Other Free Encyclopedias » Brief Biographies » Biographies: Barbara Barbieri McGrath (1953–) Biography - Personal to Fridtjof Nansen (1861–1930) Biography » Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver Biography - Raced Way To Teen Karting Champion, Became Youngest Champion Ever, Approached Races With Relaxed Attitude

Juan Pablo Montoya: 1975—: Race Car Driver - Raced Way To Teen Karting Champion

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Montoya moved quickly up the ranks in the karting world, earning many national and international titles as a teen. He placed second in the Colombian National Karting Championship in 1985, and in 1986 was the local and national junior champion. During his time in karting's Komet Division, from 1987 to 1989, he won several titles in the local and national junior divisions. He also won the 1990 World Karting Junior Cup in Lonato, Italy, and retained the cup the next year in Laval, France.

At a Glance . . .

Born Juan Pablo Montoya Roldan on September 20, 1975, in Bogotá, Colombia.

Career: Race car driver, including competition in Formula N, British Formula 3, and Formula One racing, 1992–; BMW-Williams team, test driver, 1997; BMW-Williams team, racer, 2001–.

Selected awards: National Kart Champion, children's division, 1984; Kart Junior World Champion, 1990, 1991; placed first in the following races: Copa Formula Renault, Colombia, 1992; National Tournament Swift GTI, 1993; Formula N Class, Mexico, 1994; Bogotá Six Hours, 1995, 1996; British Formula 3 series, 1996; FIA International Formula 3000 Championship for Team Super Nova, 1998; CART FedEx Championship Series, 1999; Indianapolis 500 on his first attempt, 2000; sixth place, F1 Championship for BMW-Williams, 2001; third place, F1 Championship for BMW-Williams, 2002.

By age 17 Montoya had won all there was to win in Colombia. In 1992 he traveled to the United States to attend the Skip Barber Racing School. He then returned to Colombia to earn five pole positions (as the fastest pre-race qualifier) and four wins in eight races in the Copa Formula Renault series. In 1993 he won the National Championship Tournament Swift GTI with seven pole positions and seven wins in eight races. The same year, he won his class in Karting's Sudan 125, and took third place overall in the American Barber Saab Championship series. He scored pole position and a track record in the prototype class in Mexico, and also won three out of five races there, with four pole positions, in the Formula N Class series.

Montoya traveled to England in 1995, placed third in the British Formula Vauxhall Championship, and returned to Bogotá to win his class in the Bogotá Six Hour endurance race. In 1996, after taking fourth place in the Marlboro Masters race in Zandvoorth, the Netherlands, winning two races in the British Formula 3 series, and repeating his win at the Bogotá Six Hour, Montoya was invited to England by Mercedes Benz to race in the Silverstone ITC. After finishing in second place in the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) International Formula 3000 (F3000) series, Montoya got his first crack at Formula One by serving as a test driver for the BMW-Williams team. In 1998 he came back to win the F3000 Championship.

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