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Juan Pablo Montoya reigned as the Colombian National Carting Champion from 1981 through 1984. By 1992, he was winning Colombian Formula Renault races.
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Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán was born on September 20, 1975 in Bogotá, Colombia. He reigned as the Colombian National Carting Champion 1981–1984. By 1992, he was winning Colombian Formula Renault races. In 1999 he was named CART Champion. In 2000 he raced in the famed Indianapolis 500. In 2001 he began racing in the Formula One circuit. In 2007 he retired from Formula One and switching to NASCAR.
Juan Pablo Montoya Roldán was born on September 20, 1975 in Bogotá, Colombia. His father, Pablo, is a motorsport fan and he taught his young son the techniques of carting. His father's lessons, along with his own natural ability, enabled Montoya to reign as the Colombian National Carting Champion from 1981 through 1984. By 1992, Juan Pablo Montoya was winning Colombian Formula Renault races. When he moved to Austria to race, Montoya remembers being so broke that he didn't have money for public transportation; instead, he used roller blades to get around! When he finished second in the 1997 Formula 3000 season, he was signed to a multi-year contract beginning in 1998 with the BMW ?? Williams racing team. In 1999, Montoya was named CART Champion and Rookie of the Year. In 2000, Montoya "crossed over" to race in the famed Indianapolis 500. Despite skepticism from the racing world, Montoya raced to an easy victory; becoming the first Colombian to win in Indianapolis.
In 2001, Juan Pablo Montoya began racing in the Formula One circuit. He showed great potential, but his success has been erratic. He has been criticized for making costly mistakes although racing cars have been specially developed for his size and speed. In 2005, Montoya began a physical fitness regime but, unfortunately, he injured his shoulder just after the Malaysian Grand Prix. The official story is that he sustained the injury while playing tennis, although rumors blame a motorcycle accident.
2007 found Montoya retiring from Formula One and switching to NASCAR. That year, he won the NASCAR Busch Series Telcel-Motorola 200 in Mexico City. He also became the first foreign-born driver to win a Cup race since 1974 when he was victorious at NASCAR Nextel Cup race at the Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma. This win made him only the second racer, after Mario Andretti, to win the Indianapolis 500, a Formula One race, and a NASCAR Nextel Cup race.
With his wife, Connie, a native of Medellin, Colombia, Juan Pablo Montoya has created the Formula Smile Foundation as part of his duties as a United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. Their foundation seeks to help children in poor neighborhoods by building or improving sports facilities. The Montoyas have two children; son Sebastian was born in 2005 and daughter Paulina followed in 2006.
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United Nations Goodwill Ambassadors are prominent individuals who volunteer to highlight important areas of the U.N.'s work. Actors, athletes, authors and musicians use their celebrity to raise awareness of the issues faced by victims of poverty, famine, and violence worldwide. Goodwill ambassadors make widely publicized visits to the world's most troubled locales, and make appeals on behalf of their people. Here are some of the stars who use their famous names to promote causes close to their hearts.
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