Franck Perera Joins Condor Motorsports
INDIANAPOLIS – His first time competing in a Champ Car Atlantic machine was magical. Now, Franck Perera will get a chance to make magic all season long with Condor Motorsports.
Perera, a 22-year-old native of Montpellier, France, has reached a contract agreement to compete with the Condor team in the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. The announcement comes on the heels of Perera’s dynamic Atlantic debut last week at Champ Car Spring Training in Monterey, California, and it immediately makes the talented racer a top contender for this season’s series title.
In his maiden voyage in the 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth/Swift Atlantic on Cooper Tires Perera demonstrated an uncanny ability to clock consistently fast times and blazing speed on the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca track. The fab Frenchman paced all four testing sessions (two on each day of the test) and unofficially shattered the series track record several times at the 2.238-mile circuit before finally posting a final quick lap of 1:16.067 (105.917 mph) while testing for the Condor team.
“We’re all very excited and happy to welcome Franck to the team,” said Carlos Bobeda, owner of Condor Motorsports, which captured the 2005 Champ Car Atlantic Championship with Dutchman and eventual Champ Car driver Charles Zwolsman. “He is clearly a very special talent and the team developed good chemistry with him from the first minute he got into the car. I think everyone is looking forward to a very exciting 2007 season.”
Perera has established himself in European competition and now he’s looking to rise to the top level of American open-wheel racing through his accomplishments in the Atlantic series. He won the Formula Renault Italian championship in 2003 and earned top rookie honors in the F3 Euro Series a year later. After finishing fourth in the F3 Euro Series in 2005, Perera joined the GP2 Championship last season and produced an impressive second-place finish in Monaco. While watching his countryman, Sebastien Bourdais, win three consecutive Champ Car World Series titles, Perera began to turn his focus toward racing in North America. He hopes to follow in the footsteps of defending Atlantic champion and fellow Frenchman Simon Pagenaud, who graduated to the Champ Car World Series with Team Australia in ’07 after claiming the crown and the impressive $2 million Atlantic champion’s bonus.
“I am first of all delighted to be able to continue expand my racing career in the USA in the very competitive Champ Car Atlantic series,” said Perera, who will race the #11 car sponsored by CJ Motorsport – a London-based consulting firm representing driver and sponsorship management – for the Condor team this season. “Atlantic is the only championship in the world which offers such unique prize money with direct access into Champ Car. I am proud to join Condor Motorsports, who put together a great car for me in the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca testing days and allowed me to be immediately competitive in the sessions. I can’t wait to start the series and hopefully help Carlos and the team get their crown back. I would also like to thank CJ Motorsport, who believes in my potential and has allowed me to continue to follow my dream.”
Perera will make his official Atlantic debut at the 2007 season opener, April 6-8 at the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix on the downtown streets of Las Vegas, Nevada.