Schiavo eyes Champ Car UPDATE #5 See Hot News page for Schiavo's test time Tuesday at Sebring. 08/12/05 Venezuelan Luis Schiavo has agreed to a testing deal with Dale Coyne Racing which could see the Star Mazda driver make his Champ Car debut at the season ending race in Mexico City. Coming off a successful two-day test at Putnam Park, Schiavo says he's 70-percent sure of making his debut in Mexico with the goal being to put together a full time ride in time for 2006.
"This will be my last year in Mazda, and I now believe that I am ready to take the next step," he said. "Of course, it will all depend on the support that I can get from businesses back in Venezuela, but I hope that they will see the value of having one of their countrymen in a Champ Car."
Coyne, who has had a revolving door of drivers this season, came away impressed with Schiavo's times over the last two days.
"I am very pleased," said Coyne. "Yesterday, Luis was only two-and-a-half seconds off the times of Oriol Servia. We have had different drivers here and the fastest one was Servia, who is a very competitive driver. So, if, on your first day, you are that close, it is very good."
"You were able to see the difference today - Luis felt more comfortable, and felt less pressure than yesterday. This is a monstrous step - one of more than 500 horsepower - but he was simply professional in the way he went about his work."
"I know that Champ Car is his objective, and I think that this test was important," he explained. "Every driver that has tested with us tells us that they 'can do it', but it is one thing to be fast in a lower category, but can they be fast in a car that has this sort of power? That is very different! But Luis showed in this test that he can be quick in a Champ Car." TSN.ca 08/11/05 Reports out of Venezuela say that Schiavo's sponsorship money is secured and he will contest the final Champ Car race in Mexico City this year and then contest a full season in 2006, both with Dale Coyne Racing. Schiavo will become the first Venezuelan Champ Car driver. 07/19/05 We are hearing that Venezuelan driver Luis Schiavo has landed sponsorship and will begin to try and line up a Champ Car ride for 2006. More details as we get them. 05/09/05 Venezuelan driver Luis Alberto Schiavo will test one of Dale Coyne Racing's Champ Cars at Putnam Park next week, with a view to possibly graduating to the series in the next year or so. Coyne, who currently runs a pair of Lola-Cosworths in the Champ Car series, will run the 23-year old Formula Mazda racer at the well-known test venue next Monday and Tuesday [9-10 May], when Schiavo will become the first Venezuelan to test one of the 750bhp machines.
Having moved to America in an attempt to further his racing career, Schiavo clinched the 2003 Star Mazda single-seater title, before returning to defend his crown in 2004. On that occasion, he only managed fifth overall, and currently lies fourth in the Formula Mazda standings. "I am very keen on these tests," Schiavo commented, "My engineer at the HASA Mazda team made contact with Dale Coyne and, this week, we finally confirmed the date and venue of the test.
"During the recent Long Beach weekend, we met with different owners to both get myself known to them and to get to know a little more about the Champ Car, which has three times the power of my Formula Mazda machine. The Champ Car also doesn't have traction control, so all the power is controlled by your right foot, so the test is going to be a spectacular experience. My intention is to compete in Champ Cars next year although, of course, we will need to find the sponsorship to achieve that." As well as Champ Cars, Schiavo is also looking into the possibility of racing in the burgeoning Grand-Am Daytona Prototype category this year, although he insists that his primary objective is the Formula Mazda title, which he is competing for with as many as 40 other drivers. Cantv.net 05/06/05 Rumor has it that Luis Alberto Schiavo (pictured right) will test a Champ Car for Dale Coyne Racing next week at Putnam Park. The Venezuelan driver will test Monday and Tuesday. 23-year old Schiavo, raced in Star Mazda last year and finished 5th. He will become the first Venezuelan to drive a Champ Car and has backing from his home country. "I feel very excited about these tests," said Schiavo. He had meetings at the Long Beach race where this test began to come together. His intention is to compete in Champ Car next year, if enough sponsorship can be found. He is also eying the Grand American Daytona Prototypes. Photo by Bill Kistler