Successful debut for Yasukawa at Firebird Roger Yasukawa, driver of the ...
Successful debut for Yasukawa at Firebird
Roger Yasukawa, driver of the #9 Autobacs/us print/Toyota/Swift completed his first test with his new team Hylton Motorsports, Thursday at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona.
The test was Yasukawa's first with the new Swift 014.a chassis and his first time at the popular 1.25-mile test track. The Los Angeles native signed with the defending CART Toyota Atlantic Champions, Hylton Motorsports earlier this month. He will make his debut in Atlantic competition at what will be his home race, the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Yasukawa gave the car a brief shakedown on Wednesday and completed 152 miles on Thursday, "I was out of the car for a nearly four months so it felt good to get a full day in at Firebird. My crew has worked very hard to get my car together in time to test before Long Beach and they have done a terrific job."
A graduate of the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series, Yasukawa finished fourth in the 2001 championship and commented on the differences between the Barber Dodge and Atlantic car, "I really enjoyed my first test with the Swift 014.a chassis. The biggest difference I noticed immediately between the Atlantic car and the Barber Dodge was that the Atlantic car accelerates much faster and creates a lot more downforce in the faster corners. The brakes are also a big adjustment with the Atlantic car; they work very well particularly with the level of grip at high speed. The car feels incredible, very stable, it feels like you can push much harder with more comfort and the engine sounds great."
Yasukawa and his team will test next week at Buttonwillow Raceway in California, before making their final preparations for the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. "Firebird was a good opportunity for Roger to get comfortable with the car. It was his first time at Firebird and his first test with us, he is extremely focused and gives terrific feedback," commented Yasukawa's Race Engineer, Bob Montgomery. He continued, "The seat we made for him was just a little off and it affected his ability to shift because he did not have quite enough arm room. We will make a new seat on Monday and head out to Buttonwillow next week, where we will complete one more test before Long Beach."
"We accomplished everything we had hoped for at Firebird," said Yasukawa. I am not where I want to be in terms of speed, but I know that each time I am in the car I will be faster and faster. We have a few things we would like to try at Buttonwillow next week and the extra seat time will help me adapt to the driving style of the Atlantic car. After that were off to Long Beach, which of course is a very special race, I am really looking forward to it."
Yasukawa will participate in various media activities leading in to the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, including the press day on Tuesday. Round two of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at Long Beach on April 14th will be televised same-day delay, on SPEED Channel at 2:30 PM (ET).
For more information, please visit www. Rogerspeed.com or www.toyotaatlantic.com.