Josh Beaulieu flies in first Toyota Atlantic test. BUTTONWILLOW, CA -- October 23, 2002:Â Barber Dodge Pro Series racer Josh Beaulieu had his first taste of a Toyota Atlantic Swift 014.a today, testing with Michael Shank Racing at Buttonwillow...
Josh Beaulieu flies in first Toyota Atlantic test.
BUTTONWILLOW, CA -- October 23, 2002: Barber Dodge Pro Series racer Josh Beaulieu had his first taste of a Toyota Atlantic Swift 014.a today, testing with Michael Shank Racing at Buttonwillow Raceway.
Beaulieu, a resident of Langley, British Columbia, completed 130 miles during his very first visit to the Buttonwillow circuit, posting a best lap of 57.3 seconds on scrubbed tires -- a time less than a half-second from the unofficial track record.
Team owner Michael Shank commented on the test: "I was really impressed with Josh today. I knew he had shown a lot of speed last year in Barber Dodge, but what really opened my eyes was his approach and willingness to put in the kind of effort that it takes to completely understand these cars from the engineering standpoint. He worked extremely well with our engineers and responded with a real quick time on a day when there were more experienced drivers on the track with him. Overall, I would say that he easily surpassed all of our goals for him and showed his outright speed in a very short amount of time."
"Of course I am very pleased about the way the test went," said Beaulieu. "We were running on scrubbed tires all day, so I think there is plenty of room for improvement. The car was working quite well, and to be honest I found the grip in the braking zones unbelievable compared to anything else I have raced. I thought the team did a great job, and these guys really showed they are gearing for a run at the title next season. I don't yet know if the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship is in the cards for me next season, but we are working very hard to put a deal together."
Michael Shank Racing is based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, (near Columbus) and has been a full-time competitor in the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship since 1996 with drivers such as Sam Hornish Jr., Kenny Wilden, Martin Basso, Rodolfo Lavin, Ryan Dalziel, Sepp Koster and Bruno St-Jacques.
Josh Beaulieu, in his second year of professional auto racing, has established himself among the next generation of Canada's racing stars.