CHAMPCAR/CART: Gelles Racing enters series in 2007

CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC COMPETITOR GELLES RACING ANNOUNCES ENTRY IN 2007 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES INDIANAPOLIS (July 29, 2006) -- The entry list for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season gets its first new name today as Champ Car Atlantic Championship...

CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC COMPETITOR GELLES RACING ANNOUNCES ENTRY IN 2007 CHAMP CAR WORLD SERIES

INDIANAPOLIS (July 29, 2006) -- The entry list for the 2007 Champ Car World Series season gets its first new name today as Champ Car Atlantic Championship race-winning team Gelles Racing announced its intentions to move up to Champ Car competition beginning next season.

The announcement was made Friday night at the VIP launch party for the 2007 Panoz DP01 Champ Car, where the future of the open-wheel racing was unveiled to the public for the first time. The team, which scored its first Champ Car Atlantic victory earlier this year with Robbie Pecorari at the wheel, becomes the first Atlantic team to move up to Champ Car competition since RuSPORT made the climb after winning the 2003 Atlantic title.

"I'm very ecstatic to be a part of the CCWS for 2007, it's something I've truly dreamed about and been working on for five years and it's nice to see it come true," said Gelles. "Everyone has had rave reviews over what Kevin Kalkhoven, Gerry Forsythe and Paul Gentilozzi have created and it's the best open-wheel racing series in the world."

The Virginia-based team has been involved in the open-wheel developmental system since 2002 when former SCCA National Driver of the Year Bob Gelles formed Gelles Racing. Starting in Fran-Am, the Gelles team competed in Formula Renault, Formula BMW and Champ Car Atlantic series in recent seasons running six cars in the FBMW series in 2006.

"We are excited about welcoming Gelles Racing to Champ Car in 2007," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "The team has long demonstrated its passion for open-wheel racing, and we look forward to seeing them on the grid for many years to come."

The announcement coincided with the launch of the new 2007 Panoz DP01 Champ Car Friday night as the racing community saw the new chassis for the first time. The new chassis is lighter, quicker and is specially-designed to provide closer racing. The DP01 is also more affordable for the teams, which is part of the strategy to encourage Atlantic teams as well as teams from throughout motorsports to the Champ Car World Series.

"We set off on a strategy to rebuild the Champ Car World Series from the ground up," said series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. "The first step of that strategy was the rebuilding of the Atlantic Championship Series. The second step was the introduction of the 2007 chassis, which will allow Atlantic teams to move up to Champ Car. We welcome Gelles Racing as proof of the success of this strategy."

The 2007 Champ Car World Series season will begin April 8, kicking off with the newly-announced street event in Las Vegas. The race will be immediately followed by the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach April 15, with the second running of the Grand Prix of Houston coming April 22.

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Paul Gentilozzi , Robbie Pecorari , Steve Johnson , Kevin Kalkhoven