CHAMPCAR/CART: Turbo Tour day one report

Tremendous Turbo Tour Kickoff for Champ Car Portland, Ore (March 13,2006) -- Day One of the groundbreaking Champ Car Turbo Tour saw the stars of the Champ Car World Series streaking up the West Coast like a comet, covering Long Beach, San Jose...

Tremendous Turbo Tour Kickoff for Champ Car

Portland, Ore (March 13,2006) -- Day One of the groundbreaking Champ Car Turbo Tour saw the stars of the Champ Car World Series streaking up the West Coast like a comet, covering Long Beach, San Jose and Portland in a 12-hour span today.

"The first day has been a tremendous success," said Champ Car President Steve Johnson. "Our promoters and drivers worked extremely hard today and we exceeded our expectations. We are just one day into the tour but the cooperation we have had is exceptional and I'm looking forward to visiting the rest of our fine venues in the coming days."

The day started with a busy morning in Southern California, where the 2006 Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford will open the season in three weeks with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Drivers fulfilled media requests in a number of ways, whether by phone, in person, or like Mexican star Mario Dominguez, who took viewers of Univision's "Despierta America" show around the Long Beach circuit.

The Turbo Tour Gulfstream G550 touched down in San Jose in time for a mid-day press conference at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel where Paul Tracy, A.J. Allmendinger, Katherine Legge, Mario Dominguez and Alan Sciuto fielded questions from the media after being joined by Oriol Servia, who just signed on with PKV Racing as Legge's teammate. The group then broke off to go to a sponsor reception at McCormick & Schmick's where they were greeted by bottles of wine featuring their likeness.

"It has been a long time since Mexico City and we had a group of drivers together," said 2003 Champ Car champion Paul Tracy. "We did a lot of work today and it was pretty exhausting but when you visit three cities in a day you have to know you're going to work hard."

The Turbo Tour then beat San Jose rush-hour traffic blazed up the coast toward Portland, where a large following of Champ Car fans awaited. A myriad of media opportunities scattered the drivers, as well as Champ Car President and CEO Steve Johnson throughout the Rose City, but all returned to participate in a Fan Forum in front of a full room of Portland race fans. RuSPORT's Justin Wilson joined the Turbo Tour in Portland, as did Champ Car Director of Technology Scot Elkins.

With the first day of the 2006 Champ Car Turbo Tour behind them, the stars of the Champ Car World Series headed to the Marriott Waterfront for a well-deserved rest -- but not before setting their alarm clocks early as another full day awaits on Tuesday.

The Turbo Tour team will head to Edmonton and Denver tomorrow with the drivers donning "Eskimo" jackets in the great white north before participating in a media go-kart race in Denver.

-ccws

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Justin Wilson , Paul Tracy , Oriol Servia , Mario Dominguez , A.J. Allmendinger , Katherine Legge , Steve Johnson , Alan Sciuto