18 November 2013
Munoz to join Andretti Autosport for 2014
Andretti Autosport has confirmed that Carlos Munoz will drive for the team in 2014 alongside James Hinchcliffe, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Marco Andretti.
Carlos Munoz has secured a full-time race seat for the 2014 IndyCar Series with Andretti Autosport, after making a splash in this year's Indianapolis 500 which saw him start on the front row in his maiden appearance and went on to finish in second place.
“I don't have the words to express right now how I feel," said Munoz. "After so many years of racing and all the sacrifices – leaving my family in Colombia and going to Europe to race, then coming here to the US – but finally, I'm a professional race car driver in the maximum category in America, IndyCar.
"I have to thank Andretti Autosport, and especially Michael Andretti, for this opportunity," he continued. "To be a part of this team, they believe a lot in me, and to pay them back would be to bring them great results. With that, I have to work hard in all aspects – mentally and physically.
"I'm really happy and I'm looking forward to start practising and testing," he added. "I also have to thank my family for all of their support all these years. Finally my dream has come true. Also to my fans for being here and believing in me; this is just the beginning!"
Munoz will have rookie status for 2014 despite having made his début at Indy and then races at short-notice as a stand-in for the injured Ryan Briscoe at Toronto in the Panther Racing #4, and then returning to Andretti Autosport for a second outing with the team in Fontana, this time in place of EJ Viso.
"Carlos stepped up this season and showed outstanding potential on track in Indy and Fontana," said team owner Michael Andretti. "We are looking forward to welcoming him as a full time IndyCar driver and seeing what 2014 has in store. We are confident that his success in Indy Lights will carry on into his IndyCar career."
This year, Munoz finished third in his second season of competition in the Firestone Indy Lights feeder series, losing out on the title to Sage Karam and squeezed out of second by Gabby Chaves. Less than 20 points separated the trio after the 12-round championship. The 21-year-old Colombian recorded five Indy Lights pole positions and four wins (Barber, Long Beach, Pocono and Fontana) in 2013, marking his career-best year in two seasons of Indy Lights competition.
Throughout his time spent at the final step of the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, Munoz has accrued six wins, six pole positions, 10 podiums and 20 top-10 finishes.
Today's announcement means that EJ Viso - who missed the season finale at Fontana due to illness - will not be returning to the Andretti line-up for a second season, as Andretti has confirmed that it will be running a four-car line-up in 2014 and has already announced that 2012 champion Ryan Hunter-Reay will return along with James Hinchcliffe and Marco Andretti, leaving no room for Viso in the squad. Viso's plans for 2014 are not yet known.
The team will move to Honda engines this year after two seasons with Chevrolet. Munoz will get his first taste of the new set-up when he tests with his new team mates at Sebring International Raceway this week.
Click on relevant pic to enlarge
the conversation - Add your comment
Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.