MICHAEL TODD DAVID READIES FOR LONG BEACH AND 1998 KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CAMPAIGN CORONA, Calif. (April 1, 1998) - As the 25th anniversary season of the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship...
MICHAEL TODD DAVID READIES FOR LONG BEACH AND 1998 KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CAMPAIGN
CORONA, Calif. (April 1, 1998) - As the 25th anniversary season of the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship campaign sets to unveil at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on Saturday, April 4, southern California native Michael Todd David will look to jump start his season behind the fresh support of Water Joe and a front-of-the-pack Long Beach showing.
The 25-year-old David expects an aggressive, challenging season of Atlantic racing, in part due to talented rookies and experienced returning veterans. He also believes his experience around the 1.59-mile, eight-turn seaside circuit, and the off-season acquisition of key team members places the podium within sight. "We're leaps and bounds over last year. Our new crew chief, Scott Gelvin, has been a key. His guidance and experience throughout our off-season testing made us much more prepared for this season. Scott has a good eye for detail. Bob Lobenberg, our engineer and driver coach, has also been instrumental in our off-season program. Bob actually tests drives the car so he has developed an understanding of what I like in a car and we don't deal with as many variables. It's now a comfortable car which will allow me to concentrate on driving." David has displayed front-running skills at Long Beach as evidenced by his fifth place finish two years ago. A broken axle during last year's "standing start" prematurely ended his race day so the Corona, Calif.-based driver is looking to make good on lost laps from one year past.
"It's my home track so that adds excitement. It means friends and family will be attending and one can't underestimate that type of support. Long Beach is like a drag strip connected by a few corners. The challenging aspects are trying to trim your car as much as possible but still maintain speed through the corners. With the straight-aways as long as they are, sacrifices frequently come in the corner speeds."
The Atlantic championship is undergoing major changes in 1998 but the jury is still out about those changes. Atlantic is entering an era of "spec" racing through its integrated use of the new Swift 008a chassis, a CART-style "sequential gearbox, and newly introduced 15-inch Yokohama racing radial tires which will replace the 13-inch versions from previous years. Last minute rule changes seeking to equalize the differences between the new Swift chassis's and the old-guard Ralt RT-41's are expected to be announced at Long Beach. Combined with departing from SCCA Pro Racing sanctioning in favor of CART and several new teams joining Atlantic, Long Beach may not be an accurate precursor to what lies ahead in the Atlantic championship. It will, however, offer a glimpse of an anticipated multi-team assault for the 25th Atlantic championship with Michael Todd David viewed as one of the early season favorites. PDR Enterprises, which enters its fourth season as a year round professional motorsports operation, is owned by David and managed by his father, Mike. Its strategic business plan includes expanding into a multi-car team, and to place a team into the CART FedEx Championship Series by the year 2000. Race results, team, sponsor, and driver updates may be viewed on the PDR's revised web site at: