CHAMPCAR/CART: Ganassi driver announcement

Fontana, Calif. -- Team Target owner Chip Ganassi announced in a news conference this morning that Bruno Junquiera and Nicolas Minassian would serve as the team's drivers in the 2001 CART FedEx Series, filling the seats vacated by 1996...

Fontana, Calif. -- Team Target owner Chip Ganassi announced in a news conference this morning that Bruno Junquiera and Nicolas Minassian would serve as the team's drivers in the 2001 CART FedEx Series, filling the seats vacated by 1996 CART champ Jimmy Vasser and 1999 CART champ Juan Montoya. Junqueira, a 23-year-old from Brazil, joins the team following an impressive season driving for Petrobras Junior in the FIA International F3000 Series. Junqueira, who began racing in 1987, earned four victories and claimed the championship. He also has served as the Team Williams F1 test driver since 1999. "I am very proud and very lucky today," Junqueira said. "Target Chip Ganassi Racing has proven that it is one of the world's best teams and expects a lot from its drivers. I expect a lot out of myself, and I know that with the talent at Team Target, we can expect many good things in the future." Minassian, a 27-year-old from France, was the runner up to Junqueria in this year's FIA International F3000 Series. He claimed three checkered flags and earned two additional podium finishes. Minassian's racing career began with European Karting circuits in 1990. "I've been working for a long time to achieve my goals in autoracing, so today I'm happy to say that one of my dreams has come true," Minassian said. "Team Target is known all over the world for being a championship organization, filled with many great talents who work together to win races and titles. I'm confident that more of my dreams will come true soon." Ganassi, who has had a defending CART champion on his team every year since 1997, is confident that his talented rookies will adjust quickly to the FedEx Series. "Bruno and Nicolas displayed a lot of talent and experience during our tests and they both have impressive racing resumes," said Ganassi, whose team also earned the 2000 Indy 500 title. "One thing that jumped out at us was how similar their attitudes and racing styles were to Vasser and Montoya. We believe these guys will quickly become stars in this series."

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Series INDYCAR