2003 Champ Car Teams

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Who will be driving where and with what equipment next season? Confirmed places are in bold and unknowns have question marks. All teams will be running Cosworth engines in 2003 and 2004. Last updated Tuesday, May 27, 2008.

 Champ Car
Team Driver #1 Driver #2 Chassis Sponsor Comments
American Spirit Team Johansson Jimmy Vasser Ryan Hunter-Reay Reynard   Stefan Johansson, the former F1 and CART driver, who ran in the ALMS last season, used to own an Indy Lights team. Two American drivers have been confirmed as veteran former series champ Vasser and rookie Hunter-Reay.
Andretti Green Racing     Michael Andretti has bought a majority share of the team and is taking it to the IRL along with drivers Dario Franchitti and Tony Kanaan. They have lost KOOL sponsorship in the process, which is quitting motorsports. Now we understand why Barry Green sold up.
Andretti Racing       Mario Andretti had been in talks to run a third car out of the Newman/Haas team, but now seems unlikely. Michael says "It's all propaganda by Pook".
Arciero Racing?         The Arciero family has a long history in CART. Could they be back? Al Arciero was busy in the paddock at Fontana, but no word since.
Arden International Motorsport? Tomas Enge?
Townsend Bell?
      This F3000 team may compete in the two European rounds. They currently campaign Bell in F3000.
BC Motorsports       Dana Brewer failed to get this team off the ground last year. We never believed the rumors that he might make it this season.
Blair Racing       No return to CART seems likely - after a year in the IRL, which saw Alex Barron win one race for them, champweb.net reports they have closed down.
Brand Motorsports? Gary Paffett? Nicolas Minassian?     This British Formula 3000 team has the crazy notion that the European Champ Car rounds are a stepping stone to the IRL in 2004. But maybe this gives a clue about some of the stuff Chris Pook has been up to in Europe - trying to add extra cars for just the three yet-to-be-announced races?
Conquest Racing Mario Haberfeld   Reynard Mi-Jack Team owner Eric Bachelart, a former CART driver, is switching from the IRL, having failed to secure Honda engines there. The cars are Reynards from Player's and Team Green. Will they run a second car in partnership with Emerson Fittipaldi? See below.
Dale Coyne Racing Joel Camathias
Roberto Gonzalez Lola   Back for 2003, running two young rookies. Joel Camathias ran in five Formula 3000 races last season and hails from Switzerland; Dale promises to announce some Swiss sponsors in due course. Roberto Gonzalez is the Mexican driver who came close to joining Walker Racing.
Dick Simon Racing       Robin Miller reports that Dick Simon, who last raced in CART in 1995, is considering a return. He has the cash after selling his marina property and was seen talking to Chris Pook at Fontana. No word since.
Fernández Racing Adrián Fernández   Lola Tecate
Quaker State
The team's Mexican connections will keep them tied to CART, but running Roger Yasukawa in IndyCar means only a single Champ Car this season. Luis Diaz, who hoped to be in a second car has re-signed with Atlantic team Dorricott Racing.
Fittipaldi-Dingman Racing Tiago Monteiro   Reynard   Emerson Fittipaldi Has teamed up with businessman James Dingman to run a car for Portuguese driver Tiago Monteiro. The cars will be prepared at Conquest Racing's shop in Indianapolis.
Forsythe Championship Racing? Alex Yoong?   Reynard? Kuala Lumpur?
BSA Alloy Wheels?
Gerry Forsythe's second team, which last ran Bryan Herta for a handful of races in 2001, could be resurrected with Malaysian F1 refugee Alex Yoong as driver. However, signs are that Yoong's deal has evaporated. With enough cars signed up, maybe Forsythe no longer needs another team to protect his investment in CART?
Herdez Competition Mario Dominguez Roberto Moreno Lola Herdez Mario Dominguez will stay with Herdez. The team has added a second car for Roberto Moreno, providing some much needed experience.
Horizon Motorsports       Russ Cameron, an associate of Bruce McCaw and former PWR team manager, was rumored to have purchased the assets of the now defunct PWR team. However, we know now PK Racing has done that and Russ will be team manager there.
Hylton Motorsports       With Keith Hylton's U.S. Print company filing for bankruptcy, it now seems unlikely that his Toyota Atlantic team will make the rumored step up to Champ Cars next season.
Indy Regency Racing       Rumors suggest they're ready to quit the escalating costs of the IRL for a switch to Champ Cars. No recent news.
JAG Racing? Andre Lotterer       Teamed with Dale Coyne to run Lotterer at Mexico City as a way for this German operation to evaluate a full season in CART. While the team will not be ready for the season opener, they hope to be on the grid at Monterrey or Long Beach. Latest rumors link them with Team Rahal, running the car from their shop in Ohio.
Jensen MotorSport       After originally reporting that Eric Jensen has purchased two Lolas, Champweb (a Web site that still cannot get the links at the top of its home page right) now tells us his plans have been postponed for a year. Eric runs the Jensen MotorSport Toyota Atlantic team, which has expressed its Champ Car aspirations.
Michael Shank Racing       Seventh Gear reports this Toyota Atlantic team is investigating the step up to Champ Cars, but it looks like it will not be this year.
