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Camara replaces Perera at Conquest, renews sponsor agreement UPDATE A shocked reader writes, Dear AutoRacing1.com, Holy smokes.  One of the best drivers on the track just lost his ride. Perera for that kid?

Perera, never been in a Champ Car, fastest in day one, top of the charts every time on the track.

Long Beach - qualifies third.

St. Pete - seemed to struggle, but so did the team in general.

Homestead - outqualifies all of the Champ Car guys, gets punked by Servia (with plenty of oval experience) at the start and brings the car home behind only Servia and way ahead of the others.

This ride-buying is the downfall of open wheel racing in the USA. Why not boot Bernoldi?

I hope someone in IRL picks him up. This kid will win races. Lots of them. Nobody has been that quick that soon except Bourdais. Montagny doesn’t really count because he has had a ton of F1 experience. Perera’s loss is a travesty. Scotty Lambert

04/24/08 Conquest Racing announced today that they have signed Jaime Camara for the remainder of the season to drive their #34 entry as well as an extension to their sponsorship program with current partner Sangari. Camara will start his duties with the team at this weekend’s Road Runner Turbo 300 at Kansas Speedway.

Camara, a native of Goiania, Brazil, comes into Conquest Racing with loads of oval experience after having competed for three seasons in Firestone Indy Lights and racking up testing miles in Andretti Green Racing’s IndyCar Series car last year.

Camara finished fifth overall in his Firestone Indy Lights rookie season in 2005 for Sam Schmidt Motorsports recording three pole positions and two victories including the Freedom 100 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. In 2006, he drove for Andretti Green Racing’s Firestone Indy Lights team capturing his third victory and establishing a Firestone Indy Lights record by qualifying in the top 10 in 18 consecutive races.

Last season saw Camara record seven top-five finishes including thirds at Indianapolis (oval and road course) and Nashville aboard the Andretti Green/AFS Racing machine. The 27-year-old also earned the Most Improved Driver award for improving the most positions throughout the season and established another series record with 42 consecutive starts.

“It’s a great opportunity for me to be driving for Conquest Racing. This has always been a goal for me, to get to the IndyCar Series. It’s been hard work since 2005 when I came to the United States to race. I want to thank Eric Bachelart for giving me this opportunity as well as Sangari and Geraldo Rodrigues my manager that worked out for this to happen. It’s just a dream come true. My goal was always to go to IndyCar, I never looked at going to Europe to try different series, it was always here. It s a good feeling that I have now, I am happy that it happened with the merger going on because now all the teams are here and the Series is gaining momentum and that’s going to be great.”

Conquest Racing Team Owner Eric Bachelart said: “Jaime will be a great addition to our team. With his oval experience and Enrique Bernoldi’s road, street course experience it will be a good combination. Jaime has proved himself in Indy Lights and I think he will fare well in the IndyCar Series. We are also pleased with the extension of our sponsorship program with Sangari following the loss of both Opes Prime, who went into receivership, and ARES who were supporting the 34 car driven by Franck Perera.

“That being said, as much as we are happy to have Jaime join the team, we are saddened that it is at Franck’s expense. He has done exceptionally well in his IndyCar Series debut as well as in his one and only Champ Car race and we are keeping him as our reserve driver for the remainder of the year but he will be released should a racing seat be available for him with another team.”
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