CHAMPCAR/CART: PacWest to run Toyota power

(Indianapolis, IN) -- PacWest Racing Group has officially announced it will run on Toyota power in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series. In the next chapter for one of Champ Car racing's leading teams, PacWest has officially taken delivery of its...

(Indianapolis, IN) -- PacWest Racing Group has officially announced it will run on Toyota power in the 2001 FedEx Championship Series.

In the next chapter for one of Champ Car racing's leading teams, PacWest has officially taken delivery of its first Toyota engine and has been testing the new powerplant since December.

PacWest Racing ran its first full season of CART competition with Ford power in 1995 and switched to Mercedes-Benz engines in 1997 -- producing four wins in the engines debut season with the team and playing a major role in helping Mercedes-Benz to the manufacturers championship.

PacWest owner Bruce R. McCaw believes that the move to Toyota next season will help his team return to its winning ways.

"In the world of business and racing, names do not get much bigger than Toyota," said McCaw. "Toyota has made a huge commitment to the sport of Champ Car racing in recent years and they really started to reap some of the rewards during the 2000 season."

"I don't think we could have formed a relationship with Toyota at a better time," McCaw continued. "We were disappointed when Mercedes-Benz announced it would be withdrawing from Champ Car competition at the end of last season, but we are excited at the prospect of becoming a part of the enthusiastic and dynamic Toyota organization."

Jim Aust, Toyota Vice President of Motorsports, concurred. "We're thrilled to add a team of PacWest's caliber to the Toyota ranks for the upcoming season. Bruce McCaw's program is top-notch in every respect. They also provide a great driver combination with a proven winner like Mauricio Gugelmin teaming with one of the sport's top young champions, Scott Dixon."

PacWest driver Mauricio Gugelmin also believes the move to Toyota power could not have come at a better time. "I think we are joining the Toyota camp at a perfect time," said Gugelmin. "Toyota has invested an enormous amount into its Champ Car program over the last few years, and I think we will see the greatest results yet in 2001."

Mauricio added, "Toyota-powered cars won on small ovals, superspeedways and street courses this last season, and with a little more luck, could have had a driver battling for the championship in the final round. I think the move to Toyota engines will put us back in the championship hunt this year."

-Tom Hollett

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About this article
Series Automotive , IndyCar
Drivers Scott Dixon , Mauricio Gugelmin , Bruce McCaw