Monday, 16 September 2013

Penske announces surprise signing of Montoya

Team Penske has shocked the motorsport world by announcing that they have signed Juan Pablo Montoya for the 2014 IndyCar season.

The Colombian was expected to join the Furniture Row NASCAR Sprint Cup team in place of Kurt Busch after visiting the team's Denver headquarters earlier this month.

However, despite the option to stay in NASCAR an open wheel return remained on the cards for the 1999 Indy 500 winner. Michael Andretti had offered Montoya a drive at his championship winning squad and the majority of the funding was reportedly already in place.

Montoya, who had previously competed in American open wheel racing for Penske's main rival Chip Ganassi, will drive the number 2 car for Penske. The car has been run on a part time basis this season with AJ Allmendinger behind the wheel. He was initially expected to be in the seat full time next season before he opted for a full time drive with JTG Daugherty in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series.

Team boss Roger Penske made no secret of his admiration for Montoya in the announcement revealing the signing 

"Juan is a proven winner at all levels of motorsport" Said Penske of the F1, CART, NASCAR and Rolex Sports Car Series race winner. "We look forward to building on his successes together and we believe he will be a great addition to Team Penske."

Montoya's future team mates both happily welcomed his signing as well. 

"such a well-credentialed driver join the team can only have massive benefits," Said Will Power whilst Helio Castroneves reminisced about his past with Montoya.

"Certainly it's a great addition for the team. It's funny; we've been racing against each other since 1990 in go-karts. I didn't speak English back then, so he was the only one who could communicate...".

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