KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS FROM OLSSON ENGINEERING FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (submitted to Atlantic communications via fax from Olsson Engineering) TONY AVE...
KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP NEWS FROM OLSSON ENGINEERING
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (submitted to Atlantic communications via fax from Olsson Engineering)
TONY AVE RUNS UP FRONT AT LONG BEACH AND NAZARETH IN KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP DESPITE BUDGET CONSTRAINTS
LAKE FOREST, Ill. (May 1) - - Tony Ave, of Indianapolis, Ind., and the Schuler Design/Fisher Dynamics/Segerdahl NY Olsson Engineering Atlantic team continue to impress the more heavily financed teams in the KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship. Mechanical woes limited the Olsson Engineering Ralt RT-41 to a ninth-place qualifying result at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, but Ave immediately stormed into third place following an early race restart. The former Oldsmobile Pro Series champion and professional snowmobile racer looked to be in a position to win following yet another restart, but an overheating problem forced him to retire with only a handful of laps remaining. "I felt I had won the race because on cold tires I was much faster than the two guys in front of me," said Ave. "Then it [car] started to slow down and eventually quit. It was very disappointing, but at least the car was handling well." The team followed Long Beach with a fifth-place finish on Nazareth's one-mile oval in round three, an amazing result considering the team never tests anywhere, let alone on an oval. After qualifying eighth, Ave again proved his prowess on the race start by moving into the top five where he eventually finished in fifth place. "The car was so loose for the first half of the race that all I could do was hang on," said Ave. "In the second half it got better, but I still went sideways in dirty air. I had a good shot at second place but someone nearly lost it in front of me and I had to go onto the grass to avoid him. Fifth place is actually pretty satisfying considering what we had to work with." While the team does not have the budget to test prior to the next race at Milwaukee, team manager Ove Olsson is still looking forward to the race. "I think we made some good gains at Nazareth," said Olsson. "Milwaukee should be a good event for us. Tony really loves racing on the ovals, and he has given me a wealth of feedback, so we hope to be in good shape for Milwaukee." Round four of the 12-race 1997 KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship, sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing, will be held at the Milwaukee Mile on May 31, in conjunction with the PPG CART Miller 200.
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