Motorola, Team Green and Andretti join forces
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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Sept. 26, 2000) - Team Motorola announced today that Michael Andretti has signed a contract to drive the #39 Honda-powered Champ Car in the CART FedEx Championship Series through the 2003 season. Andretti, the 1991 CART champion will make his competition debut in the Team Motorola Honda-Reynard in the opening round of the 2001 season, scheduled for Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on February 11.
The Team Motorola entry will be prepared and maintained by Team Green at its shop in Indianapolis, along with the Team KOOL Green Honda-Reynards piloted by Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy. Owned by Team Green's Barry Green, Team Motorola will be managed by Kim Green, general manager of Team Green, and will work in technical partnership with Team KOOL Green. The remainder of the management, engineering and mechanical staff will be named at a later date.
"We are very proud and excited to announce our relationship with Michael, Honda and everyone at Team Green," said Keith Bane, executive vice president and president of Motorola's global strategy and corporate development. "Combined, this team of Champ Car leaders is destined for success on the track. The opportunity to become involved with Andretti, hands-down one of the greatest names in Champ Car racing, doesn't come every day."
"Honda has been associated with Motorola since the beginning of our involvement in Champ Car racing, and it's fitting that two such technology-intensive companies are teaming-up with a driver of Michael Andretti's stature," said Thomas G. Elliott, executive vice president of American Honda Motor Co./president, Honda Performance Development. "The CART FedEx Championship Series has a reputation for being one of, if not the, most competitive forms of racing in the world. Along with the other fine Champ Car teams we are associated with, we think the combination of Motorola, Michael Andretti and Honda insures a very competitive team in the coming seasons."
By earning career victories number 39 and 40 this year at Twin Ring Motegi and Toronto, Andretti strengthened his position as CART's winningest driver and moved to within striking distance of the 52 wins earned by his father over the course of his illustrious Champ Car career. Andretti, age 37, hopes to take a run at Mario's record in the coming years with Team Motorola.
"It's great to be associated with a first class organization like Motorola," said Andretti. "Driving the Motorola Honda-Reynard will allow us to showcase Motorola's cutting-edge communications and electronics technologies. And with the support of everyone at Team Green, I'm sure it's going to be a very successful partnership, on and off the race track."
"Needless to say, I'm also excited to be working with Honda. Honda's reputation is second to none, whether it's Champ Cars, Formula One, motorcycles, automobiles or other consumer products, and it's a thrill to finally work with them."
"We're very pleased that Motorola and Michael have joined Honda at Team Green," said Kim Green. "Motorola is a world leader in state-of-the-art communications and they've been one of CART's most enthusiastic sponsors. The records of Michael Andretti and Honda speak for themselves, and I expect the combination of Team Motorola, Honda and Michael Andretti to be a formidable one indeed."
"As everyone knows, Michael is a world class driver," said Barry Green, who teamed with Andretti at Kraco Racing from 1986-88. "I'm really looking forward to having him working with my teams instead of trying to beat him every weekend. Pooling the expertise of Team Motorola and Team KOOL Green should be a tremendous benefit to both teams and all three of our cars and drivers."
During the press conference Barry Green made it clear that Team Kool Green has no plans to enter the Indy 500 next year. He stated it was just too big a commitment with CART's 22-race series.
Motorola has been involved in a variety of motorsports since 1937, and for more than 10 years has been the official two-way radio provider of CART. Virtually all Motorola products are used in auto racing, from DigitalDNA™ technology represented by embedded electronics in Champ Cars, to integrated communications solutions such as two-way radios, cellular phones and pagers that enable teams and drivers to communicate efficiently. In addition to its involvement in CART, Motorola is also an official sponsor to NASCAR.
Team Green was founded in 1994 by Barry Green after concluding a successful two year partnership in Forsythe/Green Racing. Team Green went on to win the 1995 CART title and the Indianapolis 500 with future World Champion Jacques Villeneuve. Since 1998, Dario Franchitti and Paul Tracy have won a total of 11 races for the team and, last year, finished second and third, respectively, in the CART FedEx Championship.
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