Justin Wilson Teams With Mi-Jack Conquest Racing In Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford INDIANAPOLIS (March 25, 2004) - The international driver lineup of the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series...
Justin Wilson Teams With Mi-Jack Conquest Racing In Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered By Ford
INDIANAPOLIS (March 25, 2004) - The international driver lineup of the 2004 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford added another national flag to its lineup today when Indianapolis-based Mi-Jack Conquest Racing announced that British driver Justin Wilson has signed to drive the team's #34 Mi-Jack Lola/Ford-Cosworth/Bridgestone machine beginning at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18.
"Justin is a proven winner with a great deal of talent that has been evident at every level," said team co-owner Eric Bachelart. "He won a major European championship in Formula 3000 in 2001. That year, he drove for Nordic Racing, where our team manager, Chris Mower, was the team manager and Justin's engineer. That history helped us put this together. In addition to Justin, the team is getting the Lola chassis as well. We're looking forward to the season and hope to be consistently competitive."
The 25-year-old Wilson joins the Champ Car fray following a 2003 season in which he competed in the Formula 1 World Championship. Wilson drove the first 11 races of the season for Minardi before joining the Jaguar team for the German Grand Prix, which was Round 12 of the 16-race season. He earned his first World Championship point in the season's penultimate event with an eighth-place performance at the United States Grand Prix.
"I'm very excited about coming over to Champ Car," Wilson said. "It's something that I've been looking at, really since 2001 when I won the Formula 3000 championship. It's something I've always admired and wanted to be a part of at the right time, and this is the right time. I think the racing is fantastic, and that's what I've been brought up on. I've been brought up racing go-karts back home in England. The emphasis of the racing has been to go out there and compete against each other and do the best. That's something I look forward to, and I want to be racing against quality drivers and enjoy the competition."
Wilson won the 2001 FIA International Formula 3000 championship on the strength of three race victories, six second-place finishes, and one third-place run, establishing the series record for most points in a single season (71) and podium finishes (10) in a dominating performance. In fact, Wilson broke records established by 1999 Champ Car World Series champion and current Formula 1 front-runner Juan Pablo Montoya, who won the '98 F3000 title.
In 1998, Wilson won the Formula Palmer Audi championship with nine victories, 10 fastest laps, and four pole positions. After placing fourth in the inaugural Telefonica World Series by Nissan in 2002 with two victories, two pole positions and a total of eight podium finishes in the Spanish-based series, Wilson participated in a Champ Car test with Newman/Haas Racing and was in contention for the team's vacant seat before turning his attention to Formula 1 for 2003.
"Justin Wilson has an international racing pedigree and we are delighted to welcome him to the Champ Car World Series," said Champ Car president Dick Eidswick. "He is highly regarded in racing circles worldwide, and we know he will be a great ambassador for Champ Car racing in Great Britain and throughout Europe. We anticipate he will be a front-runner from the drop of the green flag in Long Beach."
The #34 Lola will bear the familiar red-and-yellow livery of primary sponsor, Mi-Jack. Team co-owner Mike Lanigan is president of Mi-Jack Products, a Chicago-based group of companies centered on the production and service of equipment in the intermodal freight industry.
"We are very pleased that Justin will join the team this season," said Lanigan. "He's a great driver and a fine young man. We're proud to be associated with Justin and the team, and look forward to a great season."
Mi-Jack Conquest Racing plans to field a two-car program in the 2004 Champ Car World Series. More details regarding the team's second seat will be announced as they become available.