Italian to return to CART Champ Car Series. MONTEREY,CALIF. - Max Papis will have a new work address when he returns from Le Mans next week. The veteran driver of the CART Champ Car World Series, despite not having a ride for the first half of...
Italian to return to CART Champ Car Series.
MONTEREY,CALIF. - Max Papis will have a new work address when he returns from Le Mans next week. The veteran driver of the CART Champ Car World Series, despite not having a ride for the first half of the 2003 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford, will join PK Racing for the remainder of the 2003 season.
"I am very happy to be joining PK Racing from Portland on," said the Italian Papis. "I love driving single seaters and feel like I will be going home...coming back to drive in CART. I hope I can bring some of my open wheel experience to the PK Racing team and help them achieve some of their goals this season."
Papis, who has three CART Champ Car victories among his 106 series starts, will return to the Champ Car World Series starting next weekend as he takes over as the driver of the #27 PK Racing Ford-Cosworth/Lola/Bridgestone. Papis will pilot the #27 car for the rest of the year, although the team will continue a relationship with Bryan Herta, who is driving the team's car in this weekend's Grand Prix of Monterey.
"PK Racing is dedicated to winning races and we will continue to do whatever it takes to achieve that goal," said PK Racing co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven. "I want to experience the podium - I want that feeling, and I have confidence that both Bryan and Max can get us there."
Papis made his CART Champ Car debut in 1996 with Arceiro-Wells Racing and ran five full-time seasons in the series, earning two poles along with wins at Homestead-Miami Speedway, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Portland International Raceway. He finished a career-best fifth in the 1999 championship while with Team Rahal, and made seven starts last season including a pair of podium finishes with the short-lived Sigma Autosport team. He last drove a Champ Car at California Speedway last year when he filled in for an injured Adrian Fernandez.
"We are excited to have Max back in our series as he has always been one of our more popular drivers with the fans," said CART President and CEO Christopher R. Pook. "We are also very pleased that one of our rookie teams has shown their willingness to do whatever it takes to mold themselves into a championship squad."
Papis will begin his driving duties next weekend at the G.I. Joe's 200, a race that he won in 2001 from the pole.