Hunt Ready For Atlantic Debut Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt makes his debut in the American Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California, USA this weekend. Run in conjunction with the opening round of the ...
Hunt Ready For Atlantic Debut
Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt makes his debut in the American Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach in California, USA this weekend.
Run in conjunction with the opening round of the Champ Car World Series this will be the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and is driving for the dual Championship winning Lynx Racing team who have won 39-races in the past 10 years.
Hunt has been helped into the Toyota Atlantic Championship with major support from Wright Patten Shakespeare Financial Services, which is owned by Gold Coast Business man Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
It is intended that Hunt will race a Champ Car on the streets of Surfers Paradise in the Lexmark Indy 300. The Gold Coast event is Round 14 of the Champ Car World Series and is the headline act along with the Gillette V8 Supercar Challenge, Round 11 of the V8 Supercar Championship
Since arriving in America 18-year-old Hunt has undergone three intensive days of testing in Las Vegas and Buttonwillow in California where he adapted well to the 240bhp car.
Lynx Racing team manager Steve Cameron was impressed by Hunt's ability to show good pace and feedback on the cars handling characteristics.
This weekend will not only be Hunt's debut in the Toyota Atlantic Championship but also his debut on a temporary road course.
"I am treating it a simply another new track to me with the main difference being that it is surrounded by concrete walls rather than grass or gravel pits," said Hunt
"I seen the track for the first time this morning when I walked it with my engineers and I am looking forward to the weekend. Before today the closest I'd got to seeing the track was watching videos of Champ Car races that have previously been held there.
"Over the past four years in my karting and Formula Ford career virtually every circuit I have raced at has been a new track to me and I have had to learn at a rapid rate to be on the pace. This weekend will be no different."
The Toyota Atlantic race at the Toyota Grand prix of Long Beach is the first of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits. All Atlantic races will be run in the NAFTA market, with eight events in the US, three in Canada, and one in Mexico.
Practice for the opening round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship around the 1.968 mile (3.167 km) circuit begins on Friday April 16 at 9:00am with qualifying in the afternoon. The final 30-minute qualifying session will be held on Saturday at 1:00pm with the 32-lap race on Sunday at 10:30am (3:30am Monday April 19 Aust EST).
The time in Long Beach in California, USA is 17 hours behind Australian EST.
Toyota Atlantic Championship - Round One
Toyota Grand Prix of Longbeach
Friday, April 16, 2004
9:00 AM - 9:40 AM Atlantic Practice
1:15 PM - 1:45 PM Atlantic Qualifying
Saturday, April 17, 2004
8:00 AM - 8:45 AM Atlantic Practice
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Atlantic Qualifying
Sunday, April 18, 2004
8:00 AM - 8:15 AM Atlantic Warm Up
10:15 AM Grid Atlantic Cars
10:30 AM - 11:30 AM Atlantic Race (32 Laps or 50 Minutes)