Rookie Yasukawa drives like a veteran in Milwaukee. Roger Yasukawa, driver of the ...
Rookie Yasukawa drives like a veteran in Milwaukee.
Roger Yasukawa, driver of the #9 Autobacs/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift for Hylton Motorsports completed two days of testing at the historic Milwaukee Mile on Friday, in preparation for round 3 of the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Mile on June 2nd.
The test marked Yasukawa's debut in the Swift 014.a Atlantic car on an oval and Yasukawa had no troubles breaking in his oval set-up as he set very competitive times throughout the test. Rain showers hampered day one of the test; the track was green for nearly two hours in the morning and just over an hour in the afternoon. Despite the inclement weather, Yasukawa logged 270 trouble-free miles over the two-day test on the busy one-mile oval, which included 14 other current Atlantic competitors.
Bob Montgomery, team manager and engineer of the #9 Autobacs Swift commented on Yasukawa's excellent performance at the nearly flat one-mile oval, "I can speak for the entire organization when I say we are very pleased with Roger's performance at Milwaukee. It was his first time on an oval in the Atlantic car, yet he was up to speed very quickly and dead consistent throughout the test. He was very fast and his feedback gave us a lot to work with. Between the two cars we ran several different configurations and I think we have very good cars for Milwaukee."
Commenting on his test, Yasukawa said, "We lost a lot of time due to the rain on Thursday, but we definitely made up for it with a full and successful day on Friday. We have a good read on the car set-up and we gathered a lot of good information. I now know which changes will do what and I know we will be able to work very effectively when we return. The car was working very well, we found a lot of speed on Friday and I am happy with the set-up as we look toward the race weekend. I can't wait to return for the race, we will apply everything we learned in the test, and if our results from the test are any indication to the race weekend, I think the Milwaukee race will be a good opportunity for us make up some championship points."
Yasukawa joined the defending Atlantic champions, Hylton Motorsports in March and made his series debut at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, where he started 12th and finished seventh. He earned nine championship points, and is currently ranked 13th in the series standings after only one event. The Atlantic schedule has given the field five weeks off between the Long Beach event and next week's event at the Milwaukee Mile, but there has been no down time for Yasukawa and his crew as they completed a successful two-day test at Portland International Raceway in early may, prior to last weeks test at the Mile, which is their only scheduled oval test for the season.
A recent graduate of the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series, Yasukawa commented on his first oval experience with the Atlantic car, "the Atlantic car is fast, I was pretty much flat, the cornering speed is very high. I have heard the Atlantic car is faster than the Champ Cars in the corners, I am not sure but I do know it requires a very focused concentration. The set-up is so well-tuned on the Atlantic car that it makes it easier to drive on an oval than the Pro Series car."
Yasukawa will make his second Atlantic start when the series resumes action at the Milwaukee Mile with a series test session scheduled for Thursday, May 30th, followed by two practice sessions Friday, qualifying Saturday and the race on Sunday, June 2nd. For the latest updates including live timing and scoring, please visit hyltonmotorsports.com, rogerspeed.com and toyotaatlantic.com.