Carpentier to drive for Red Bull Cheever Racing
Patrick Carpentier will drive for Red Bull Cheever Racing next season and Toyota will supply the team's engines, a source close to the team told The Associated Press.
Carpentier will make the switch from the rival Champ Car World Series, joining holdover driver Alex Barron, and Toyota will replace Chevrolet as the team's engine supplier, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Team owner Eddie Cheever will announce the moves Wednesday.
Carpentier, a 33-year-old Canadian, has driven in Champ Car for eight years, the last seven for Forsythe Racing. He has five victories, including a win this year at Monterey, Calif.
He will replace Ed Carpenter, the stepson of IRL founder Tony George, on the Cheever team.
Carpentier had nine top-5 finishes in 13 races in 2004, finishing third in the season points, trailing only Newman/Haas Racing drivers Sebastien Bourdais and Bruno Junqueira. That matched Carpentier's career best in the Champ Car series.
Carpentier said after the season-finale last Sunday in Mexico City that he had been negotiating with three IRL teams because he wants to drive in the IRL's Indianapolis 500 and do more oval racing.
The Champ Car schedule is mostly road and street courses, while the IRL is adding its first three road races to a previously all-oval schedule in 2005. One of Carpentier's victories came in 2001 on the 2-mile oval at Michigan International Speedway.
Cheever used Chevrolet engines the past few seasons, but General Motors announced last week it is withdrawing from the IndyCar Series, leaving Japanese companies Toyota and Honda as the IRL's only engine suppliers.
Carpentier and Barron are both former champions in the developmental Toyota-Atlantic series.
Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press
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