Paul Stoddart, Minardi Team USA:
Keith Wiggins, Minardi Team USA:After taking a year off from motor racing following the sale of Minardi, we've had a chance to consider our options and examine how we might want to be involved with the sport in the future. After a lot of deliberation, we've come to the conclusion that Champ Car, with its' blend of highly competitive, cost-effective racing and relatively level 'playing field', offers easily the best way forward. We've been in discussion with Kevin Kalkhoven(ChampCar series co-owner) and Keith Wiggins(HVM co-owner) for some time now about a possible involvement, and i'm pleased to confirm today that we are proceeding with our plans. In terms of the structure of the new organization, HVM will become Minardi Team USA, and all the day-to-day management will continue under Keith and his highly skilled staff. This is obviously a new challenge for us, but one about which we are very excited.
Steve Johnson, President, Champ Car World Series:This is an exciting progression for our company, which will allow us to take it to the next level. It puts together all the elements we have established at HVM, continues the progress with the CTE program[in reference to co-owner Cedric the Entertainer], and adds the resources and talent that Minardi brings. The chemistry between Paul and myself is extremely good, and I'm looking forward to a stable, long-term future
Some background notes...........The addition of an owner with a proven racing background like Paul Stoddart only strengthens the series. Combining his experience and resources with a team that showed last year it can win races provides even more excited about Champ Car's future.
~~Historical background: The team now known as Minardi Team USA began life in NA motorsports back in 1981-1982 and 1986-1999 as Bettenhausen Racing; in 2000, the team became Herdez Competition, and in 2005 the team was renamed HVM Racing.
~~Drivers list: These individuals have driven for the team in its' qtr-century of racing......Tony Bettenhausen, Jr., Gary Bettenhausen, John Paul, Jr., Jon Beekhuis, Stefan Johansson, Gary Brabham, Robbie Groff, Patrick Carpentier, Helio Castroneves, Memo Gidley, Shigeaki Hattori, Michel Jourdain, Jr., Mario Dominguez, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Ronnie Bremer, Bjorn Wirdheim, Rodalfo Lavin, Dan Clarke and Nelson Phillipe
~~Memorable moments: three come to mind; 1--Ryan Hunter-Reay's win at the Milwaukee Mile in 2004(led all 250 laps); 2--the 1-2 finish of Dominguez and Moreno in Miami on the street circuit, and 3--Nelson Phillipe's win at Surfers Paradise in 2006
Any comments......feel free to post them; just keep 'em clean, okay.