CHAMPCAR/CART: Bryan Herta Joins McDonald's Team

HILLIARD, Ohio (January 17) -- American talent Bryan Herta has been signed to drive for the McDonald's Championship Racing Team in the CART FedEx Championship Series after Jerry Forsythe, chairman of Forsythe Championship Racing, agreed to...

HILLIARD, Ohio (January 17) -- American talent Bryan Herta has been signed to drive for the McDonald's Championship Racing Team in the CART FedEx Championship Series after Jerry Forsythe, chairman of Forsythe Championship Racing, agreed to release Tony Kanaan from his contract for the 2000 season. "I was very pleased with Tony's performance last year, and I feel we developed a good relationship during that short time," said Forsythe. "Tony expressed his desire to pursue other opportunities and we have agreed to release him from his contract. We wish him the best. "As one door closes, another opens and we are extremely pleased to have a driver of Bryan's caliber and experience behind the wheel of our new Honda-Swift package. He will be a strong addition to our team." The move reunites Herta, 29, with Steve Horne and Chief Mechanic Steve Ragan, whose successful partnership in 1993 resulted in the Firestone Indy Lights Championship title with Horne's former team -- Tasman Motorsports Group. "I'm sorry to lose Tony," said Horne. "We worked well together and have a good and ongoing relationship which will continue as we both move forward. "We are very fortunate and pleased to have Bryan back with us. Our relationship has been very successful in the past, and I'm looking forward to our future." "Jerry Forsythe has given me a tremendous opportunity," said Herta. "I'm excited to be back with Steve Horne and Steve Ragan, and I can't wait to get on the track this week and get started with development of the Swift chassis. This program has a lot of potential, and I am genuinely happy to be here." Herta, who enters his seventh season of Champ Car competition, will make his debut with McDonald's Championship Racing this Wednesday as the team takes to the track with the new Swift 011.c chassis for the first time in a scheduled two-day test at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. The team announced a joint venture in December with Swift Engineering, Swift Chairman Hiro Matsushita and the Arciero family to race a factory team on behalf of Swift beginning this season. A driver for Team Rahal the past four years, Herta has two Champ Car career victories and seven career pole positions to his credit. He ended the 1999 season with six top-six finishes, including a flag-to-flag win at Laguna Seca. With nine top-five starts, he had the fourth best qualifying average of the 1999 CART field. Herta resides in Valencia, California, with his wife Janette and daughter Caly, 2.

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Series IndyCar
Drivers Tony Kanaan , Bryan Herta , Steve Horne