The Herdez Competition team has revealed that it will become the first in Champ Car history to field two Mexican drivers, when rookie Roberto Gonzalez partners Mario Dominguez at the 17th round of the CART World Series in Mexico City next month.

The deal is for one race only, designed to boost the Mexican-backed team's presence in its 'home' country, as Gonzalez takes the reins of the #4 entry usually driven by veteran Roberto Moreno.

Maintaining Grupo Herdez's tradition of supporting the careers of young Mexican drivers, the 27-year old Monterrey native will be given a second opportunity to race in Champ Cars, having made a short-lived appearance with Dale Coyne Racing at the season-opening St Petersburg round. He will line up alongside Dominguez for the hugely successful Gran Premio de Mexico, one of the largest sporting events in the country and one that holds the attendance record for the CART series.

Gonzalez's car will also highlight the first involvement of telecoms giant Nextel Communications with Herdez Competition's Champ Car team, building on an already successful season for the Herdez-Nextel team in the Mexican Copa Corona Series. Nextel previously backed both Mauricio Gugelmin and Scott Dixon in Champ Cars.

"The Gran Premio de Mexico is a huge event in my country," Gonzalez said, looking forward to restarting his CART career after racing in the Formula Nissan series last year, "For a Mexican driver to be given the opportunity to compete in this race, with the support of Herdez and Nextel, is enormous. I am really looking forward to working with Mario Dominguez and the entire Herdez Competition team to make this a big success."

Keith Wiggins, Herdez's managing director, explained that the race at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez was an important one for the team's chief sponsor, as well as the associate backers.

"Herdez Competition regards the Mexico City race as the crown jewel of the Champ Car series - and the most important race from the standpoint of our primary partner Grupo Herdez," he said, "For the team to field two Mexican drivers in this event provides enormous potential for maximising the commercial benefits for the team, Grupo Herdez, Nextel, Del Valle, Astra Zeneca, Quaker State and all of our other partners."

Gonzalez visited the Herdez Competition race shop in Indianapolis last week for a seat fitting, and will be attending the next round of the Champ Car World Series, the Grand Prix Americas in Miami, Florida, with the team.


Loading Comments...