Australian Paul Stoddart – who ran the Minardi team for a few years – has officially entered the American ChampCar series under the name Minardi Team USA. This rumour of Stoddart entering motorsport again has been running for a while now, but today it was announced that Paul has purchased a controlling interest in the CTE Racing HVM team, based in Indianapolis.
It is good to see Stoddart back in motorsport and I’m sure his effort stateside will prove more successful than his venture in Formula One, which came to an end in 2005 after he sold the team to Red Bull. Stoddart was hoping to gain the twelfth spot for the 2008 season, but Dave Richards’ Prodrive company won the battle, prompting the Australian to look elsewhere for the opportunity to race.
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 ChampCar, 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 co-owner) and Keith Wiggins (HVM team owner) for some time now about a possible involvement, and I’m pleased to confirm today that we are proceeding with our plans. Paul Stoddart.
The ChampCar teams will receive their standard Panoz DP01 chassis in the next two days as they all prepare for the upcoming 2007 season, which is due to begin at Sebring in Florida on January 23rd.
Further details of the teams’ sponsors, drivers and structure will be announced in the coming weeks.