CHAMPCAR/CART: Conquest Racing driver announcement

Andrew Ranger Makes The Leap To The Champ Car Series With The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team A partner from day one, Procter & Gamble Canada will provide sponsorship support for the young driver in his rise to the upper echelons ...

Andrew Ranger Makes The Leap To The Champ Car Series With The Mi-Jack Conquest Racing Team

A partner from day one, Procter & Gamble Canada will provide sponsorship support for the young driver in his rise to the upper echelons of motor-racing

Montreal, Quebec, March 21, 2005 -- Quebec race-car driver Andrew Ranger, who just barely turned 18, will be making his debut alongside some of the best in the business in Long Beach next month after it was announced today he has signed with the Mi-Jack Conquest Racing team for the 2005 Champ Car season.

Ranger was courted by a number of teams following his resounding success in the Atlantic series last year -- winning rookie-of-the-year honours on the strength of six podiums in 12 races -- and his performance in off-season testing. The Roxton Pond, Quebec native said he regards his new challenge with much enthusiasm and relishes the opportunity to compete against such driving stalwarts as S0x00e9bastien Bourdais, Paul Tracy and Cristiano da Matta.

"I've worked hard to get where I am and I'm really pleased to see that my efforts and those of my sponsors that have supported me from the very beginning of my racing career have been rewarded," added Ranger, who will be teamed with French driver Nelson Philippe. "I'm extremely grateful to Mr. Bachelart for the confidence he has expressed in me and I intend to prove that he made the right choice in giving me a ride with Mi-Jack Conquest Racing."

Ranger will be getting to work immediately, as he is scheduled to take part in two days of testing on the road course at Sebring, Florida starting on Wednesday to fine-tune the set-ups on the Lola-Ford #27 car in preparation for the opening race of the season.

Ranger's new boss, Belgian-born 0x00c9ric Bachelart, who won the Indy Lights championship in 1991 before founding his own racing team in 1997, said that he was extremely impressed by Ranger's poise and maturity during the testing sessions in Fontana, California, in early March.

"I had heard a lot about Andrew and I had been watching him for some time, but I was really struck by his composure and dexterity in handling the car," stated Bachelart. "This is a very exciting time for MJCR. We have worked extremely hard during the off-season to improve the technical and engineering program, and we feel that we have two very capable drivers in Nelson and Andrew to take full advantage of our technical package. "

Ranger's climb up the motor-racing ladder has been extraordinary, not only because of his tender age but also because of his phenomenal progress in a short span. In 2001, he became the first Canadian driver to compete in the Paris-Bercy, a world-class karting competition. Two years later, he won the Fran-Am series -- the North American Formula Renault championship -- with five race wins in 13 events.

"Having Andrew join the team is something we are very excited about," said team co-owner Mike Lanigan. "Eric has created a very good environment for both our drivers to do very well this season and be competitive on a regular basis, so we are really looking forward to going racing this season."

Procter & Gamble Canada, a partner in Ranger's career from day one, is proud to be able to maintain its association with the young driver and provide continued support in his quest to achieve new goals. Ranger is also supported in this respect by the Kodak company.

"Our involvement with Andrew Ranger is based on our desire to help an immensely talented athlete attain his goals and dreams," declared Mark Pawliw, Senior Account Executive at Procter & Gamble Canada. "Andrew is an outstanding ambassador for motor-racing and has done some outstanding charity work for us. We have no doubt that he will be the new fan favourite in the Champ Car World Series."

Procter & Gamble Canada will be deriving increased exposure, through its Tide brand, on Andrew Ranger's car at the Canadian events in the Champ Car series. These races are in Toronto (July 10), Edmonton (July 17) and Montreal (August 28).

The first of the 14 races on the 2005 Champ Car schedule will be run on April 10 on the street course in Long Beach, California, a venue where Ranger finished second in an Atlantic series race last year.

-mi-jack-

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Series INDYCAR