Houston PPI final race preview

PPIM Atlantic Team to Make it's Final Start in Houston With twelve victories and 36 top five finishes in just four seasons of competition, the PPIM Atlantic team will close it's doors after it's final attempt at victory in Houston. PPIM drivers...

PPIM Atlantic Team to Make it's Final Start in Houston With twelve victories and 36 top five finishes in just four seasons of competition, the PPIM Atlantic team will close it's doors after it's final attempt at victory in Houston. PPIM drivers Andrew Bordin and Daniel Wheldon are currently ranked fourth and second respectively in the Atlantic Championship. Looking to secure their championship standings, both drivers will be vying for victory in PPIM's final event in Houston. Bordin, the defending Houston race winner has a total of 111 championship points, and is 18 points shy of third place in the championship. The Atlantic veteran could claim third position in the championship with a victory, provided Martin Basso, who is currently ranked third finishes eleventh or higher. Wheldon will look to claim the rookie of the year title in Houston, as he has remained third or higher in the points throughout his rookie season. With 147 points, Wheldon sits in second place, 17 points ahead of third position. PPI Motorsports expanded its open-wheel operations in 1997 with the addition of a complementary two-car Toyota Atlantic effort. Team owner Cal Wells III had high expectations from the very beginning, setting a team goal of winning the series championship in just three years. Mission accomplished: nine victories and seventy-one race starts later, driver Anthony Lazzaro claimed the KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship in 1999. Starting from scratch, the 1997 season proved to be a year of learning and development. Getting the team off the ground was no small effort, but the hard work paid off when, halfway through the season, full-time driver Jeret Schroeder earned third and landed on the podium at Mid-Ohio. PPIM also fielded entries for Chris Smith, who made seven starts with a best finish of seventh at Trois-Rivieres, and Leo Parente, who made five starts with a best finish of eighth in Milwaukee. In 1998, the PPIM Atlantic team became one of the first in the paddock to develop and compete with the new Swift chassis - the machine that would later become the spec chassis for the entire series. Veteran Anthony Lazzaro brought home three wins and two pole positions in his first full Atlantic season to finish eighth in series standings for PPIM. Masaoki Nagashima made eight starts with the PPIM team, and Jeff Shafer finished the season with a pole in Vancouver and an impressive fourth at Road America.

PPI Motorsports claimed the championship in 1999 after winning six of twelve events in a highly competitive season. Lazzaro returned to claim four wins, five pole positions and a total of nine podium appearances to capture the series title. PPIM newcomer and 1998 Atlantic Rookie of the Year Andrew Bordin finished third in the championship with two victories and his first career pole position. The PPIM team completed the entire race season without a mechanical failure, and driver Anthony Lazzaro completed every race lap throughout the season.

Returning as the defending series champions, the PPIM Toyota Atlantic team fielded two cars in the 2000 championship with returning PPIM driver Andrew Bordin, piloting the #1 WorldCom/PPIM/Swift, and reigning U.S. Formula Ford 2000 champion Daniel Wheldon driving the #3 Jayhard/PPIM/Swift. So far this season, the Atlantic team has brought home three victories, with 14 top five finishes and five pole positions. In his third Atlantic season, Andrew Bordin was victorious from pole position at his home race in Toronto. Bordin has finished second twice, and recorded six top five finishes to date. Atlantic rookie Daniel Wheldon won his inaugural Toyota Atlantic event from pole position, and has made seven visits to the podium, with two victories, three-second place finishes, two thirds, and four pole positions in eleven starts to date this season.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Martin Basso , Anthony Lazzaro , Andrew Bordin , Chris Smith , Jeff Shafer