INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 4, 2002) - John Menard and Eddie Cheever Jr. will join together to form a research and development company named MCT, the two Indy Racing League team owners announced Dec. 4.
The company will provide engineering, strategy and development services for both Team Menard and Red Bull Cheever Racing. Both teams will operate as separate entities, but will share technological resources from the jointly owned MCT.
"Compared to years past, everything is stepping up in the Indy Racing League," Menard said. "We need to step it up, too. MCT will bring more resources and input to our team to improve our technical abilities for the 2003 championship. It will also allow us to make better use of the technology available from GM Racing."
The partnership continues a relationship between Menard and Cheever that began in 1993 when Cheever drove for Menard at the Indianapolis 500. Cheever also drove for Menard at Indianapolis in 1994 and 1996 (setting the current record for the fastest race lap at 236.103 mph), and at Walt Disney World Speedway in 1996.
"Since I drove for Team Menard several years ago, John has always been my mentor," Cheever said. "In fact, when I first started my own team he lent us a car to get things going. We have now come full circle. Partnerships should be formed between groups that have a common interest but different assets. There are strengths that John and his people bring to the table, and vice versa."
Menard said: "I look forward to a direct collaboration with Eddie. Our strengths complement each other well. Together we will make a more formidable opponent than we would singularly."
Based in Indianapolis, MCT will be headed up by Bernard Dudot, who excelled as the technical director of Renault Sport from 1980 to 1997, winning six constructor's titles and four driver's titles in Formula One.
"Under the leadership of Bernard Dudot, this new group is charged with the challenge of winning races in what has become a very competitive racing series," Cheever said. "We will have done our job if one of our two teams wins the Indianapolis 500 and the IRL championship in 2003."