TOP ATLANTIC COMPETITORS TO REAP BENEFITS FROM CHAMP CAR INCENTIVE PROGRAM SAN JOSE, California (July 30, 2005) -- The top driver in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic championship will enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their skills the...
TOP ATLANTIC COMPETITORS TO REAP BENEFITS FROM CHAMP CAR INCENTIVE PROGRAM
SAN JOSE, California (July 30, 2005) -- The top driver in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic championship will enjoy an unprecedented opportunity to showcase their skills the following season in the Champ Car World Series, under the new Atlantic Incentive Program announced by series officials today.
Further demonstrating its belief in the talented drivers produced by North America's top open-wheel development series, Champ Car has agreed to provide a $2 million bonus to next season's Atlantic series champion to help to secure a ride in the Champ Car World Series for the 2007 campaign.
The impressive championship award follows the unique Champ Car opportunity earned by this season's Atlantic titlewinner. Champ Car officials announced last December that the 2005 Atlantic champion will compete at the Gran Premio de Mexico season finale of the Champ Car World Series in Mexico City, November 4-6.
"We're very proud of the talented drivers that have emerged from the Atlantic Championship in recent years," said Champ Car President Dick Eidswick. "All too frequently we've watched these impressive racing stars struggle to secure sponsorship to compete at the next level. With the Champ Car Atlantic Incentive Program that will be in place for next season we've created a way to ease the financial burden and make the transition smoother for the driver that's earned the right to compete in the Champ Car World Series."
Throughout its rich 32-year history, the Champ Car Atlantic Championship, as it will be known beginning in 2006, has produced some of the top stars of open-wheel racing. From Jacques Villeneuve to Danny Sullivan to Jimmy Vasser, the Atlantic ranks have proven to be the best training ground for the future champions of racing. In recent years, the series has produced such rising stars as 2004 Champ Car rookie of the year AJ Allmendinger and Champ Car race winners and current competitors Alex Tagliani and Ryan Hunter-Reay. This season, two of the top rookies in Champ Car -- Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer -- both graduated from Atlantics in 2004. The Champ Car Atlantic Incentive Program and similar initiatives will ensure that the top Atlantic talents will continue to get the opportunity to shine at the next level in Champ Cars.
"We want to thank Champ Car for providing this tremendous opportunity for the 2006 Atlantic champion," said Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director of the Atlantic series. "Clearly, this incentive demonstrates the level of commitment and belief that Champ Car has in Atlantics and the ability of the series to continue producing the next generation of Champ Car stars. We know that next season's champion will certainly make the most of this unique opportunity."
In addition to the awards and opportunities awaiting the driver that will wear the 2006 Atlantic crown, Champ Car officials are also discussing a detailed off-season testing program that will clear the way for this season's top Atlantic performers to test with Champ Car teams in hopes of creating more opportunities for series drivers in 2006.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.toyotaatlantic.com.