Series reinstates C2 Category

Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama Reinstates C2 Category; Swift 008.a Chassis Eligible for 2004 and 2005 Seasons. INDIANAPOLIS (February 3, 2004) - In a move aimed at providing a cost-effective alternative for teams and drivers...

Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama Reinstates C2 Category; Swift 008.a Chassis Eligible for 2004 and 2005 Seasons.

INDIANAPOLIS (February 3, 2004) - In a move aimed at providing a cost-effective alternative for teams and drivers wishing to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, series officials announced today that it has reinstated the C2 category to the series, making properly-updated Swift 008.a chassis eligible to compete in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.

The C2 category is a "championship within a championship," as drivers and teams competing in the category will be eligible for overall race victories and prize money, as well as earning points toward the season-ending C2 championship. In addition to providing a more economical option for teams and drivers to compete in the series, it is anticipated that the reinstatement of the C2 category will also increase the series' car count.

"In this difficult economy, we are aware of several teams that were not able to put together a proper budget to run the full 2003 schedule with the Swift 014.a chassis," said Vicki O'Connor, Toyota Atlantic president. "As a result, we saw the number of cars in our paddock shrinking. We are also aware that there are several Swift 008.a chassis currently competing in various club series. It made sense to open our doors to those teams, drivers, and cars and allow them to compete once again in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. I have already been in contact with several teams and drivers that have expressed an interest in participating in C2."

C2 points will be awarded in the same manner as the overall series, with 20 points going to the highest finisher in the C2 category, followed by 16 for second in class, 14 for third, 12 for fourth, 11 for fifth, etc. Points are distributed down to the 15th place finisher in each category. One bonus point will also be awarded to the fastest C2 qualifier on each qualifying day, as well as to the C2 driver that leads the most laps within the category at each event.

Whereas cars running for the overall Toyota Atlantic Championship will be using a single engine builder, cars competing in the C2 category will be allowed to use alternate engine builders. All engine builders will be subject to the approval of series officials and engines must comply with series rules. Additional rules information is available by contacting Toyota Atlantic president Vicki O'Connor at (317) 715-4100.

This will be the first time since 1999 that Toyota Atlantic has offered the C2 championship. That year, there were a total of seven C2 entries and Bob Siska won the season-ending C2 title.

Toyota Atlantic is North America's premier open-wheel development series. The series is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from Atlantic are 2003 Champ Car competitors Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rodolfo Lavin, as well as Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, and Paul Tracy.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Danny Sullivan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Rodolfo Lavin