CHAMPCAR/CART: American Spirit Team news 2003-10-17

A friendly Surprise: Jimmy Vasser is in Milan, Italy this weekend watching his good friend Alex Zanardi make his racing comeback in a BMW 321i in the FIA European Touring Car Championship at the historic Monza racetrack. Zanardi and Vasser have...

A friendly Surprise:
Jimmy Vasser is in Milan, Italy this weekend watching his good friend Alex Zanardi make his racing comeback in a BMW 321i in the FIA European Touring Car Championship at the historic Monza racetrack. Zanardi and Vasser have been close friends since 1996 when they became teammates at Target Chip Ganassi Racing. Zanardi surprised Vasser earlier this year, when he wrote and sang a song "Oh Jimmy" for Jimmy at his surprise 200th race start celebration. Vasser returned the surprise this weekend as Zanardi had no idea his former teammate would be in Italy to cheer him on.

Vasser's World Tour:
Mexico City last weekend was the first stop of many on Vasser's world tour. He will spend this weekend in Italy, return to the United States on Monday just in time to catch the Champ Car charter flight that will take him to Australia for the Lexmark 300 Australian Grand Prix at Surfers Paradise. He will return to the States on Monday October the 27th for a week of promotional appearances as the defending champion of the California 500 which takes place October 31st -- November 2nd; the weekend after Australia. Following the California 500 and his season finale, Vasser heads to Brazil for the wedding of a good friend. The weekend after, he will travel to Columbia to participate in "Formula Smiles," a charity karting event organized by another former TCGR teammate, Juan Pablo Montoya and his wife Connie. Following "Formula Smiles," Vasser will celebrate his birthday in the deserts of Mexico as he prepares for the Baja 1000. For the second consecutive year, he is teaming up with lifelong friends Mike and Robbi Groff to drive the Northwest Excavating JIMCO Class 1 Buggy on the 22nd and 23rd of November. Vasser's co-driver will be his former Crew Chief from Team Rahal, Bharat Naran. His world tour will wrap up just in time for Thanksgiving with his family in California. No rest for the weary, the 2004 Champ Car World series is just around the corner.

Hunter-Reay Down Under:
Ryan Hunter-Reay is in Australia making promotional appearances for Ford. Hunter-Reay is spending the day today at the Sydney Auto Show before heading to Surfers Paradise for his Australian debut. When not racing his 750 horsepower Champ Car, Hunter-Reay's heart is at the beach. An avid surfer and jet-skier, Hunter-Reay is in paradise on Australia's Gold Coast.

Johansson at Road Atlanta:
Stefan Johansson is in Atlanta this weekend at the Petite LeMans at Road Atlanta. Johansson will be there to support his team Champion Motorsports and teammates JJ Lehto and Johnny Herbert as they fight for the championship. Johansson drove with the fellow Formula One veterans for Champion Motorsports in the Audi R8 earlier this year at the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

-asjt-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing