At a news conference in his hometown, Mexican rising star David Garza today announced that he will join the Forsythe Championship Racing Team for the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season.
Garza, who will turn 20 years of age midway through the 2008 season, competed in his rookie Champ Car Atlantic season in 2007 with US RaceTronics. He earned career-best results in each of his first six starts, topped by best finishes of eighth at Cleveland and the first race of the doubleheader at Edmonton. He finished 10th in the Rookie of the Year standings and 17th in the overall championship. As was the case in 2007, Garza’s car will carry sponsorship from Monterrey, Mexico-based Axtel, a leading carrier of communications services in Mexico.
“I am excited with this new opportunity, and I want to thank everybody involved in making this dream come true and giving me the opportunity to show what I am capable of,” Garza said. “Last year, I gained a lot of experience. That in combination with the tools that a team like Forsythe can provide for me, makes me confident that we will be competing consistently at the front. I can’t wait to jump into the car and start working with my new engineer and crew to show them what we can do together. I know they are the best of the best, so the first thing I want to show them is that I am up to the task. Our 2007 season was an okay rookie season, but now our goals are totally different. I am confident that together we are going to be able to achieve them.”
Garza is the first driver to sign for Forsythe Championship Racing for the 2008 Atlantic season, and the organization is planning a two-car effort. The team earned one victory and one pole position in 2007 with driver Robert Wickens, who finished third in the overall championship, while 16-year-old rookie John Edwards earned a second-place result at Toronto and finished ninth in the overall point standings. In 2006, Forsythe Championship Racing returned to Atlantic for the first time in seven years with a four-car program, and finished third in the championship with driver Andreas Wirth. The team owns a total of 27 victories and 27 pole positions in Atlantic competition and claimed the 1998 title with driver Lee Bentham, making it the most successful operation currently competing in Atlantic.
“Obviously, we are quite happy to get the deal done this early with David and his sponsors, as it lets us get busy with our testing and work towards the 2008 championship,” said John Brunner, Forsythe Championship Racing Atlantic Team Manager. “We got to know David pretty well last season competing against him in last year’s championship. He made a lot of progress last season and we feel he will be very strong returning for a second season. He is a great personality for the series and will fit very well within our team.
“We are keen to get the second seat filled and the last couple of crew positions filled so that we can get focused fully on our third season back in the series. Our goals are the same as before. We are competing to win the championship. Finishing third in the championship these past two seasons have been good results, but we are focused on stepping it up a couple of notches for 2008. I’m really looking forward to working with David. He’s a great driver and just an overall good guy. I’m also looking forward to finding him a good, competitive teammate in the near future.”
Garza and Forsythe Championship Racing will hit the testing trail in the near future to begin preparations for the 35th Anniversary season of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, which will get underway in April, 2008.
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