FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK READY FOR FAST TRAC 100 AT THE GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON HOUSTON, Texas -- May 12, 2006 -- The first event at a brand-new circuit is always a question mark for the drivers and teams of the Yokohama Presents the Champ...
FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK READY FOR FAST TRAC 100 AT THE GRAND PRIX OF HOUSTON
HOUSTON, Texas -- May 12, 2006 -- The first event at a brand-new circuit is always a question mark for the drivers and teams of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, but Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic squad of Andreas Wirth, Richard Philippe, Leonardo Maia and James Hinchcliffe got in the groove quickly here in Texas. Their fast start on Day One was negated somewhat during today's final round of Qualifying as the session was disrupted by numerous Red Flag incidents that kept many drivers from improving on their times from yesterday, including all four Forsythe drivers.
Team Manager "It's too bad we had so many Red Flags. We found a few things last night that we thought would let us move up through the grid a bit, but it was just one of those chaotic sessions where you have to be really lucky to improve even though the track was probably much faster. Only a couple of guys improved their times so I guess it all evens out, but it's a shame when we don't at least get the opportunity to go faster."
Andreas Wirth #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
Qualified 2nd -- 1m05.490s / 92.900mph / 149.504kph
"I'm not very happy. We had the car to battle for the pole but every time I went out on the track a Red Flag would come out and everyone would have to come back on pit lane! It's frustrating when through no fault of your own you don't get to show what you can do. But we have a good starting spot for Saturday night's race so it will be ok."
James Hinchcliffe - #3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
Qualified 5th -- 1m05.640s / 92.687mph / 149.161kph
"I went out and immediately had a gearbox issue. I came back in and the guys thrashed to try and fix it but we ran out of time. I've never been so happy to see all those Red Flags, but I'm sure I'm the only guy on the team that feels that way! We had bad luck on the car but good luck on the track so for me at least it could have been a lot worse. I could easily have been sitting here watching those guys push me way down the grid. So, it's not how you plan it but it worked out pretty well in my case. I'll have a good car for the race and it should be a great event!"
Richard Philippe - #33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
Qualified 7th -- 1m05.888s / 92.339mph / 148.601kph
"Very, very frustrating. You get all amped up for a session and then you just go in and out of pit lane over and over. The car felt much better today so I think we had a chance to move up but we'll never know. But, I'm happy that the car seems like it's going to be good for the race so I guess I can't complain too much. I'll be looking to get a good start and try to stay out of trouble. It's difficult to pass here but I think there are going to be a lot of accidents so who knows where I could end up?"
Leonardo Maia - #7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift
Qualified 18th -- 1m06.737s / 91.164mph / 146.710kph
"That pretty much sucked. I was working on finding clear space on the track but it seems like every time a Red Flag came out somebody had jumped in front of me on the leaderboard, so I fell down the order a bunch of spots. The car felt good; the guys found a few things that made it better under braking so I was feeling pretty aggressive but there was no way to put a lap together out there today. But it is what it is, so I'll just have to try to do what I did in Long Beach and wait for the race to come back to me. A top ten finish is very possible so I'll just try to stay out of trouble and see what happens."
The Fast Trac 100 gets underway at 5:15pm local/CT (6:15pm ET, 22:15 UTC) and can be followed live on the Internet with Race Director, available at the Champ Car Atlantic website. SPEED TV will broadcast the race on a tape-delayed basis on Saturday, May 20th at 1pm ET. For more information, please visit the Atlantic website at www.champcaratlantic.com.