Enrique Bernoldi in his Lucky Strike Honda F1 team drivers suit
Brazil's Enrique Bernoldi, who competed in Formula One racing for two seasons, will contest the 2008 Champ Car World Series with Rocketsports Racing, it was announced Monday.
The 29-year-old native of Curitiba, Brazil, becomes the latest driver to be announced for the 2008 season. The announcement was made by team owner Paul Gentilozzi.
"I am very excited about my opportunity this year in Champ Car with Rocketsports Racing," said Bernoldi, who tested with Rocketsports in 2006. "Racing in the United States is something that I have always wanted to do and I think that Champ Car is the best series for me to have the opportunity to do so. I like the variety of circuits that are on the schedule. There is a range of street and permanent courses which will be fun and similar to what I have been racing on in Europe.
"I know that Rocketsports is willing to help me learn as much as I can, as we are all in it for the same reason--to win! Paul Gentilozzi is not only a team owner, but a driver. He will be able to understand what I need to know as a driver, since he has that kind of mentality, so that will be a huge factor to help me progress quickly this year. I think that Rocketsports is a good team. I was impressed by the team when I tested with them two years ago. Unfortunately we were not able to get a deal together that year, but I am excited to have the opportunity now."
"We are excited to have Enrique (Bernoldi) on board with us this season," said Gentilozzi. "It is nice to be able to sign a driver this early, as it will be a great benefit for us to have him testing with the team during the pre-season. Together we can prepare for an exciting 2008 season in the Champ Car World Series.
"He has been associated with some of the elite Formula One teams and has a great understanding of open-wheel cars. That really showed in his quick learning skills and resulting performance when he tested with us. He is extremely professional and talented. I can definitely see him as a potential race winner in Champ Car."
Winner of numerous karting titles in Brazil, Bernoldi moved to Europe in 1995 and won nine out of 11 races to capture the 1996 European Formula Renault title. Two years later, he was runner-up in the prestigious British F3 Championship while competing in F3000 in 1999 and 2000. During those seasons, he also served as test driver for the Sauber F1 team.
Bernoldi made it to F1 with Arrows in 2001 and ran two full seasons, losing his ride when the team shut down its operation at the end of 2002. More recently, he was test driver for the BAR Honda F1 team.
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