CHAMPCAR/CART: Swift, Dale Coyne create new Championship Series entry

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - Swift Engineering Inc. and Dale Coyne Racing have produced a new entry for CART FedEx Championship racing. It will debut at the Japanese venue of Twin Ring Motegi May 13 with prodigy driver Tarso Marques of Brazil at the ...

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. - Swift Engineering Inc. and Dale Coyne Racing have produced a new entry for CART FedEx Championship racing. It will debut at the Japanese venue of Twin Ring Motegi May 13 with prodigy driver Tarso Marques of Brazil at the wheel. The new #34 Panasonic Swift Ford will be entered under the Coyne banner, and it will be managed by personnel supplied by the San Clemente engineering company. The team manager is veteran Peter Scott, and the chief engineer is Casper van der Schoot, both Swift technical personnel who came from the former Hogan Racing team in St. Louis. The Coyne-Swift deal came together so quickly that the car Marques will drive has not yet had its initial shakedown laps since it has been modified to accept the Ford engine. It was last tested under Honda power at Phoenix International Raceway in April with Marques driving. The Swift car is being transported to Indianapolis, where a FedEx cargo plane will fly it along with other CART racing equipment to Japan for the race. It will first be seen on May 11 at the 1.549-mile oval. The Japan race will be a reprise for Marques, 24, who made his debut in CART FedEx Championship racing at Motegi a year ago, substituting for the injured Al Unser Jr. as a Penske team driver. The native of Curitiba, Brazil, started 22nd and finished 14th in his maiden race. Marques had five other starts for the Penske team last year, his best finish a ninth place at Rio de Janeiro only 10.688 seconds behind winner Juan Montoya. Marques, who actually tested for Coyne in the 1999 preseason, had raced for Minardi and tested for Arrows teams in Formula 1 in 1997 and was one of the youngest ever to start a Formula 1 race in 1996. He became the youngest driver ever to win a Formula 3000 race, while driving for the DAMS team in 1995 at Estoril. In 1993 he was the youngest driver ever to capture a pole position and win a race in South American Formula 3 competition. The previous season he was voted "best Brazilian driver" by the magazine Auto Esporte. He began racing karts at age 11 in 1987. The Panasonic Swift entry will operate out of Coyne shops in Plainfield, Ill. Mechanics who have been servicing and preparing Coyne's second car will be assigned to the Panasonic Swift car, but additional personnel will be added by Swift, it was reported by Gary Holmes, president of Swift Engineering. Swift has a solid winning background in CART FedEx Championship racing. From 1997 through 1999 the Swift marque had 157 starts, scoring four victories, 11 second place finishes, 10 thirds, 37 finishes in the top five and 74 in the top 10. This will be the first appearance for Swift in the CART FedEx Championship series in 2000.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Al Unser Jr. , Tarso Marques , Dale Coyne
Teams Dale Coyne Racing , DAMS