Mo Nunn Racing       We had been expecting Honda to drag them to the IRL, but it now appears that Toyota has scooped them up, with a deal to run Tora Takagi in a second car.
Despite Pioneer (USA) offering some sponsorship, the budget will not be available for Champ Cars this season.
Newman/Haas Bruno Junqueira Sebastien Bourdais Lola PacifiCare
Bruno Junqueira replaces 2002 champion Cristiano da Matta, who is off to Toyota's F1 team, and is joined by 2002 F3000 champion Sebastien Bourdais.
It still remains to be seen what price Carl Haas extracted from Toyota to let Cristiano go. One possibility is a car and engine for Bruno in the Indy 500.
ORECA       French sports car and former F3000 team with a US base at Road Atlanta considered a 2003 CART campaign, but this has not materialized.
Patrick Racing Oriol Servia
Bryan Herta?
Laurent Redon?
Lola Visteon Oriol has been confirmed as the driver of the first car for 2003, with Visteon returning as sponsor. The team will switch to the Lola chassis and has also recruited Steve Challis from Team Green as Chief Engineer.
Lower costs may help Patrick, a mainstay of CART for many years, return to two cars. Bryan Herta is tipped as top contender for the second seat, but we spotted him looking for work on the pit road at the IRL's Test In The West.
Player's/Forsythe Racing Patrick Carpentier Paul Tracy Lola Player's
As a Canadian team, they will stick to CART for the three street races north of the border.
Due to changes in Canadian law, this is the last year tobacco company Players can be the sponsor. They have added Paul Tracy to help them go out in style, but the law won't let them run three cars. So Alexandre Tagliani will be farmed out to another team.
Tracy loved Team Green's move from Reynard chassis to Lola. That issue has been resolved by Player's buying Target Chip Ganassi Racing's entire stock of Lolas.
PK Racing Patrick Lemarié   Lola JDS Uniphase? Jacques Villeneuve's manager and BAR F1 team founder Craig Pollock has teamed up with Kevin Kalkhoven, the retired CEO of fiber-optic giant JDS Uniphase, to start a new one car operation. They have bought the assets of the old PacWest team and will run from their former shop in Indianapolis under the control of former PWR team manager Russ Cameron.
BAR test driver Patrick Lemarié, who is managed by Pollock, has been selected as driver.
Protostar       With Cadillac withdrawing from the ALMS at the end of the season, the team that ran its cars eyed CART as an alternative. Founded by former Reynard designer Nigel Stroud, renowned race manager Jeff Hazell and former driver Wayne Taylor, the team seemed to have excellent credentials. However, we now hear Protostar has abandoned its plans and has all but disbanded.
Racing Engineering       This Telefonica Formula Nissan team has decided against a switch to Champ Cars for 2003.
Rocketsports Alexandre Tagliani   Lola Johnson Controls Paul Gentilozzi's Trans-Am team is headed for CART. Tag has finally been announced as the driver.
Sigma Autosport       Went bankrupt and their equipment has reportedly been sold.
Southerncross Motorsports       This Toyota Atlantics team is rumored to be interested in moving up to Champ Cars. No recent news, so we guess it was just "interest".
Target Chip Ganassi Racing     The team has announced it will be running Scott Dixon and Tomas Scheckter with Toyota engines in the IRL next year.
Team Malik       Nigerian prince Malik ado Ibrahim, a co-owner of the troubled Arrows F1 team, was present at Fontana. Any plans he had to start a CART team or buy into one have not materialized.
Team Menard       John Menard has been spotted at several recent CART events, but only because he runs Rhonda Trammell in Barber Dodge.
Team Morello       Former Sigma manager Paul Cherry linked to a potential new team. He's British, so he might favor a driver like Johnny Herbert. However, Johnny has signed up for another year in ALMS with Champion Audi and Bentley.
Team Penske     Team Penske left the FedEx Championship Series at the end of 2001 in an attempt to dominate the IRL ovals-only series.
Team PRG       Andreas Leberle, former owner of this team before helping to run Arciero Blair Racing in 2001, says he intends to be back, running one or two German drivers. He was at Mexico City with DTM/Porsche Cup team owner Andreas Grajewski in tow, but no word since.
Team Rahal Michel Jourdain Jr.   Lola Gigante As a former CART CEO (albeit in interim capacity) you would expect him to be totally committed to CART, but sponsorship is hard to come by. Jourdain will be back with Gigante sponsorship, but Jimmy Vasser will go elsewhere.
Tyler Racing       Former Hall Racing chief mechanic Gerald Tyler hoped to run Barber/Dodge champion A. J. Allmendinger, but we now know he will be racing for RuSPORT in Toyota Atlantic.
Walker Racing Rodolfo Lavín Darren Manning Reynard Corona The team had announced Roberto Gonzalez as it's first driver, but we got wind that this had fallen through when all mention of him disappeared from the CART Web site. Now British driver Darren Manning and Mexican Rodolfo Lavín have been confirmed.
Derrick Walker acquired the US rights to the Reynard chassis, when the UK parent went bust, and is currently attempting to find additional investors. It looks like G-Force's plan to buy the Reynard chassis rights from Walker has faltered, maybe because the IRL wouldn't allow it.

Limited Edition Die-Cast Models...The Perfect Gift!

©2000-2008 TeamJasper. Last updated Tuesday, May 27, 2008.