Juan Pablo Montoya will leave McLaren and formula one to race in the US-based NASCAR series from 2007.
The shock revelation was announced by the Colombian’s former Champ Car boss Chip Ganassi on Sunday, as 30-year-old Montoya met his future team in Chicago.
”He said, ‘I want to get back to racing’,” Ganassi, who farewelled the former CART champion at the end of 2000 as he started a six-year stint in F1, said.
”The guy loves racing. And what better place than here?”
Ganassi added that Montoya, who has signed a multi-year contract, could make his debut in the lesser Busch Series later this year. He will then race full-time in the premier tin-top category, which is the most popular form of motor sport in the United States.
”He’s bound by contract until the end of the formula one season. We have some opportunities to do some things after that,” Ganassi explained.
Montoya, a seven-time GP winner, debuted for Williams with some flair in 2001 but struggled the past two seasons at McLaren, where he was paired alongside Kimi Raikkonen.