Emerson Fittipaldi Q&A

Emerson Fittipaldi has returned to the Champ Car World Series ranks as co-owner of a new team that will run Portuguese rookie Tiago Monteiro in 2003. The 1989 CART champion's co-backer is 29-year old financier James Dingman, and the team's Reynard-Ford will be run out of the Conquest Racing shop in Indianapolis. Fittipaldi owns the Brazilian television rights for Champ Car and he is looking to bring the series back to his home country in 2004. John Oreovicz spoke to him

Emerson Fittipaldi Q&A



It was a difficult experience and I learned a lot. But now is the perfect time to get into Champ Cars. I've wanted to do it for the last two years. Now I think CART has reached the bottom and is coming back. There were so many bad rumours about CART, but people are going to be surprised. There are a lot of young, hard chargers and it will be a great show to watch.



"The street races get more people than other series and the TV coverage is very good. It's the most competitive series in the world - for any driver who wants to enjoy racing, have fun and have a future, this is the series because you can go to Formula 1. Champ Car is now global and it has a very good track record for putting people in F1 - look at Villeneuve and Montoya. And CART is a lot more fun that Formula 1."



"The new TV package is very good and I hope we can race there in 2004 on a street circuit. Chris Pook's vision is street circuits and I believe in that philosophy. Chris's leadership is the reason I started my team, because I believe Champ Car is going to come back strong. It's just a question of time.



I've known him for two or three years. Actually, it's a small world because the son of my manager when I was in F1 is Tiago's manager now. He did very well in the French F3 championship in 2001, then he had a tough season of F3000 last year. All the tracks were new and he didn't have the right engineer, so he struggled. But he won many races in F3.



A modest start. I told Tiago to finish the first race and just run to get experience. This is a learning years for us. We have a new driver, and we want to start 2004 strong with two cars and our own infrastructure.

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