CHAMPCAR/CART: Target Chip Ganassi announces new drivers for 2001

By Ken Plotkin - Motorsport.com <small> Photos: Bob Kozel</snall> </pre> Fontana, CA October 27 - Target Chip Ganassi announced that the team's drivers for the 2001 CART FedEx series will be Bruno Junqueira of Brazil and...

By Ken Plotkin - Motorsport.com
<small> Photos: Bob Kozel</snall> </pre> Fontana, CA October 27 - Target Chip Ganassi announced that the team's drivers for the 2001 CART FedEx series will be Bruno Junqueira of Brazil and Nicolas Minassian of France.

Junqueira, 23 years old, has been racing since 1987. Driving for Petrobras Junior in FIA International F3000 this season, he took four victories and the championship. He has also been test driver for Williams F1 since 1999.

"I am very proud and lucky today," Junqueira said. "Target Chip Ganassi Racing has proven that it is one of the world's best teams and expects a lot from its drivers. I expect a lot out of myself, and I know that with the talent at Team Target, we can expect many good things in the future.

After winning F3000, Bruno's next step in racing was either CART or F1. He chose to come to CART. "Chip Ganassi Target Team is a very, very good team. I was always interested in coming here to Champ cars. I was doing a very good season in F3000 and he looked at that championship with good eyes, and both came together."

Minassian, 27 years old, began racing Karts in Europe in 1990. He was runner up to Junqueira in F3000 this year, with three wins and two more podium finishes. Like Bruno, Nicolas is excited about his new ride.

"I always dreamed about Champ cars, and want to make a career in the US," Minassian said. "I've been working for a long time to achieve my goals in auto racing, so today I'm happy to say that one of my dreams has come true. Team Target is known all over the world for being a championship organization, filled with many great talents who work together to win races and titles. I'm confident that more of my dreams will come true soon."

Chip Ganassi is confident of his new drivers. "It will be a different culture for us, not having a defending champion. [But] these two gentlemen are a perfect fit the type of driver we are looking for, the type of driver the series is looking for," Ganassi said. "Bruno and Nicolas displayed a lot of talent and experience during our tests and they both have impressive resumes. One thing that jumped out at us was how similar their attitudes and racing styles were to Vasser and Montoya. We believe these guys will quickly become stars in this series."

Asked about why he chose these two, Chip explained "What I look for is heart."

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Series INDYCAR