LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (January 30, 2003) --- Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) announced today that Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, 23, will join Brazilian driver Bruno Junqueira at the team in 2003. NHR will attempt to earn their fifth CART Champ car title in...
LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. (January 30, 2003) --- Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) announced today that Frenchman Sebastien Bourdais, 23, will join Brazilian driver Bruno Junqueira at the team in 2003. NHR will attempt to earn their fifth CART Champ car title in this season's Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford racing series.
"Paul (Newman) and I are very pleased to welcome Sebastien to our team," said Carl A. Haas, co-owner of Newman/Haas Racing with actor/racecar driver Paul Newman. "From the first test with Sebastien, he has shown that he can work well in our environment. We believe that Bruno and Sebastien have the ability to win many races and fight for another Championship."
Bourdais earned the 2002 FIA Formula 3000 Championship on the strength of three wins and six pole positions as well as a total of seven podium appearances. Also in 2002, he competed in the FIA Sport Championship where he won two races and one pole position en route to a second place finish in the standings and was part of the winning team in the 24 Hours of Spa. A native of Le Mans, France, Bourdais began racing karts at the age of 12 and steadily progressed from the French Formula Renault series to French Formula Three where he won the championship in 1999. He then moved to the Formula 3000 series and won the championship in his third season of competition before moving to the CART Champ car series.
"To move to a new series is exciting but to do it with a team that won the championship the previous season is the best opportunity to succeed," said Bourdais, who will reside in Miami, Fla. during the season. "Since the first test, I have felt comfortable with the team and with Bruno and it can only improve as we spend more time together. I am excited about being a driver for Newman/Haas Racing."
Previous F3000 champions that went on to compete in CART include former NHR driver Christian Fittipaldi (1991 championship), current team driver Bruno Junqueira (2000) and Juan Pablo Montoya (1998). Alex Zanardi, who was runner-up to Fittipaldi in the 1991 F3000 standings, went on to win the CART championship in 1997 and 1998 while Gil de Ferran spent two seasons in the F3000 series with a highest standing of third place in 1994 before he earned back-to-back CART championships in 2000 and 2001.
Newman/Haas Racing, owned by actor/race car driver Paul Newman and racing entrepreneur Carl A. Haas, competes in the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford racing series. The team will begin their 21st season in CART in 2003 and will attempt to score their first back-to-back CART titles as well as their fifth overall. Current drivers Bruno Junqueira and Sebastien Bourdais, were preceded at the team by Mario and Michael Andretti, Nigel Mansell, Paul Tracy, Christian Fittipaldi and reigning 2002 CART Champion Cristiano da Matta. With 68 race wins, 70 pole positions and four championships, they are the most successful team competing in the CART-sanctioned series in 2003. For more information log on to newman-haas.com, brunojunqueira.com, sebastien-bourdais.com, or cart.com.