Anaheim, CA ( January 12, 1999) Robby Gordon, John Menard and Mike Held announced today they have joined forces to field a CART FedEx championship team - "Team Gordon". They will be running a Swift Toyota sponsored by Panasonic, Duracell, Johns...
Anaheim, CA ( January 12, 1999) Robby Gordon, John Menard and Mike Held announced today they have joined forces to field a CART FedEx championship team - "Team Gordon". They will be running a Swift Toyota sponsored by Panasonic, Duracell, Johns Manville and Menard for the 1999 season.
To own my own team "has been a goal of mine from the very beginning," said Robby Gordon in making the announcement.
"I am really excited to be involved with Robby, Mike and Team Gordon, John Menard said. "From the time we first spoke of putting a team together to today's' announcement I have seen an operation driven entirely by determination and the will to succeed. Something really special is happening at Team Gordon. I love the way Robby drives and I love his enthusiasm." This expansion into CART further integrates me in to the heart of open wheel racing which is where I really want to be."
Gordon's style shows in today' announcement. "To be competitive in CART today, you must be aggressive. There are so many aggressive drivers out there. You look at how Alex Zanardi won the championship last year, very very aggressive. This is a place I plan to be for a long time. That is why we have got the association with John Menard I believe have will be a key part in the life and success of Team Gordon and without him we would not be getting this opportunity," said Gordon. "I believe that Team Gordon will be around for a long time. We are starting off with a program that is a two year program with a third year option with Toyota. So we are very happy and looking forward to the future."
"Our long term goals as a race team," according to Mike Held , " we desire to bring a championship to Toyota and to" the rest of our sponsors. Certainly John Menard, his business expertise, along with his stores provide us with a foundation to be able to secures sponsorship for the future."
"You have got Robby Gordon in the cockpit and there is no question, and there is never a question on anybody's mind in terms of any of the guys affiliated with our race team, that Robby Gordon's not going to stand on the gas. Every minute of everyday the guy is full throttle," Held concluded.
Team Gordon will have as team manager Laurie Gerrish; Dave Forbes as crew chief and Brian Berthold as team engineer.
The team's Swift's will not arrive until late February so the team will only be observers at CART Spring Training. " We will be checking out what our competition is doing," quipped Gordon.
A decision will be made neared the start of the season as to which tire the team will run. Gordon said he wanted to run the best tire available. He said that there was no reason to run the same tire as Menard's IRL teams run since they are different teams.
Gordon would not rule out a possible drive in the Indy500 for Menard this year. He would only say that "the sponsors determine where we will race."
John Menard believes the CART and the IRL are now closer that they have been I the last two years. Asked if he was comfortable owning cars in both CART and the IRL, Menard commented, "I am in the racing business, and I am doing this for business reasons. If I can benefit open wheel racing in general by anything I do I will be happy about that. We have had our share of downs in the last few years in open wheel racing in, and I think we need to start working together to get fan interest and both series built up for everybody's benefit."
Jack Durbin - Motorsport News Internatioanl