CART Toyota Atlantic 2000 Schedule Announced

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., November 30, 1999 - Visits to three new venues highlight the 12-race CART Toyota Atlantic Championship schedule for 2000 announced today by series president Vicki O'Connor. The 2000 series makes stops in...

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., November 30, 1999 - Visits to three new venues highlight the 12-race CART Toyota Atlantic Championship schedule for 2000 announced today by series president Vicki O'Connor. The 2000 series makes stops in Miami, Cleveland and Toronto, all venues that were not on the 1999 schedule. The series opens March 25 at Homestead-Miami Speedway with a Saturday-Sunday double-header and concludes October 1 on the streets of Houston. Ten of the 12 Atlantic races will be conducted in conjunction with CART FedEx Championship Series event weekends. Stops at Montreal on June 17 and Trois-Rivieres, Que., in August round out the schedule. Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc., purchased the Toyota Atlantic Championship after CART became a public company in 1998. It, along with the PPG Dayton Indy Lights Championship, comprises the ladder that leads to CART's top level of competition - the FedEx Championship Series. "The Toyota Atlantic Championship is an integral part of CART's ladder system of development," said Andrew Craig, CART chairman and CEO. "The Atlantic series has provided our top level of racing - the FedEx Championship Series - with excellent talent and we expect that to continue and expand as CART and the Toyota Atlantic series grow together." The 2000 Atlantic schedule will feature competition on two ovals and a 'modified oval' circuit at Homestead, where the Atlantic cars will utilize part of the infield road course for the double-header weekend. The first true oval to be contested by Atlantic competitors will be at Milwaukee on June 3, with the final oval a Sept. 17 late-summer event at Gateway International Raceway, outside St. Louis. The Long Beach race on April 15 is the first of five street circuits on the 2000 schedule. It will be followed by the July 2 visit to Cleveland and the July 16 trip to Toronto (both venues back on the Atlantic schedule after a one-year hiatus), a 'feature' race on Aug. 6 or 13 (date to be confirmed) at Trois-Rivieres, and the season finale on the streets of Houston on Oct. 1. The Atlantic competitors also will race on three permanent road courses in 2000, with trips to Montreal on June 17, Road America on Aug. 20 and Laguna Seca on Sept. 9. "We are very excited to be entering our 12th year of sponsorship with Toyota Motor Sales USA, Inc., and we're pleased with the mix of races on our year 2000 schedule, especially returning to the Molson Indy Toronto, as well as Homestead and Cleveland," said O'Connor, longtime president of the Atlantic Championship. The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is noted for graduating top open-wheel competitors into the top echelons of racing. Among the racers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are current Champ Car drivers Michael Andretti, Alex Barron, Patrick Carpentier, Memo Gidley, Richie Hearn, Alex Tagliani and Jimmy Vasser, former Champ car stars Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan, and 1997 FIA Formula One Champion Jacques Villeneuve.

-Atlantic-

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Memo Gidley , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Alex Barron , Danny Sullivan