CHAMPCAR/CART: Drivers are more than what meets the eye

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (April 17, 2001) - The CART FedEx Championship Series brings a worldwide flavor to the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600, presented by Pioneer at Texas Motor Speedway. The competitors' homelands span from Scotland to Brazil and...

FORT WORTH-DALLAS (April 17, 2001) - The CART FedEx Championship Series brings a worldwide flavor to the inaugural Firestone Firehawk 600, presented by Pioneer at Texas Motor Speedway. The competitors' homelands span from Scotland to Brazil and from Sweden to the United States. The series itself features 21 races staged in seven different countries around the world. And, for the drivers, it is a cosmopolitan mixture on and off the track. Here is a sampling:

Michael Andretti (#39 Team Motorola): @*son of open-wheel racing legend Mario Andretti @*opened "Race Rock", an international chain of race-themed restaurants, with fellow racing personalities Jeff Gordon, Richard Petty, and John Force @*has a $1.2 million motor home that he and his family use for race weeks @*his helmet design is taken from that of his father's old helmet, only Michael has added the American flag on the bottom.

Cristiano da Matta (#6 NewmanHaas Racing): @*enjoys playing the guitar and is starting a band with fellow competitors Kenny Brack and Patrick Carpentier *father, Toninho, was an 11-time Brazilian touring car champion.

Gil de Ferran (#1 Marlboro Team Penske): @*the defending CART champion hails from Brazil @*his wife's family owns a publishing company in the United Kingdom that produces, Motoring News, a leading motor sports journal @*came to the United Sates as a high school exchange student for one semester. He lived on a farm with a family in Mt. Hope, Wis., where he milked cows after school.

Dario Franchitti (#27 Team KOOL Green): @*born and raised in Scotland, he is an avid fan of James Bond movies and fellow Scotsman Sean Connery @*a Ferrari aficionado and collector @*enjoys working out, riding mountain bikes, snow skiing, and took up golf when he joined Team KOOL Green in 1998.

Christian Fittipaldi (#11 NewmanHaas Racing): @*nephew of racing legend Emerson Fittipaldi @*was chosen as Cosmopolitan Magazine's "Single Guy of the Month", for May, 1998 @*was chosen as honorary Olympic torch runner in 1996 and carried the flame, bound for Atlanta, in Orlando, Fla @*raises cattle in Brazil with his father where the duo manage 6,000 head of cattle @*can communicate in five languages-English, Portuguese, Italian, French, and Spanish.

Paul Tracy (#26 Team KOOL Green): @*owns and maintains an eclectic fleet of vehicles, including three Ron Simms Harley Davidson motorcycles, two mountain bikes, a dirt bike, a 40-foot Skater boat that can reach speeds of 125 mph, and a pair of Paul Tracy model 125cc shifter karts @*self-confessed video game junkie who owns three PlayStations @*alternative rock music fan with his favorite band being Metallica.

-TMS-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jeff Gordon , John Force , Gil de Ferran , Michael Andretti , Patrick Carpentier , Christian Fittipaldi , Paul Tracy , Dario Franchitti , Kenny Brack , Mario Andretti , Richard Petty , Emerson Fittipaldi , Cristiano da Matta
Teams Team Penske