Three Drivers Set For Test In Walker Champ Car INDIANAPOLIS (December 4, 2003) - Three of the top four finishers in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama will get the opportunity to sample Walker Racing's ...
Three Drivers Set For Test In Walker Champ Car
INDIANAPOLIS (December 4, 2003) - Three of the top four finishers in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama will get the opportunity to sample Walker Racing's Ford-Cosworth/Reynard next week at Sebring International Raceway.
Championship runner-up Ryan Dalziel (#28 Pro-Works/Discovery Lake/Daily Record), third place finisher Michael Valiante (#19 Lynx Racing) and fourth place Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN Bearings) will join German Timo Glock at the Central Florida circuit for testing during the week of December 8. This test comes on the heels of last month's CART Champ Car testing rule announcement that gives two extra test days to any existing Champ Car team that provides any of the top-10 finishers in the 2003 Toyota Atlantic championship standings with a test.
"I think it's wonderful that our drivers are getting the opportunity to test a Champ Car, and I want to thank Derrick Walker and Walker Racing for providing this test," said CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama president Vicki O'Connor. "Ryan, Michael and Jonathan have been terrific competitors throughout their time in Toyota Atlantic, and all of them have proven their ability to run up front. I have no doubt that these drivers will also be impressive in this test and that they will represent our series extremely well."
Dalziel, 21, of Glasgow, Scotland, finished second in the 2003 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama in his sophomore season of competition in the series. He won the first two races of his Toyota Atlantic career on the oval at The Milwaukee Mile and at Portland International Raceway-both from the pole position-and tied series champion A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) for the series lead with nine podium finishes in 12 starts. He finished inside the top five in all but one race.
Valiante, 24, of Vancouver, B.C., Canada, finished inside the top three in the final Toyota Atlantic point standings for the second consecutive season. His three victories (at Monterrey, Mid-Ohio, and Miami) ranked second in the series to Allmendinger's seven, and he had a total of six podium finishes in 2003. The Canadian also finished inside the top four in 10 of 11 starts, as he missed one race due to illness. It was Valiante's second full season of Toyota Atlantic competition (he finished second to champion Jon Fogarty in the 2002 championship) and was his third season overall.
Macri, 21, of Gormley, Ont., Canada, competed in his third season of Toyota Atlantic in 2003, which was highlighted by five podium finishes. He equaled his career best with second place finishes at Monterrey, Mexico and Cleveland, and was the only driver in the series to complete every lap of the season. He was also the only driver to finish every race inside the top-eight positions, and his fourth-place position in the championship topped his previous best performance of fifth in 2002.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama is North America's premier open-wheel development series. The series is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART Champ Car competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from Atlantic are current Champ Car competitors Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rodolfo Lavin, as well as former Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.