KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship Media Advisory November 11, 1996 CARPENTIER PARLAYS '96 ATLANTIC TITLE INTO AN INDY CAR RIDE 1996 Player's/Toyota Atlantic champion Patrick Carpentier was selected to drive the Team Alumax Reynard...
KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship Media Advisory November 11, 1996
CARPENTIER PARLAYS '96 ATLANTIC TITLE INTO AN INDY CAR RIDE
1996 Player's/Toyota Atlantic champion Patrick Carpentier was selected to drive the Team Alumax Reynard for Bettenhausen Motorsports in the 1997 PPG Indy Car World Series. Carpentier was one of four finalists who tested for the position at Sebring International Raceway in late October. "It's the best thing that could have happened to me," said Carpentier. "I gave everything I could during the test. After observing the engineers and mechanics, I knew this team had a lot to offer. I also found Tony Bettenhausen to be honest and straight forward. I'm happy to be a part of this team."
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TONY AVE RETURNS TO RACING
Indianapolis-based Atlantic driver Tony Ave climbed back behind the wheel of a race car recently, completing a remarkable and quick recovery from foot and leg injuries suffered in a crash during the SCCA June Sprints at Road America (Wis.) on June 23. Driving a Sports 2000 Lola owned by Jay Schuler and prepared by Ove Olsson, Ave carved off two-tenths of a second from his previous personal best time at the Blackhawk Farms Raceway road circuit in northern Illinois. "It feels great to be back," said Ave. "Leaving the pit lane the first time, it felt like nothing had changed. I was flat out immediately and never even thought about my feet until somebody asked me later." Ave's injuries resulted when his car was forced off the track by lapped traffic, where he struck a previously stranded car which had been left trackside on the fastest portion of the course. Ave's physicians initially told him that he wouldn't be ready to drive again until next May or June.
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LAZZARO HONES RACING SKILLS IN PREP FOR '97 ATLANTIC SEASON
As Anthony Lazzaro, of Acworth, Ga., looks to finalize his 1997 racing plans in the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, he recently continued to hone his racing skills when he completed testing for Franz Blam Racing in a street stock Porsche 968 at Savannah's Roebling Road on November 7. The test was in anticipation of the arrival of the Boxster model for competition in the 1997 IMSA Street Stock Sport class. "I was happy with the test and excited about the Boxster," said Lazzaro. "It won't arrive until mid-January, and right before the 24 Hours of Daytona, so it will be a challenge. We'll probably be able to do a one-day shake down test and the goal at Daytona will be to make sure the car finishes the race. We'll have more time for testing before Sebring." Lazzaro will add as many IMSA events to his KOOL/Toyota Atlantic schedule as possible, and will announce his plans for his 1997 Atlantic team in the coming weeks.
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