CHAMPCAR/CART: Conquest signs driver, makes chassis change

Eric Bachelart of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, today announced that former F1 driver, Justin Wilson will pilot the team's car for the 2004 season. After running a Reynard chassis in the 2003 Champ Car World Series, Conquest will put a Lola under the...

Eric Bachelart of Mi-Jack Conquest Racing, today announced that former F1 driver, Justin Wilson will pilot the team's car for the 2004 season. After running a Reynard chassis in the 2003 Champ Car World Series, Conquest will put a Lola under the young Englishman.

Wilson had a highly successful career in the junior formulae in Europe, winning the Formula Palmer Audi championship in 1998 and the FIA Formula 3000 crown in 2001. Following that success, Wilson, 25, was called up to Formula 1 with the Minardi team to begin the 2003 season, then replaced Antonio Pizzonia at Jaguar at midseason, recording a best finish of 8th at the USGP. He had planned to continue at Jaguar for 2004 as the team's third driver, but a rules change by the series made him ineligible for that role.

Conquest, which will continue with Mi-Jack sponsorship and their familiar red and yellow livery, joined the Champ Car series last season with Brazilian driver Mario Haberfeld. After a 12th place finish in the 2003 championship, Bachelart hopes the switch to a Lola chassis and a highly-rated young pilot will move the team up the chart. He was obviously pleased with his new hire, saying today: "Justin is a proven winner with a great deal of talent that has been evident at every level." Conquest's Team Manager, Chris Mower, was Wilson's engineer for his success in F3000, so his acclimation into the team should go smoothly.

Conquest will not discard last year's Reynards just yet. On a teleconference with media representatives today, Bachelart said that he would be announcing a second driver for the team soon, utilizing the Reynards. "We will finalize it today, or at least by the end of the week," he said.

Wilson will make his race debut in the Champ Car World Series when the series opens its 2004 season at the Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18th.

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Antonio Pizzonia , Mario Haberfeld , Justin Wilson
Teams Conquest Racing