Toyota Atlantic Mentor Program at Vancouver deemed a success. INDIANAPOLIS (July 31, 2002) - Following the success of its initial weekend at Chicago Motor Speedway, the second phase of the CART Mentor Program commenced this past weekend during...
Toyota Atlantic Mentor Program at Vancouver deemed a success.
INDIANAPOLIS (July 31, 2002) - Following the success of its initial weekend at Chicago Motor Speedway, the second phase of the CART Mentor Program commenced this past weekend during the Molson Indy Vancouver with Toyota Atlantic drivers Michael Valiante, Jon Fogarty and Jonathan Macri. The three drivers were included in debriefing sessions, team meetings, media events and spent all Champ Car sessions in pit lane with headsets.
Valiante, chosen by a CART panel as an at-large selection, spent the weekend with Player's/Forsythe Racing and drivers Patrick Carpentier and Alex Tagliani. Fogarty, chosen due to being the Atlantic point leader after Chicago, followed Newman/Haas and its drivers Cristiano Da Matta and Christian Fittipaldi. Macri, participating in the expanded Mentor Program, spent his weekend with Herdez Competition and driver Mario Dominguez.
In addition to their individual team activities, Valiante, Fogarty and Macri visited Race Control and made an appearance on SPEED's "CART Friday Night" show, live from Paul Tracy's Driver VIP Party at the Commodore Room in downtown Vancouver.
"This was absolutely fantastic," commented Valiante, a native of Burnaby, B.C. and driver for Lynx Racing. "The Player's/Forsythe team totally opened their doors to me. There were no roadblocks, total access all the time. I was even included on the media side of the weekend for the team."
"The Mentor weekend in Vancouver was a great opportunity to witness and experience life at the top level of CART," said Fogarty, driver for Dorricott Racing in the Atlantic Championship. "Everyone at Newman/Haas was enthusiastic about my presence and been just as great about answering my questions. They asked me questions too, so that was a good sign."
"This has been a very educational weekend," said Macri, who drives for P-1 Racing. "Not only did I learn about the technical aspects of a Champ Car team but also the public relations side of it. Since I normally don't deal with a full-time pr person, it was extremely interesting to see how (Herdez Competition PR Director) Paige Pell handles the driver and team members during the weekend."
All three drivers will now take their newfound knowledge into Round 9 of the Toyota Atlantic Championship this weekend at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Valiante leads the point championship, with Fogarty and Macri currently in 3rd and 6th place, respectively.