New IRL Team FAZZT FAZZT Race Team, a partnership between Azzi Racing Division, ATG and Rubicon Sports Agency, announced today the intent to compete in the IndyCar Series full time beginning in 2010 with driver Alex Tagliani.
The team will begin testing over the winter after Andre Azzi of Azzi Race Division purchased the assets of Roth Racing with the assistance of Alexandre Dufresne and Jim Freudenberg, who negotiated the deal.
Azzi, chief executive officer, and Freudenberg, chief operating officer, will oversee the team. FAZZT has hired Rob Edwards to manage the day-to-day racing operations. The team will be headquartered in Indianapolis as well as have offices in Montreal, including a research and development arm.
"This is a dream come true for me," Azzi said. "To be able to give my friend Alex Tagliani the opportunity to drive full time with the top-notch team that we are assembling makes me extremely pleased. I cannot wait for March so we can get our team launched for our first full season of IndyCar Series racing. I intend to give this team every tool necessary to fulfill my dream of winning the Indy 500 and the IndyCar Series championship. Special thanks to my friend, Alexandre Dufresne and his firm, Spiegel Sohmer Inc. to help make this all happen. "
Freudenberg will oversee all commercial aspects of the team, including sales, marketing, public relations, hospitality, client services, sponsorship activation and business to business and business to consumer programs. Freudenberg brings more than 20 years of motorsports experience to the team that includes team, event, driver and sponsorship development.
"Alex and I are privileged to be able to join Andre in his quest to create a top-tier team in the IndyCar Series," Freudenberg said. "The platform Andre is allowing us to create will give sponsors all the tools to necessary to show a return on their investments needed to justify motorsports sponsorships. In this economic environment, that is a critical part of the process to build a team. The network that Jason Priestley and I have set up over the last few years will enhance the relationships that Alex and I have been working to grow over the last several months. I am also honored to be able to continue working with Alex who is the hardest working driver in any paddock. His passion, creativity, and understanding of sponsors' needs gives our commercial side an incredible advantage."
The team has committed long-term to driver Alex Tagliani. The open-wheel veteran has more than 140 starts in CART, Champ Car and the IndyCar Series and was named the 2009 Indianapolis 500 Rookie of the Year.
"This is a proud moment for me, and I have worked extremely hard for this," Tagliani said. "It means a lot to have someone like Andre recognize my efforts and reward me with this opportunity. I'm elated to be a part of this new team and can't wait to go racing full time in the IndyCar Series with great equipment and an incredible team of people."
Edwards, who will serve as general manager and technical director, comes to FAZZT Race Team after 16 years with Walker Racing, where he filled many positions including track engineer, engineering manager and team manager. Edwards, who worked with Tagliani at Walker Racing, brings a great deal of knowledge and professionalism and provides the leadership that will attract many of the top people in motorsports at every position.
"I am excited to be offered the opportunity to help build this new team and work with my friend Alex again. His technical knowledge of the equipment we race is an extremely important piece of the puzzle we need to be successful," Edwards said. "To be able to start something from the ground floor with Andre, Jim and Alex was an opportunity too good for me to pass up."