Formula Nippon champ de Oliveira to race at Motegi
Conquest Racing announced today that Brazilian Joao Paulo (JP) de Oliveira has joined the team as the driver of the #34 Ceremony car at the Final Indy Japan 300, which will take place September 17th at the Twin Ring Motegi road course in Motegi, Japan.
Oliveira will be a local favorite as he makes his IZOD IndyCar Series debut next weekend. Despite being a native of Sao Paulo, the 30-year-old driver has made quite a name for himself in Japan and in 2010 was named “Sports Player of the Year” by the Japan Pro Sport Association. Oliveira will be a force to be reckoned with at Japan, not only is he the defending Champion in the Formula Nippon Championship, but he is also a repeat winner at the Twin Ring Motegi road course where only a few weeks ago he dominated the Formula Nippon race starting from pole, setting the fastest lap and taking the victory for the second year in a row.
The Brazilian’s career has encountered success worldwide and he has scored multiple victories, pole positions and podiums in various series. In 2003 he was crowned the Champion of the German F3 series, followed by another F3 Championship in Japan in 2005. In 2006 he was part of the Williams F1 testing program as a development driver. After becoming a regular winner in the Japanese Super GT Championship and an eventual Champion in the Formula Nippon Championship, Oliveira will now take the next step in his career as he takes part of the IZOD IndyCar Series where he will race his #34 Ceremony machine against some of the fastest drivers in the world.
The Conquest Racing team has had consistent runs at the last two road courses scoring a 14th place at Sonoma and a 13th at the Baltimore Grand Prix. This week they will make the journey across the world to the land of the rising sun where they will look to carry the positive momentum and take advantage of their new driver’s skills and knowledge of the track to fight for a top result. The Final Indy Japan 300 will be broadcasted LIVE on September 17 2011 through VERSUS at 11:00 PM ET.
For more information please visit www.conquestracing.com and www.indycar.com. You can also follow Conquest Racing at ww.facebook.com/conquestracing and www.twitter.com/conquestracing.
Joao Paulo de Oliveira
#34 Ceremony / Conquest Racing / Honda / Dallara / Firestone
"Joining Conquest Racing is an exciting opportunity at this stage in my career. I have been following the IZOD IndyCar Series over the years and it's a thrill to be making my debut in Japan.
Twin Ring Motegi is a very smooth, technical and demanding track. It has lots of hard braking zones followed by long straights, so obviously you need a good car under braking and traction. These are key factors if you want to go fast around there. I have great memories from Motegi winning two out of the last three Formula Nippon races, so I'm looking forward to going back there."
Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing Team Owner
“I am very excited to have the opportunity of working with JP this weekend in Japan. Motegi will be the last road course race with the current car and we are looking forward to having a very good weekend there. JP knows the track really well but by the same time he will have to get used to the car and the Series in a very short period of time. I am also very pleased to welcome Ceremony as a new sponsor for this event. Mr. Shiga, CEO of Ceremony is very passionate about supporting ambitious challengers and I am glad we have the opportunity of partnering together for the last edition of the Motegi race event that started 13 years ago.”
Experience on the Twin Ring Motegi road course could play into Joao Paulo de Oliveira's hands in the Indy Japan. At least the first-time IZOD IndyCar Series competitor hopes it will be a factor this weekend.
Looking toward 2012 and beyond, de Oliveira said he'll seek additional opportunities in the IZOD IndyCar Series.
"Right now, I'm focusing only on this race and trying to deliver a good result to the team," he said. "I'll take one step at a time."
Entrant sponsor Ceremony, established in 1964, is a Japanese wedding and funeral service company headquartered in Saitama.