Eric Bachelart, owner of the Conquest Racing Champ Car team, announced today that he would run two cars in 2008 and that rookie Franck Perera from France would be one of the drivers. He also announced Eric Zeto from Forsythe Racing was a new engineer they have brought onboard. Bachelart has taken on a new partner Anthony Blumberg who he said has a real will to win.
Conquest Racing announced today that 2007 Atlantics ‘Rookie of the Year’ Franck Perera, who posted the fastest time among all drivers during the recent Champ Car World Series testing in Sebring, would join the team for the upcoming 2008 season.
Perera completed his first test with Conquest two days ago, where he topped the time charts, outpacing both established Champ Car drivers and other newcomers to the open-wheel series.
“I think Franck will continue to surprise many people this year,” said Eric Bachelart, Conquest Racing team owner. “He was without a doubt the best driver in Atlantics last season, and I think he is a great addition to our team. We knew before the test in Sebring that we were signing Franck for the year, now everyone knows why we are so excited to secure him for 2008. The chemistry with Franck is excellent and he is an experienced professional – a pleasure to work with. Our focus is to take this team to the next level and Franck will help us achieve that goal.”
Conquest Racing's new partner and team co-owner Anthony Blumberg of Opes-Prime echoed Bachelart’s comments: “Conquest Racing is committed to taking the next step up and adding Franck to the line-up is evidence of our desire to fight for the win every race weekend. Franck is an extremely talented driver and he has proved that in every series in which he has competed. I think we can expect great things from him.”
With no prior experience in Atlantics, Perera hopped into the car at the final pre-season test of 2006 and found himself atop the time sheets at the end of the first practice session, and all subsequent sessions, breaking the unofficial track record in the process.
By the fifth race in Portland , he was on the podium, and two races later, he scored his first win of three last season. He ended the 12-race season only 31 points out of first place, and earned eight consecutive podiums while finishing top-five in all of his races. Perera also completed every lap of 2007, leading 116 of them.
“This is a great moment and opportunity for me to be joining the Champ Car World Series with a team like Conquest Racing,” said Perera. “I want to again thank both Eric and Anthony Blumberg for believing in my ability. Even though we had our eye on part of the $2 million team scholarship, I am very grateful to my managers at CJMotorsport who were still able to put together a deal for me without it. I can’t wait for the upcoming test in Laguna Seca to get back behind the wheel again and continue my preparation for Long Beach .”
Conquest Racing, who will be participating in their sixth year of Champ Car competition, was able to put this program together thanks to the support of Opes Prime, an Australian unlisted public company that provides a range of financial services and products for high net worth individuals, stockbrokers and financial advisors, asset managers, banks and other firms.
The team has also entered into a primary partnership with Automated Response Fire Extinguisher System (ARES), who produce a fire extinguisher system that automatically extinguishes fires in cars, planes, boats and installations were damage can be costly or human life is at risk.
Prior to his Atlantic season, Perera built up quite a track record. He was one of the first two drivers signed in 2001 to the Toyota F-1 Young Driver Program. Perera won numerous karting titles including the World Karting Formula A Championship in 1999 (he was also Vice-Champion in 2000), the Karting Junior French Championship and the Karting Junior European Championship in 1998. Other career highlights include a second-place finish in GP2 in Monaco in 2006, a fifth-place finish in Macau in 2004 in the F3 Euro Series where he also took “Rookie of the Year” honors, and he was crowned Formula Renault 2.0 champion in 2003.
Conquest Racing will be fielding a two-car effort this season in the Champ Car World Series with more information on their second driver to come in the following weeks.
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