Long Beach: Forsythe Racing Saturday notes

FORSYTHE CHAMPIONSHIP RACING'S ATLANTIC TEAM HAS STRONG DAY AT LONG BEACH Long Beach, California -- April 8, 2006 -- Forsythe Championship Racing's four-driver Atlantic Team had a good day in Qualifying as Andreas Wirth grabbed the pole by a...

FORSYTHE CHAMPIONSHIP RACING'S ATLANTIC TEAM HAS STRONG DAY AT LONG BEACH

Long Beach, California -- April 8, 2006 -- Forsythe Championship Racing's four-driver Atlantic Team had a good day in Qualifying as Andreas Wirth grabbed the pole by a dominant half a second. Teammates James Hinchcliffe and Richard Philippe were second and fourth with just a couple of minutes to go, but a handful of drivers posted quicker laps while Hinch and Richard were in traffic looking for space just before a Red Flag came out ending the session early, knocking them down to fifth and sixth on the grid. Leonardo Maia, in his first return to street racing in over three years, will start on the seventh row after improving his position with each session over the course of the weekend.

Andreas Wirth -- #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

Pole -- 1m16.082/93.121mph/149.860kph (new Atlantic track record)

"Now that's the way to start the season! I was so disappointed here last year when I started on the front row but couldn't make it through the first turn, so this year I said I'm going to make up for it. The car was just absolutely perfect. We made a tiny tire pressure adjustment just before my last stint and the car was magical. I have some of my good friends from Germany here visiting so it's really great. I'm very proud for our team and we're going to be going for the win. If I can get through the first turn cleanly I really don't think anybody can catch me."

James Hinchcliffe - #3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

Qualified 5th -- 1m16.589s/92.504mph/148.867kph

"That was really fun. I was very confident and the car was terrific. I was second right up until the final few seconds and unfortunately was in traffic on the lap before the Red Flag came out so I didn't get my fastest lap in, but that's ok. I'm in a great starting spot and the car is just so good! Thanks to all the guys; it's really amazing how quickly this team has come together. I'm ready for the Green Flag!"

Richard Philippe - #33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

Qualified 6th -- 1m16.775s/92.280mph/148.506kph

"Sixth out of 29 is very good and I'm very proud of my team. When I look at the guys in front of me I see some really great drivers with lots of talent and experience so I'm really happy to be up there with them. Sixth is a good place to start with James right along side me so I know we'll give each other room. I was fourth up until the last lap and thought I might be able to get further up but a Red Flag came out and that was it. I just want to say thanks to the mechanics. They've worked so hard in the last month in particular, with lots of long days and nights to get us where we are today. Ben (Bretzman, Philippe's engineer) and I are getting along very well so it's definitely my team that got me here today and I hope to make them all proud tomorrow."

Leonardo Maia - #7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

Qualified 14th -- 1m17.464s/91.459mph/147.185kph

"I'm getting there! It's my first time back on a street circuit in over three years so I'm working my way back in the groove. I wish we had one or two more practice sessions and I think I could be right up there. But I got faster every session and the car is good so I'm optimistic for tomorrow. I'm expecting there are going to be quite a few incidents in front of me so I'll be shooting for a top ten at least."

-fr

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Leonardo Maia , Andreas Wirth , Richard Philippe , James Hinchcliffe