A Northern Star Rises in Mexico Rising Canadian Open-Wheel Star Michael Valiante to Make Champ Car Debut with Walker Racing in Mexico City Season Finale Rising Canadian open-wheel racing star Michael Valiante will be making his Champ Car...
A Northern Star Rises in Mexico
Rising Canadian Open-Wheel Star Michael Valiante to Make Champ Car Debut with Walker Racing in Mexico City Season Finale
Rising Canadian open-wheel racing star Michael Valiante will be making his Champ Car debut in a second car from the Walker Racing team at the series' season finale, the Gran Premio Telemex Tecate at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez on November 7.
Walker Racing will expand to a 2-car team, a situation it is working to continue in 2005, fielding a Ford-powered Reynard for the 24 year-old from Burnaby, B.C. Valiante, who won six Toyota Atlantic races with the Lynx Racing team during the 2002 & 2003 seasons, has tested impressively in a Walker Racing Champ Car on several occasions, and was scheduled to make his debut in last year's final race at Fontana until the event was cancelled due to wildfires in the area.
"Over the past year I've been so close so many times to racing a Champ Car that to have it all finally come together is a real thrill," says Valiante. "It's taken a lot of hard work and help from a lot of people to get to this point, and I'd like to thank Derrick Walker and my sponsors for this opportunity. With Champ Car looking at adding one and possibly two more Canadian races, and with one of the series' top Canadian drivers leaving at the end of the season, racing in Mexico City is a great opportunity to get my Champ Car career started, and I plan to make the most of it."
Valiante will compete in the Mexico City event with sponsorship from JV Investments, Lynx Racing, Italkart, Wasteco, Serengeti Design Group, CMSI Canadian Mortgage Strategies & Investments and Premier Pacific Developments. Fans and companies interested in sponsorship opportunities both for the Mexico City event and the 2005 Champ Car season -- can find more information at www.MichaelValiante.com.
"We've been following Michael's career for several years now, and he's a most impressive young driver," says Walker Racing team owner Derrick Walker. "It's been a difficult time for a young driver to break into the ranks of Champ Car, and we're extremely pleased to have Michael in one of our cars for Mexico City. Hopefully it will be a good weekend for him and help us finalize the plans we have to run him as part of a full-season, 2-car effort in 2005."
Valiante rose through the ranks of open-wheel racing, demonstrating a champion's talent at every level from karting, through the Skip Barber regional and Pro series, and with the Lynx Racing team in the intensely competitive Toyota Atlantic Championship.
Throughout its 14-year history, Lynx Racing's mission was to identify rising stars in the open wheel ranks, and provide them with the funding, training and equipment to make the jump to the top levels of open-wheel racing. Created and owned by two women, Peggy Haas and Jackie Doty, the Lynx `scholarship' was worth $2.5 million over two years, and graduates of the program include this year's Indy 500 winner Buddy Rice, 2002 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year Alex Barron, and Champ Car veterans Patrick Carpentier and Memo Gidley.