UNICO Racing signs Crews

UNICO Racing Team USA Signs CR Crews For 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Effort DALLAS, Jan. 24 - Mexico City-based UNICO Racing plans to expand its operations and contest the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship presented by Yokohama, and it has signed...

UNICO Racing Team USA Signs CR Crews For 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Effort

DALLAS, Jan. 24 - Mexico City-based UNICO Racing plans to expand its operations and contest the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship presented by Yokohama, and it has signed 17-year-old CR Crews of Dallas as its first driver.

It will join Tommy O'Brien Racing of Dallas for the effort, running under the banner Unico Racing Team USA.

Unico Racing's NEXTEL-sponsored German Quiroga won the Mexican Formula Renault 2000 championship last year. Another one of its drivers, Juan Esteban Jacobo, placed second in the Mexican Formula Renault 1600 drivers' championship in 2005. The team fielded five Formula Renault 2000 cars and two Formula Renault 1600 cars last year in all.

Crews, a standout in America's Star Mazda championship presented by Goodyear, is looking forward to working with the new Unico Racing Team USA and Tommy O'Brien, his highly successful 2004 Star Mazda crew chief.

"This is the opportunity I have waited for," said Crews. "Last year was a rough one, and just going into 2006 knowing that I am going to be competing for the Champ Car Atlantic championship is a great feeling. Things have been so uncertain these past few months, and the stability of having a full ride even before the cars are delivered is a huge boost for me. I cannot even express how much I am looking forward to working with Unico Racing owner Tony Silva and my original crew chief, Tommy O'Brien. Even though this team is a new one there are years of experience here, and I am so happy to have been chosen to drive for them in the Champ Car Atlantic championship."

Unico Racing Team USA will be based in Dallas. It may field up to three drivers in the Atlantic series.

"I am very pleased to join operations with Tommy O'Brien," said Silva. "We met last week at his facility in Dallas, and I was very impressed by the operation and his personnel. With this partnership we have a complete Atlantic team awaiting delivery of our first car.

"CR and his father, Rik Crews, flew to Mexico City a week ago and we found a perfect opportunity to put this all together," Silva continued. 'I believe that CR will do an excellent job in our car. I know that he will be competing for the Champ Car Atlantic championship with the team we have assembled behind him. He has been raised in motorsports to be a champion. I do believe that it will be with Unico Racing Team USA where he finds that success."

Tommy O'Brien has fielded cars as an owner and crew chief in the Indy Racing League and the Indianapolis 500 for many years.

Unico is the premier brand of men and women's undergarments in Latin America.

The Champ Car Atlantic championship is one of the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Beginning its 33rd season in 2006, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition. It has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. 2005 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Atlantic graduates, along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger.

Competing in the newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Cosworth engine on Yokohama ADVAN Racing slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Danny Sullivan , German Quiroga , A.J. Allmendinger , Ronnie Bremer , Andrew Ranger