Palm Springs, Calif. - Chuck West, owner of World Speed Motorsports, today announced that Alex Figge has committed to drive for the team in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship series. Figge, 20, whose previous experience includes the Star Formula Mazda and U.S. F2000 National Championship series, will drive one of World Speed's two Swift 014.as for the entire 12-race season.
"Everything has gone very well in testing with World Speed," said Figge, who hails from Boulder, Colorado. "I absolutely love driving the Atlantic car. It fits my style much better than the Mazda or two-liter cars. It's also great to be back with Chuck and the rest of the World Speed team. I won three races with them back in the 2000 Formula Mazda series, and they've always been very supportive and professional. I know this is going to be a hard season for me since I'll be competing against guys with a lot more experience, but we're realistic with our expectations. We plan on doing as much testing as possible to get all of us up to speed with the new Swift."
"We're all thrilled to have Alex back with us," said West, whose team has been an Atlantic regular since 1994. "He came to us through our Mazda program and his style certainly fits that of what it takes to succeed in Atlantic. He has huge natural talent and is a definite racer; the key now is to get him as much time in the car as possible."
Last season, the team campaigned Atlantic rookie Grant Ryley, who posted one pole and two podium finishes en route to 10th overall in the series championship. Ryley will be driving for another Atlantic team in 2002.
Based in Palm Springs, California, World Speed Motorsports operates multi-car programs in CART's Toyota Atlantic Championship, as well as the Star Formula Mazda Pro Series. Founded in 1991, World Speed has captured three pro and four regional/national Formula Mazda championship and five pro series Rookie-of-the-Year titles since its inception. Most recently, the team won the 2001 pro Formula Mazda crown with driver Scott Bradley. On the Atlantic front, World Speed took its first Atlantic victory at Gateway International Raceway in 2000 with driver Case Montgomery.
The 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship begins on March 10 with the series' first appearance in Monterrey, Mexico, as the featured support event to the CART FedEx Championship Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Mexico weekend.