FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1998 KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED Season Opener Set for Long Beach HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Oct. 5 ) - - Featuring a season-opening return to a long-time Atlantic ...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
1998 KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE ANNOUNCED
Season Opener Set for Long Beach
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Oct. 5 ) - - Featuring a season-opening return to a long-time Atlantic venue, the 1998 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship will celebrate its 25th anniversary season with a 12-race schedule that will once again feature short ovals, permanent road courses, and temporary street circuits. As in previous years, 10 of the 12 Atlantic races will be held injunction with PPG CART World Series events. Additionally, the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship will take center stage as the Saturday feature race at the prestigious Grand Prix Player's du Canada, North America's only Formula One race, and it will hold top-billing at the historic Grand Prix Player's du Trois-Rivieres in Quebec. The 1998 campaign will kick-off with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 4 and conclude for the ninth consecutive year at Laguna Seca Raceway on September 12. The series last opened at Long Beach in 1991 where current PPG CART star Jimmy Vasser started from the pole and won the race.
One race venue is yet-to-be-determined. The 23rd rendition of Atlantic racing at Trois-Rivieres is scheduled in its traditional early August slot. Firm dates are also set for the balance of the 1998 season which will include Nazareth Speedway, The Milwaukee Mile, Cleveland, Toronto, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Road America, and Vancouver.
Not included on the 1998 calendar, however, is a race at Homestead Motorsports Complex which has hosted the season opener since 1995. The series expects to return to Homestead and the Grand Prix of Miami in 1999. "The series regrets missing our usual opening race at Homestead. However, due to the large number of orders for the new Swift 008.a chassis, postponing our start until Long Beach will allow for more cars to be delivered," said Vicki O'Connor, president of Pro-Motion Agency, Ltd., the company which administers the Atlantic series. "I am looking forward to the 25th anniversary season for Atlantic and feel the 1998 schedule is a great mixture of venues for our celebratory year. The series return to long-standing and familiar Atlantic racing circuits affirms how well the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship is recognized by today's race promoters as a valuable asset to their events."
1998 series prize money will exceed $1.38 million, including an $85,000 per-race purse, per-race contingency awards, and year-end bonus and championship awards. Details of the series' international television package will be announced at a later date. The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship is beginning its 25th year as North America's premier and longest-running open-wheel development series. It has graduated more successful drivers to Formula One and Indy Car in North America than any other development series, with 1997 Formula One World Championship leader Jacques Villeneuve, 1996 PPG CART World Series champion Jimmy Vasser, 1997 PPG CART World Series Rookie-of-the-Year Patrick Carpentier, and 1995 Atlantic champion Richie Hearn as the most recent examples.
# # #