Road Atlanta: Roger Foo preview

Speedsport's Roger Foo points the way for Mazda going into Road Atlanta Sugar Hill, Ga (June 20, 2003) - When the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series resumes competition at Road Atlanta for Round Four the weekend of June 27-29, it will be...

Speedsport's Roger Foo points the way for Mazda going into Road Atlanta

Sugar Hill, Ga (June 20, 2003) - When the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car Series resumes competition at Road Atlanta for Round Four the weekend of June 27-29, it will be SpeedSport's Roger Foo leading the way for the Mazda Protege contingent. Currently 5th in Driver Points with 58 points following an eighth place finish at Lime Rock Park, Foo will benefit from the knowledge of local driver and teammate Robert Baxter to keep him in the chase at Road Atlanta.

"It will be my third visit to Road Atlanta and it would be nice to leave having jumped up a spot or two in the points," said Foo, driver of the #88 Mazda Protege. "There are a few drivers who have shown they are very good at Road Atlanta and I am going to have my work cut out racing to be among them. There are a few places at this track that can be intimidating because of the high speed and blind apexes, but I am confident in the Protege under me so it will just be a matter of accelerating my learning curve once the weekend starts. It hasn't been a big deal so far and I don't expect it will be any different at this track."

While showing he has the speed early in the season, Baxter has struggled to turn it into a good result. He hopes to see a turnaround in his fortunes at his hometrack and envisions playing a strong supporting role in keeping SpeedSport the points-leading Mazda team. "I am not going into this race with ideas of charging into the top-10 in points, but simply to get my half of the effort back on its feet and helping Roger out," said Baxter, driver of Mazda Protege #86. "I have a lot experience at Road Atlanta and finished eighth last year so you can be sure I will be sharing some local knowledge of the track with Roger. There are a few places on the track where a foot in one direction or the other really affects the ability of the car to turn into a corner and exit with the speed necessary to realize the top end needed here."

Road Atlanta is well known for its emphasis on horsepower and straight line speed, but the nature of the course with its elevation changes favors a car that with etiquette in the corners as well. "We feel we have the horsepower we need to be competitive, but we will be spending a good portion of the test day getting our Mazda's handling right and the balance will have to be near perfect," explains crew chief Mike Fine. "In World Challenge the competition is intense and a driver can't wait to make a pass where he feels comfortable with the car. Baxter and Foo will need to be able to put the car anywhere it needs to go when they decide to put it there."

Following Road Atlanta, SpeedSport travels to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, CA for Round Five the weekend of July 25-27.

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Series ALMS
Drivers Robert Baxter , Roger Foo