CHAMPCAR/CART: Newman/Haas Racing drivers enter Baja 1000

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS AND PACIFICARE DRIVER SERVIA TO MAKE THEIR SECOND APPEARANCE AT THIS WEEKEND'S TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000 IN THE CENTRIX FINANCIAL BAJA CHALLENGE CLASS LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (November 17, 2005) --- McDonald's...

McDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS AND PACIFICARE DRIVER SERVIA TO MAKE THEIR SECOND APPEARANCE AT THIS WEEKEND'S TECATE SCORE BAJA 1000 IN THE CENTRIX FINANCIAL BAJA CHALLENGE CLASS

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (November 17, 2005) --- McDonald's driver Sebastien Bourdais and PacifiCare driver Oriol Servia ended the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford standings in first and second place respectively less than two weeks ago but will be back in competition this weekend, albeit on a different type of course. Both drivers will make their second consecutive appearance in the CENTRIX Financial Wide Open Baja Challenge (BC) Class of the grueling Tecate SCORE Baja 1000.

The 2005 event will begin on Friday, November 18 at Mexico's Baja Peninsula where more than 300 racers will have 30 hours to complete the 709 mile course through some of the region's roughest terrain. At least 30 U.S. states and 10 countries will be represented in the biggest Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 since the mid-1980s.

CENTRIX Financial, a nationwide leader in the auto finance industry, was an associate sponsor of Newman/Haas Racing's two Champ Car entries this season as well as the title sponsor of the team's two-car program for the 2005 Indianapolis 500 which took place on May 29. Team CENTRIX will field five cars in the Baja Challenge Class, which is a unique Pro-Am race pitting professional drivers, media, celebrities and adventure seekers against each other in identical cars.

Last year Bourdais teamed with US D1 Drifting Championship driver and Pikes Peak Hill Climb winner Rhys Millen and finished third in the event despite being sidelined for two hours due to suspension damage early in the event. This year he will co-pilot the BC No. 8 entry with Baja 1000 veteran Wally Fisk of Wide Open Baja, two-time World Champion Hot Dog Skier Glen Plake and Jim Galbreath, a Denver-based investment manager and SCCA and motocross racer. Bourdais' longtime girlfriend Claire Ragot, who is no stranger to competition after being a member of the USF track team in 2004 and spring of 2005, will serve as Bourdais' navigator/co-pilot.

In 2004, Servia competed with 1985 Indy 500 winner Danny Sullivan and retired Indy Racing League driver Roberto Guerrero and finished second in the event. This year he will co-drive the BC No. 5 entry with his father and two-time Spanish rally champion Salvadore Servia, NASCAR driver Boris Said, actor and star of "Grey's Anatomy" Patrick Dempsey and Kate Sutton, daughter of CENTRIX Financial chairman and chief executive officer Robert Sutton. In addition to Bourdais and Servia, other notable Team CENTRIX members include CENTRIX Financial's Robert Sutton and his son David, and former Champ Car driver Michel Jourdain, Jr., who along with his father Michel Jourdain, Sr. and uncle Bernard Jourdain won the BC Class in 2004.

-nhr-

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Series INDYCAR