FORMULA BMW USA CHAMPION ANDREAS WIRTH JOINS TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2005 WITH BROOKS ASSOCIATES RACING INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2005) -- Continuing his rise up open-wheel racing's driver development ladder, Germany's Andreas Wirth will...
FORMULA BMW USA CHAMPION ANDREAS WIRTH JOINS TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP IN 2005 WITH BROOKS ASSOCIATES RACING
INDIANAPOLIS (March 7, 2005) -- Continuing his rise up open-wheel racing's driver development ladder, Germany's Andreas Wirth will join the Brooks Associates Racing team with a full-season entry in the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama.
The 20-year-old Wirth had an impressive and consistent season in 2004, winning the inaugural Formula BMW USA Championship. The talented and personable Wirth entertained several racing options during the last several months before choosing to compete with the Brooks team this season in North America's top open-wheel development series.
"I'm excited about racing in Atlantics this year and I think I'm with a very good team at Brooks Associates Racing," said Wirth, who makes his home near Heidelberg, Germany in the off-season. "I know it's going to take a lot of hard work, but that's what I'm here for. I didn't come here to finish second. I want to win races and win the championship this season."
After competing in the German Formula BMW ADAC Championship in 2002 and 2003, Wirth came out strong and never looked back in the Formula BMW series last season, racing on many of the same courses he'll contest this year in Atlantic competition. After winning the first two events of the season, Wirth went on to record 11 podium finishes in 14 events with four race victories (doubleheader win at Lime Rock, single wins at Road America and Laguna Seca) to his credit in 2004. The determined racer was a model of consistency, never finishing lower than sixth in any event last season.
His performance in the winning the Formula BMW USA crown earned Wirth the opportunity to test a 750 HP Champ Car with Forsythe Championship Racing last November. The newest member of the Atlantic series said that test whetted his appetite for Champ Car competition and he knows the best way to reach that level of motorsport is to race and be successful in the 240 HP Atlantic cars.
"That test was like a dream come true for me and it definitely showed me what I want to do with my career," said Wirth. "I'd like to be racing in Champ Car in the next few years and I know that if I want to continue racing in the U.S. and reach my goal, I need to race in the Toyota Atlantic series."
Wirth will join another promising Atlantic rookie, Brazilian Fernando Rees, on the Brooks Associates Racing team this season. Both Rees and Wirth will continue pre-season testing over the next few weeks in preparation for the Atlantic season opener, April 8-10 at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
"We're very happy to welcome Andreas to the team this season," said owner John Books. "He proved in 2004 just how strong he was against some pretty good competition in Formula BMW, with the ability to win races right away. He handled all the pressures last year of racing in a new country with a new series on new tracks and I'm sure we'll continue to see that poise from him this year. We're fortunate at Brooks Associates Racing that we now have two very well-mannered and nice young men who are capable of going out and competing for the championship."
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Jimmy Vasser, Paul Tracy, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.