First test for new Swift car 2006-02-15

NEW CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CAR IMPRESSIVE IN ON-TRACK DEBUT INDIANAPOLIS (February 15, 2006) --.Following the star-studded launch of the new car in the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda last night at the...

NEW CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CAR IMPRESSIVE IN ON-TRACK DEBUT

INDIANAPOLIS (February 15, 2006) --.Following the star-studded launch of the new car in the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda last night at the Petersen Automotive Museum, the first Swift 016.a chassis paired with a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth powerplant was loaded on a transporter and driven overnight to Firebird Raceway near Phoenix, Arizona for a very successful on-track debut.

Jon Fogarty piloted the flawless inaugural run of the new car, shaking down all of the components before getting into the meat of the test tomorrow. The first day saw support from every supplier on the car, all working to achieve the common goal of a successful debut.

"There was a lot of hype this morning from last night's announcement," said Tony Cotman, Champ Car vice president of operations. "And the new chassis and engine combination is living up to it. Our goal today was to show up and just run through different systems tests and the car performed magically. All of our suppliers, Yokohama, Swift, Mazda-Cosworth, Pi Research, Performance Friction, and Hewland need to be credited. If we get 39 more cars just like this first one, it will be an excellent racing season in Champ Car Atlantics."

Fogarty has proven to be a valuable asset to the test program, providing valuable feedback from the car while making sure to keep the nose clean. While today was just a shake-down of the car tomorrow will see it produce long runs and also practice the newly mandated standing starts.

"It is an honor to be the first to drive the new car," said two-time Atlantic Champion Jon Fogarty. "I wasn't quite sure what to expect but the car performed very well. Everyone has done a great job with the test and I can't wait to get back on track tomorrow."

The Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Beginning its 33rd season in 2006, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. 2005 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda- Cosworth engine riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.

-ccws/atlantic-

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , Jon Fogarty , Danny Sullivan , A.J. Allmendinger , Ronnie Bremer , Andrew Ranger