Blundell to leave PacWest at end of season

Mark Blundell is to leave the PacWest Racing Team at the end of this year's CART season

Blundell to leave PacWest at end of season

Blundell has driven for PacWest since 1996, winning three races for the Indianopolis-based outfit. All three victories came in 1997, but the former Formula 1 driver has not had a top-six finish since Fontana in 1998.

"I have had two very frustrating seasons," said Blundell, "and I haven't been able to produce the results which I know I am capable of achieving."

The 34-year-old's CART career has been thwarted by both injury and bad luck. After the promise of 1997, much was expected of Blundell and Pacwest in 1998, but the results never came and a fractured vertebrae put Blundell out for much of the 1999 season.

"We understand that it has been a frustrating couple of seasons for Mark," said Pacwest president Bruce McCaw. "We have decided that it would be in his best interests if he became a free agent at this stage."

Blundell is optimistic that his 1997 form can be recaptured.

"It's time to move on now," he said. "There's plenty of opportunities for me and I'm considering a number of options, but I can't announce anything at the moment. I want to return to the highs I experienced in 1997."

The Englishman is believed to have been in talks with the Della Penna team about a CART drive for next year, and is also known to be interested in the German-based DTM championship. His links with Mercedes - in F1 with McLaren and CART with PacWest - could help in securing a drive in the latter option.

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