Jose "Pechito" Lopez



Thank you to a friend in Argentina, Francisco for translating the article that's been circulating in South American press.

Jose Maria Lopez close to signing agreement with USF1

Jose Maria Lopez, 26, is about to become the first argentine driver in F1 since Gaston Mazzacane's campaign in 2000 and 2001.Lopez is currently competing in the top three touring car series from Argentina with great results, and he flew to Charlotte on Tuesday to start closing the deal to drive for USF1 team in 2010.

The argentine driver has already ran more than 15,000 kms as a test driver for Renault F1 team from 2003 to 2006. Some of his career highlights, beside F1, he was champion of the Eurocup Renault V6, finished 5th on the last F3000 championship in 2004, and later spent two years in GP2 Series, 2005 (for DAMS) and 2006 (for SuperNova), where he got one pole position and onevictory.

Later, the lack of sponsorship and also Nelsinho Piquet's stint with Renault F1, forced Lopez to go back to his country, and has since kept racing at the Turismo Carretera (the most popular series in Argentina and the oldest active in the world, which features popular cars like Ford Falcon, Chevy SS Coupe, Dodge Polara GTX and the IKA Torino, which Lopez runs).

He is also the reigning champion of the TC2000 (driving a Honda New Civic) and is racing at the Top Race V6 onboard a Ford Mondeo. He also had a short spell at FIA GT Championship in 2008.

The argentine press says Jose Maria Lopez has signed a pre-contract agreement with the new team, and could completely close the deal in less than a week, after the sponsors complete the required budget (around 10 million dollars which willbe provided by the argentine government and some local companies).

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Again, Thanks Francisco!





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