Toyota Atlantic Champion Fogarty and Formula BMW USA Title Winner Wirth Earn Champ Car Test With Forsythe Championship Racing INDIANAPOLIS (October 15, 2004) -- Continuing to provide opportunities for the top young drivers in open-wheel...
Toyota Atlantic Champion Fogarty and Formula BMW USA Title Winner Wirth Earn Champ Car Test With Forsythe Championship Racing
INDIANAPOLIS (October 15, 2004) -- Continuing to provide opportunities for the top young drivers in open-wheel racing, officials from the Bridgestone Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford today announced that the champions of Champ Car's top driver development series -- Jon Fogarty of the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama and Andreas Wirth of the Formula BMW USA Championship -- will both test in a turbo-charged 750-horsepower Champ Car at the end of November.
Both Fogarty, the 29-year-old Portola Valley, California native, and the 19-year-old Wirth will get the opportunity to test with Forsythe Championship Racing, the 2003 Champ Car World Series title-winning team that currently fields entries for Paul Tracy, Patrick Carpentier and Rodolfo Lavin. The test session will be held November 29-30 at the Sebring International Raceway road circuit in Sebring, Florida. In addition to the Champ Car test, Formula BMW USA Rookie of the Year James Hinchcliffe will also get to measure his skills in a 240-horsepower Toyota Atlantic machine at Sebring.
"Champ Car is excited to provide this opportunity to some of the future stars of open-wheel racing," said John Lopes, Executive Vice President of Operations for Champ Car. "Both Jon Fogarty and Andreas Wirth showed tremendous talent and dedication in winning championships in their respective series this season and James Hinchcliffe also exhibited a great deal of promise and poise this year. These tests will provide all of the drivers with a unique chance to showcase their skills at the next level. This is another example of the benefits and opportunities available to drivers within the Champ Car driver development system."
Fogarty, who added to his 2002 Toyota Atlantic title with this season's championship run, captured six victories and six pole positions for Pacific Coast Motorsports in edging Scotland's Ryan Dalziel for the 2004 crown in the season finale.
The championship dreams of the German-born Wirth were also realized at the season's final race as he produced four victories and 11 podium finishes in 14 events to claim the inaugural Formula BMW USA title. Hinchcliffe, a native of Oakville, Ontario, Canada, earned three wins and four poles this season finishing as the top series rookie, just 27 points behind Wirth in the championship chase.
The 17-year-old Hinchcliffe earned a test session with the Atlantic Polestar Racing Group team after finishing second in the Formula BMW USA series championship this season and taking top rookie honors. Polestar just completed its second Atlantic season, finishing fifth in the season standings with Denmark's Ronnie Bremer.
"The Toyota Atlantic Championship is without a doubt the premier and most respected North American open-wheel driver development racing series and I am also pleased and honored to be playing my part in support of the future of Formula BMW USA and its strong association with Champ Car," said Gerald R. Forsythe, Chairman of Forsythe Racing Inc. "Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty has been successful at every level of racing in which he has competed and Andreas Wirth of Formula BMW USA also showed a great deal of promise and talent this season. I am pleased to give both Jon and Andreas this opportunity of a Champ Car test with Forsythe Championship Racing as the drivers showcase their ability and readiness to go to the next level."
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama is owned by Champ Car and the series just completed it 31st season as North America's top open-wheel development series. Capitalizing on BMW's rich racing heritage, Formula BMW USA entered the Champ Car family in 2004 and the series features young open-wheel racers competing in 140-horsepower Formula BMW FB2 machines.