Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix Fundidora Park MONTERREY, Mexico - Once again another new CART FedEx Championship Series season will be getting underway. It only seems like yesterday that Sigma Autosport was putting the finishing touches on...
Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix
MONTERREY, Mexico - Once again another new CART FedEx Championship Series season will be getting underway. It only seems like yesterday that Sigma Autosport was putting the finishing touches on its first racecar and first event, which occurred at Monterrey. In that race, driver Oriol Servia started 8th and finished the race in 14th, creating some excitement.
There is more excitement in the Sigma camp. First, new driver and three-time CART winner Max Papis joined the team in January, then new sponsor Rockwell FirstPoint Contact, came on board in February. Papis, 32, from Como, Italy, has long been one of CART's most exciting and charismatic driving personalities. The Italian speedster will continue to benefit from the same Lola-Ford/Cosworth package that he raced last season. Papis enters Monterrey with a six-race point scoring streak and a lot of momentum. In January, Papis won what he called the biggest victory of his career when he won the 24-Hours of Daytona.
Last season at Monterrey, Papis, while driving for Team Rahal, started the race 11th and finished in the points with a 12th place showing. It was an auspicious beginning to a season that saw the amiable Papis win two races (Portland and Laguna Seca) and one pole position (Portland). Papis scored 107 points and finished 6th in the season championship.
For 2002, Papis will be joining one of most successful new CART teams. One that has an experienced crew that was finalists in the 2002 Craftsman Pit Crew Challenge. Practice for Telmex/Tecate Monterrey Grand Prix begins on Friday, March 8, with final qualifying taking place on Saturday afternoon.
Papis is the only driver from Italy racing in the FedEx CART Championship Series.
This is Papis' seventh season in the FedEx CART Championship.
Papis has won three FedEx CART Championship Series races in his career.
He has taken two pole positions in his CART career.
Papis finished sixth in the FedEx CART Championship Series point standings.
He has scored points in six consecutive races dating back to the 2001 season.
Papis won the Rolex 24-Hours of Daytona race in January.
This is Papis' first season with Sigma Autosport.
The Tecate/Telmex Monterrey Grand Prix will be Papis' 100th career CART start.
Papis was a member of the inaugural CART All-Star team in 1999.
This will be the 21st start for Sigma Autosport in the FedEx CART Championship Series.
"It will be great to start another CART season once again! When we raced here last year, it was such a wonderful, festive time and the fans were great and full of enthusiasm. My goal for the race is to finish in the top five and I think that can happen. I am going to be concentrating hard and the guys on our team will be focused and on the job. I will have some momentum for this race as I finished on the podium (2nd place) at the last race of the (2001) season. I will also have my 100th career CART start and that will be special for me as well. It's going to be an exciting start to the season." - Max Papis, Sigma Autosport Driver
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