Hylton Motorsports made their two-car debut Wednesday at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona. Hylton's latest addition, Roger Yasukawa, driver of the ...
Hylton Motorsports made their two-car debut Wednesday at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Arizona.
Hylton's latest addition, Roger Yasukawa, driver of the #9 Autobacs/Toyota/Swift and his crew spent most of the day finishing preparations on his brand new Swift 014.a, a car they built in just under a week. Yasukawa completed 12 laps on the 1.25-mile road course during the last 45 minutes of the test session, sorting out some "new car blues" and getting a feel for Firebird Raceway, a track he has never run on before. Yasukawa and his crew plan on spending a full day on the track Thursday, "my guys have done a great job getting my car ready for this test. I spent a little time on the track today, getting a feel for the car and the track, it also allowed us to break in a few things on the car to make sure we are ready for a full day tomorrow. This is not my first time in an Atlantic car, I tested for another team during the off-season, but it is my first time in a Hylton car, and it gives me a lot of confidence to know I have such a fantastic team behind me," commented Yasukawa.
Team Manager Bob Montgomery will fill two roles this season, as he also serves as Yasukawa's Race Engineer, "I am very excited to run Roger this year. He has a lot of talent and will be tough competition for the rest of the Atlantic field. The guys have been working non-stop to get this car ready for this test and they have done a terrific job, also PI Research really came through for us, getting our data system in such a short amount of time. The most important thing for us right now is to get Roger as much seat time as possible before we head to Long Beach," said Montgomery.
Fresh off his debut in the 12 Hours of Sebring, Ryan Hunter-Reay made his first visit to Firebird International Raceway on Wednesday, where he completed 182 laps in the #1 us print/Medlock Aimes Winery/Toyota/Swift. Hunter-Reay and his crew battled brake problems throughout the afternoon, but still managed a very successful test, setting some of the quickest times on a busy track, which included Dorricott Racing, WorldSpeed Motorsports, Sierra Sierra Racing and Cassel Racing.
"Ryan was up to speed immediately today, at a track that he has never been on. He continues to impress us every time he gets in the car. Unfortunately, we were unable to maximize the afternoon today because we were chasing a brake problem, but we still managed quite a few laps, set some decent times and most importantly continued to develop the car," said Chief Engineer, Kyle Brannan.
Wednesday was Hunter-Reay's first time back in his #1 Swift since his Atlantic debut in Mexico, "It felt great to be back in the car today, it has only been about three weeks but if felt much longer. I had the opportunity to drive a Ferrari for JMB Motorsports at the 12 Hours of Sebring, the car retired before I had my turn in the race, but I was able get a lot of practice in throughout the week, so I've been driving, just not an Atlantic car." Hunter-Reay continued, "We had a pretty good day today. It is my first time here, I like the track and my car felt good. It is a shame we had some issues this afternoon because I wasn't able to get everything out of the car, but I did get a lot of valuable seat time. We'll get this brake issue figured out tonight and get back to our list of things we want to try for tomorrow."
Hylton Motorsports will wrap up the two-day test Thursday and head back to their Irvine, California shop to make final preparations for Round Two of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 12 - 14, 2002.
For more information, please visit: www.ryanracing.com, www.rogerspeed.com or www.toyotaatlantic.com.