Andrea Montermini Announces Intention to Start an Italian/Russian CART Team
©2001 SpeedCenter Publishing

Goal is to promote young Russian drivers to CART

At a press conference in Moscow on Monday, Italian F1/CART driver Andrea Montermini and Russian F3 driver Sergey Zlobin announced an alliance with the goal to form an Italian/Russian CART team to contest the 2002 FedEx Championship Series season. The intentions of this team, which will be the official Russian National team, is to promote young Russian drivers through the Indy Lights series to their proposed CART team.

Andrea Montermini
Andrea Montermini, whose last CART experience was contesting the final four street/road course events of the 1999 season for Dan Gurney's All American Racers, has spent the last 18 months attempting to return to CART competition. He had hoped to put together a deal to drive a second car for Bettenhausen Motorsports for the last five races of last year's CART season, but unfortunately was unable to secure the necessary funds. He did however compete in the recent Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona, finishing 36th overall in a GTS car.

Sergey Zlobin
Sergey Zlobin has spent the last several years helping to develop the International Formula 3 series in the Russia. Debuting in 1996, the series developed slowly, but Zlobin entered the 1999 season with Canopus Motorsport, using 1996 and 1997 Dallaras. Zlobin most recently competed in the Formula Renault 2000 European Cup Series. Due to his new relationship with Montermini, he hopes to be able to test one of Dale Coyne's car this year.

Montermini and Alexey Sheludchenko
Montermini and Zlobin will be assisted by Alexey Sheludchenko, who currently the directs the foreign program for the Russian Club Racing team. Their first driver appears to be local Moscow hotshoe Pavel Guskov. Guskov impressed many last season when he drove for Club Racing in the Russian junior single seater series, F-1600. His performance earned him a ride in the 2001 Formula 3 series. Barring any date conflicts, Montermini and Zlobin hope to contest a few Indy Lights races this year with Guskov.

The new venture is already in talks with potential sponsors. If successful, this will be the first Russian team to participate in a CART sanctioned event.

Press conference details and photos by Gregory Golyshev

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