INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Former CART rivals Michael Andretti and Michel Jourdain Jr. will team up to run the No. 1 car in Mexico's Super Copa Championship series.
The two former drivers made the announcement Monday.
By adding the Super Copa touring series to Andretti's stable, his team will compete in seven different racing series this season. The newly formed Andretti Jourdain Autosport has not yet named a driver for the eight-race schedule.
For Andretti, the attraction to the Mexican-based series was simple.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to maybe find some young Mexican talent and start grooming (the drivers) to see if we can get the next Michel Jourdain to come to IndyCars," Andretti said. “I think it would be very important to have IndyCar back in Mexico, and I think having Pato (O'Ward) there, being competitive, would help as well. It could be a step closer to having racing in Mexico City."
Jourdain and O'Ward, one of IndyCar's best young drivers, both grew up in Mexico. O'Ward finished fourth in points last season when he captured his first pole and was named the Indianapolis 500 rookie of the year.
Jourdain started his career on Mexico's junior formula circuit in 1988. He jumped to the now-defunct Champ Car Series in 1996, finishing 152 races and winning twice in nine seasons. Jourdain also competed in the NASCAR Busch Series, NASCAR trucks, IMSA and ALMS. He has spent the last seven seasons racing in his home country and now is joining a team with one of the world's best-known racing surnames.
“I am a huge Andretti fan from Mario, Michael, Marco and also with John, where I was lucky to be his teammate when I went to NASCAR," Jourdain said. “I have been really impressed with what he (Michael) has accomplished now as a team owner in all the series where he is involved. It is big honor that he chooses us and Super Copa to launch his team into Mexico. We will do our best to make him proud and to keep the Andretti name winning."