HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., November 24, 1999 - Dan Wheldon, the 1999 FF2000 champ, will reap yet another benefit of winning his title when he tests a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship car in a series-sponsored test session on Nov. 31. Wheldon will...
HIGHLAND PARK, Ill., November 24, 1999 - Dan Wheldon, the 1999 FF2000 champ, will reap yet another benefit of winning his title when he tests a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship car in a series-sponsored test session on Nov. 31. Wheldon will test the same PPI-prepared car that 1999 Atlantic champion Anthony Lazzaro drove to the title.
Wheldon, of Emberton, England, won six of the 14 FF2000 races last season en route to that championship, which also earned him his Atlantic test session in Buttonwillow, Calif. The 22-year-old driver might be new to an Atlantic car, but he's a familiar face to Nick Harvey, the PPI Motorsports Atlantic program manager. PPI Motorsports conducted a similar test with 1998 FF2000 champion David Besnard last season. Following his test session last year, Besnard went on to sign with Hylton Motorsports for a partial season in the 1999 Atlantic championship.
"PPI Motorsports is happy to participate in these tests for the second consecutive year," said Harvey. "We really enjoy working with up-and-coming drivers, and it's especially satisfying to support them through their first test in an Atlantic car. I've personally gotten to know Dan Wheldon throughout this season, and I'm looking forward to watching him get behind the wheel next week. It should be a lot of fun."
Reigning Atlantic champion Anthony Lazzaro, who dominated the 1999 season with four victories, five poles, totaling nearly $200,000 in prize money, was nominated by the motorsports media to the American Auto Racing Writers & Broadcasters Association 1999 Auto Racing All-America team, in the 'At Large' category.
Lazzaro is one of six nominees in the category, with the top-two earning first-team status. The All-America race team will be honored Jan. 15, 2000, at the annual AARWBA banquet in Long Beach, Calif. More than 300 motorsports media vote to select the 12-driver team. Lazzaro took over the championship in just the second round of the 1999 Atlantic championship, eventually securing the title with one race remaining on the 12-event schedule. Lazzaro was the lead driver in the two-car PPI Atlantic team, with teammate Andrew Bordin also finishing third in the final standings.