America's top open-wheel development category. The native of Lelystad, Netherlands came from the back of the starting grid to earn a third-place finish on the streets of Long Beach in his Atlantic debut. He won his first series pole position and scored a flag-to-flag victory at Monterrey, Mexico in just his second race and he would add a pair of wins in Cleveland on his way to claiming the '05 Atlantic title.
Leading all Atlantic drivers with five poles and eight podium finishes in 12 events this season, Zwolsman earned the opportunity to prove what he could do in a Champ Car when he edged Estonian racer Tonis Kasemets for the series championship. Champ Car and Team Australia rewarded Zwolsman's efforts with a test session and one-race ride at the Gran Premio Tecate/Telmex Presented by Banamex in Mexico City, November 4-6. Zwolsman did his part, performing admirably without the benefit of much Champ Car seat time to claim a 13th-place finish at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez road course.
"Charles did a great job this season both in Atlantics and in his Champ Car debut at Mexico City," said Eric Bachelart, co-owner of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, which is expanding its efforts to include a two-car Atlantic team in 2006. "We are always anxious to give young and talented drivers like Charles an opportunity to show what they can do at the Champ Car level. Charles has proven to be a very fast and determined racer and it will be interesting to see how he performs with two full days of Champ Car testing with the team."
Zwolsman will spend time this week at the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing headquarters in Indianapolis, getting fitted for a seat in the team's Champ Car and preparing for the upcoming test session.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. 2005 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. In 2006, competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.