After 6 months of speculation and rumor Sigma Champcar has officially announced its formation. The team will operate out of it's prestigious new facility in Chicago and will race a Ford-engine/Lola-chassis combination in the 2001 FedEx Cart ...
After 6 months of speculation and rumor Sigma Champcar has officially announced its formation. The team will operate out of it's prestigious new facility in Chicago and will race a Ford-engine/Lola-chassis combination in the 2001 FedEx Cart Champcar series.
At the same time the team also announced that former Williams Formula One test driver Max Wilson will be Sigma's first driver. Wilson, 27, will join the team after three-years of test experience with Williams as well as competition experience on the highly-competitive FIA F3000 Championship.
Max Wilson said "I am very happy to be driving for Sigma and am very pleased to be preparing to race in the FedEx CART Championship. I feel right now that CART has the most competitive cars in racing. The series is very healthy and there is a 'spirit' among the competitors that is unique."
Sigma Champcar is located in Bridgeview, Illinois, USA just West of Chicago and near the Chicago Motor Speedway. The team will begin testing the Lola-Ford-Firestone set-up during the Summer and Fall of this year. This testing is in preparation for a full season on the FedEx CART Championship circuit in 2001. The team is led by Paul Cherry, Sigma Racing Program Director.
Paul Cherry said "Sigma is certainly excited to have a driver of Max Wilson's obvious talent onboard at this early stage in team development. Max is highly considered as a driver and has excellent feedback qualities having had years of testing at the highest levels. This will benefit the entire team. The FedEx CART series is the best competition for open wheel racing in the world, just witness the fact that in the first four races this season there have been four different winners, we feel that Sigma has put a package together which will complement this series."
Wilson, a Brazilian from Sao Paulo, was raised near the famous Grand Prix circuit of Interlagos where he began racing karts at the age of 11. In 1988 he won the Paulista Karting Championship and later was co-champion of the Brazilian Formula 3 and South American Formula 3 Championships in 1995. Wilson quickly progressed into German Formula 3 and in 1997 began racing in the FIA F3000 Championship. It was during this time that Wilson also started as a driver in the Williams Grand Prix test program.
Max Wilson said "I think that it is great to racing for a brand new team. All of us at Sigma Champcar have the opportunity to build together in many areas, not just on the track. Sigma has good people, good management and Paul Cherry has assembled a very good technical program. I feel that we can have good results."
Sigma Champcar is owned by Chicago businessman Tom Wieringa (WEAR-inga) whose interests include a variety of commercial operations ranging from real estate, to aviation and food distribution. Wieringa currently races in the CART Toyota-Atlantic Championship which is a feeder series for Champcar .
Tom Wieringa said "There is no question that the FedEx CART Championship is the most exciting and competitive open-wheel racing in the world. CART has developed an excellent 'on-track product' for the fans and I have wanted to bring a new entry into this great series for a long time. Having Max Wilson with Sigma Champcar completes an excellent line-up of personnel. Now we are looking forward to testing and also to providing our
Sigma technical direction will be headed by David Luff who has previously enjoyed success in both the FIA Formula One and CART Championships.
Tech Director David Luff said "Our choice of driver was shaped by three requirements, 1.a proven ability to race hard, 2.developed skills to interpret the technical aspects of the car, and 3.a young, promotable sports personality. Max Wilson fulfills this criteria. I am very much looking forward to utilizing this exciting, young talent."
Construction of Sigma Headquarters, just West of downtown Chicago, is nearing completion. The modern facility will house the entire team operation including workshop, technical and engineering facilities, driver physical training center and executive offices.