JJ LEHTO RETURNS TO HOMESTEAD, TESTS FOR MARLBORO GRAND PRIX OF MIAMI
HOMESTEAD, Fla. (January 7, 1999) - One year ago, Formula One veteran JJ Lehto came to the Miami-Dade Homestead Motorsports Complex with no oval track experience, and went on to finish 14th in the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. Thursday, the native of Finland returned to Homestead, shaking down Hogan Racing's brand new car in preparation for the March 21 return of the CART FedEx Championship Series to the 1.5-mile circuit. Also on hand for the test were Paul Tracy, shaking down a new Reynard-Honda for Team Kool Green, and Tasman's sophomore driver, Tony Kanaan. Lehto ended the 1998 campaign as one of the most-improved drivers in CART competition. He scored a career-best fifth at Australia among three top-10 finishes in the final five races of the season. He was also able to improve on his starting position five times in the final nine events, driving a Mercedes-powered Reynard. Lehto came to CART from the FIA GT Championship. He finished second in that series in 1997, driving a McLaren-BMW to four victories in 11 races. Lehto co-drove a similar car to victory in the 1995 24 Hours of LeMans, after missing the 1994 campaign after fracturing his neck in a pre-season Formula One testing accident. Lehto scored 19 top-10 finishes over a five-year Grand Prix career from 1989-93. Lehto broke Homestead's track record for biggest improvement over starting position in last year's Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota, placing 14th after starting 29th and finishing one lap down. Tickets are now on sale for the Marlboro Grand Prix of Miami Presented by Toyota. For additional information, call (305) 230-7223, or visit the Speedway's official website, www.racemiami.com.