CHAMPCAR/CART: Vancouver PJ Jones Steps Out of AAR Cockpit

PJ JONES STEPS OUT OF AAR COCKPIT VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA (September 5, 1998) --- Dan Gurney's All American Racers announced today that the Molson Indy Vancouver event will be PJ Jones last race behind the wheel of the ...

PJ JONES STEPS OUT OF AAR COCKPIT

VANCOUVER, B.C., CANADA (September 5, 1998) --- Dan Gurney's All American Racers announced today that the Molson Indy Vancouver event will be PJ Jones last race behind the wheel of the #98 Castrol/Degree Toyota Champ Car.

PJ Jones informed Dan Gurney a few days ago that he will be leaving AAR to drive for another team in 1999. He graciously agreed to step out of the cockpit for the last four races, giving AAR the opportunity to evaluate a new driver under authentic racing conditions before the end of the season. Vincenzo Sospiri, who has been on Gurney's short list for some time, will try to fill Jones' driving shoes.

"It is with mixed emotions that we see PJ leave after seven years with our team," said Dan Gurney. "He won Toyota's and AAR's first-ever 24-hour race at Daytona and helped Toyota win two GTP Manufacturer's Championships. We appreciate his loyalty and persistence over the last four years; he has played a vital role in the development of the Toyota engine. He will be sincerely missed by all of us, while at the same time, we are happy that he is going to a front running team which only underlines what we have known for a long time, namely that he is one terrific driver. He still holds the all-time lap record at the Daytona road circuit, where he and his AAR teammates won the 24-hour race. All of us wish him the very best."

31 year old Vincenzo Sospiri from Italy, has won championships in European F3 and F3000, competing against Alex Zanardi and Mika Hakkinen. He was also the Benetton F1 test driver in 1996.

"We've talked with Vincenzo before and his credentials are very impressive," stated Gurney. "His reputation is one of being very fast and at the same time sympathetic to the equipment. He has won four races in the International Sports Racing Series this year in a Ferrari 333SP. We are looking forward to evaluating his talents more closely before we make a final decision for our 1999 driver line-up."

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Alex Zanardi , Dan Gurney , Vincenzo Sospiri