INDIANAPOLIS (August 12, 2003) - In an effort to maintain a high level of competition while reducing teams' operating costs, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship officials today announced plans to implement several new regulations that will take...
INDIANAPOLIS (August 12, 2003) - In an effort to maintain a high level of competition while reducing teams' operating costs, CART Toyota Atlantic Championship officials today announced plans to implement several new regulations that will take effect for the 2004 racing season in the areas of testing and technical specifications.
Within the next month, the series will identify off-season testing rules for teams in the series, and will limit the number of days that teams will be allowed to test during the off-season. This will be the first time that off-season testing will be limited by the series. Once the 2004 season schedule is available, the series will announce in-season testing rules, and by limiting in-season and off-season testing, teams should realize a significant savings to their operating budgets.
On the technical side, the series is moving forward with plans for a single engine builder for the 2004 season. This will provide an opportunity to prepare all engines with an eye toward equality and prevent changes in configuration during the season. The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and Toyota Racing Development (TRD) will also look to reduce costs by working with the engine builder to improve mileage between engine rebuilds.
Likewise, the series is investigating the possibility of using specified components such as shocks and limited slip differentials. Announcements identifying the single engine builder and specified component providers will be made after agreements are finalized. In addition to lowering costs for the teams, another goal of the new regulations is to maintain parity on the race track.
"One of the biggest challenges every racing team faces -- no matter what series they choose to compete in -- is putting together a proper budget to compete in a season," said CART Toyota Atlantic Championship President Vicki O'Connor. "While racing is inherently expensive, we have listened to our teams in their requests for assistance in reducing their budgets, and these new regulations are a direct response to their concerns. We feel that these regulations will provide balance to our fields and make it significantly easier for all teams to compete on relatively equal footing in 2004 and beyond."
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is one of the world's premier open-wheel development series and the top rung on the CART Champ Car "Ladder System." The series boasts $100,000 race purses and is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from Atlantic are current Champ Car competitors Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rodolfo Lavin, as well as former Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.