Cleveland Charge Begins For Hunt On runways normally reserved for Boeing 747's Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt began his charge in round six of the Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, USA aboard his Wright...
Cleveland Charge Begins For Hunt
On runways normally reserved for Boeing 747's Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt began his charge in round six of the Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland, USA aboard his Wright Patton Shakespeare entry today.
After suffering a puncture following only one lap in the opening practice session Hunt made up for the lost time in this afternoon's qualifying session by setting the 11th fastest time.
The 19-year-old Queenslander improved his times with every lap he completed on one of the most challenging circuits in the Championship to be on the verge of breaking into the top 10 mid way through the session.
"The track is extremely wide and you come out of a corner and all you can see is the horizon - it is amazing, there is no elevation changes anywhere" said Hunt.
"It is not a track where there is a normal racing line, it is nothing like I have raced at before.
"You really have to work with a part of the track and see what works best with you and your car.
"After not getting a flying lap in during the opening session I really had to make every lap count in this afternoon's qualifying session."
With the session being cut short due to an incident that brought about a red flag stoppage Hunt narrowly missed out on a top 10 qualifying spot.
"I have no doubt that with another few laps I could have been several spots further up. I was really getting into a groove late in the session," said Hunt.
"With every lap I was gaining on the pace setters and am confident of being amongst them in tomorrow's final qualifying session and the race on Saturday.
"As a team the Lynx Racing guys and myself are starting to get a real understanding and I am confident of translating our hard work into a good result this weekend."
Round six of the Toyota Atlantic Championship will continue tomorrow with a further practice and qualifying session at 9:15am and 1:00pm local time.
All Toyota Atlantic cars are manufactured by Swift Engineering and powered by a 1600cc Toyota engine 240 horsepower producing speeds in excess of 160 mph (260 kmh) while using a 15-inch diameter lightweight aluminium wheels mounted with Yokohama tyres.
Run in conjunction with the opening round of the Champ Car World Series, this is the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.
Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patton Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast businessman Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.
A successful year in the Toyota Atlantic Championship will see Hunt make his Champ Car debut in the Lexmark Indy 300 on the streets of the Gold Coast on October 21-24.
The Toyota Atlantic race at Cleveland is the six of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits with eight rounds in America, one in Mexico and three in Canada.
The 32-lap race will commence at 2:30pm on Saturday July 3.
The local time in Cleveland is 14 hours behind Australian Eastern Standard time.