CHAMPCAR/CART: British team owners

Brits in charge -- British CART team owners British engineering and logistical talent is to be found at every level of the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) organisation, including three teams entered in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship...

Brits in charge -- British CART team owners

British engineering and logistical talent is to be found at every level of the CART (Championship Auto Racing Teams) organisation, including three teams entered in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series that are owned, or co-owned, by British nationals and even the President and Chief Executive Officer of CART, Christopher Pook, was born in Somerset.

CHRISTOPHER POOK -- CART PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

A native of Somerset (Born 1st April 1941), Christopher Pook moved to the United States in 1963 and settled in Southern California. After initially working in the travel industry as both an agent and as a jet airplane broker, Pook always held an interest in motor racing and even drove briefly in amateur events in his home country. His initial efforts around the Long Beach race in 1973 were his first in the motorsports industry.

Pook holds degrees in Modern Languages from La Sorbonne in France and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and Sales Promotion from the University of London. He is fluent in both Spanish and French. Pook and his wife, Ellen, have three adult children.

MORRIS NUNN -- OWNER - MO NUNN RACING - BORN IN WALSALL

Team owner Morris Nunn was born on the 27th September 1937 in Walsall. Before forming Mo Nunn Racing in 1999 with Detroit businessman Rod Campbell, Nunn was one of the best known, most respected and successful engineers in Champ Car racing.

While serving as chief engineer for Alex Zanardi he helped guide the Italian to FedEx Championship Series Rookie of the Year honours in 1996 and series drivers championships in 1997 and 1998. Upon Zanardi's return to Formula One with Williams, Nunn teamed up with his successor, Juan Pablo Montoya, and added a third consecutive FedEx Championship Series title in 1999.

Morris Nunn developed a wide range of experience in various European racing series and directed operations of the Ensign Formula On team before moving across the Atlantic to Champ Cars in 1984.

Mo Nunn Racing's current driver, Brazilian Tony Kanaan, holds the standing British lap record on a closed course circuit after recording a lap of 215.397mph (24.719 seconds) around Rockingham's 1.479 mile banked oval during qualifying for the 2001 Rockingham 500.

DERRICK WALKER -- OWNER -- WALKER RACING - BORN IN LEVIN, SCOTLAND

Derrick Walker is now in his 12th season as owner of Walker Racing (started in 1990). Born on the 8th April 1945 in Levin, Scotland, Walker developed his interest in the transportation business working with Swiss engineer Joe Marquart. When Marquart left to design race cars, Walker followed, first building club racing sedans, then working at Trojan Led, building McLaren Can Am cars.

It was this relationship with Marquart that landed Walker a Formula One opportunity. He first worked at Brabham, serving as chief mechanic for six seasons. In 1976, he joined Penske Racing, first serving as chief mechanic in Formula One, then as general manager of Penske Cars. After managing the production of several Champ Cars, Walker was named vice president of racing. In 1980, he headed up the entire Penske Champ Car effort. During Walker's tenure at Penske, the team won five series titles, five Indy 500s, and 28 Champ Car races.

He moved to Al Holbert's Porsche Champ Car project in 1988 and took over that program upon the untimely death of Holbert. Walker bought the Porsche equipment three years later when the German company pulled out of Champ Car racing. Since then, Walker has steadily built his team, scoring four wins and 10 poles.

Currently lives in Indianopolis, Indiana with his wife, Tove, who have been married for 33 years (27/8/1968). Walker Racing run one car in the 2002 CART FedEx Championship Series for ex Formula One Japanese charger Tora Takagi.

KEITH WIGGINS -- MANAGING DIRECTOR and CO-OWNER -- HERDEZ COMPETITION - BORN IN LONDON

Born in London in 1958, Wiggins began his racing career while at school as a kart driver in 1973. He was selected as a member of the British International Kart Team for 1975-76. Keith trained as a design engineer for specialist road car conversions and later joined Ron Dennis' Project Four Racing in 1977 as an Engineer in British F3. In 1979, he continued his driving career in British Formula Ford, finishing second in the championship. The following year Keith focused on his engineering skills, joining Rushen Green Racing for British F3. In 1982 he was appointed Team Manager and Engineer with Van Diemen in British and European Formula 2000. During this period he also constructed a Formula Ford chassis designed by renowned designer, Dave Baldwin.

During 1984, Keith formed Pacific Racing as Owner, Chairman and Chief Engineer and the team went on to record unrivaled success over the next 13 years. Pacific is the only team to have ever won every single-seater European Championship below Formula 1 and the only team to have climbed from the lowest rank up to compete in Formula 1.

Keith joined Lola Cars in 1998, serving as Vice-President and then President of Lola Cars International, Inc. in America. Keith joined Bettenhausen Motorsports (now Herdez Competition) in mid-2000 as managing director and minority owner.

-rs/kpm-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Williams , Team Penske