FACT SHEET THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP Round 6, Texaco/Havoline 200 Weekend, at Road America July 9-11, 1999, Elkhart Lake, Wis. EVENT: Round 6 of the 12-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, held on the 4.048-mile permanent...
THE KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Round 6, Texaco/Havoline 200 Weekend, at Road America July 9-11, 1999, Elkhart Lake, Wis.
EVENT: Round 6 of the 12-event KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, held on the 4.048-mile permanent Road America road course in Elkhart Lake, Wis. Sunday's KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship race at the Texaco/Havoline 200 will mark the 16th time since 1974 the series has competed here.
THE ATLANTIC SERIES: The CART-sanctioned KOOL /Toyota Atlantic Championship is a key rung on CART's "Ladder System" and is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from the Atlantic series are CART Champ Car stars Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Richie Hearn, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Barron, and Memo Gidley, former Champ Car stars Bobby Rahal and Danny Sullivan, as well as 1997 FIA Formula One Champion, Jacques Villeneuve.
ATLANTIC SCHEDULE AT ROAD AMERICA: Friday, July 9: Practice 9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. Qualifying 1:45 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Saturday, July 10: Practice 11:15 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Qualifying 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Sunday, July 11: Warm-up 8:25 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. RACE 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 17 laps/68.816 miles
POINTS CHAMPIONSHIP/SEASON RECAP: Anthony Lazzaro (PPI-MCI WorldCom) continues to lead the championship with 85 points, with victories at Nazareth (round 2) and Gateway (round 3) and three other top-five finishes, heading into round 6 at Road America. It was at Road America last year that Lazzaro and his PPI team finally got untracked, collecting the first of three victories during the 1998 season, serving as a springboard for the PPI team coming into the 1999 season. Buddy Rice (Lynx Racing) holds a slim 58-57 points lead over Alex Tagliani (Player's-Forsythe) for second place behind Lazzaro. Rice's recent success (3rd at Milwaukee, 2nd at Montreal) has put him in the championship hunt, while Tagliani has fought for the lead at all five events, including two victories (Long Beach, Montreal).
Kenny Wilden (Shank Racing-Newcourt/Trizec-Hahn) and reigning series champion Lee Bentham also remain serious title-contenders, running at the front for most of the events. Wilden is fourth in the points with 49, while Bentham, who won at Milwaukee, is fifth with 44. David Rutledge (Forsythe Racing-The Keg/Fleming Financial) is sixth in the points with 39. Rookie Nicolas Rondet (World Speed Motorsports-Martini Sunglasses) is seventh in the championship and leads all first-year drivers with 28.
1999 RACE WINNERS: Rnd 1, Long Beach: Alex Tagliani Rnd 4, Milwaukee: Lee Bentham Rnd 2, Nazareth: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 5, Montreal: Alex Tagliani Rnd 3, Gateway: Anthony Lazzaro
1999 POLE WINNERS: Rnd 1, Long Beach: Kenny Wilden Rnd 4, Milwaukee: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 2, Nazareth: Anthony Lazzaro Rnd 5, Montreal: Alex Tagliani Rnd 3, Gateway: Anthony Lazzaro
SECOND STRAIGHT ROAD COURSE: Round 6 at Road America will be the second permanent road course on the schedule for the Atlantic drivers. The season opened on the street circuit at Long Beach, followed by three oval races, then the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve road course in Montreal at round 5. Six of the final seven races on the 1999 Atlantic schedule will be held on street or permanent road courses. The 12-race 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship schedule is an even mix of four street circuits, four ovals and four road courses.
LAST YEAR AT ROAD AMERICA: Anthony Lazzaro capped a near-perfect weekend for the PPI-MCI team, earning the pole and taking a commanding victory, leading all 15 laps. Lazzaro notched two more victories at the next three races, winning three of the final four races in 1998. Lynx Racing's Memo Gidley drove superbly, finishing second while Kenny Wilden recorded his third podium finish of the season with a third. Lee Bentham, the eventual '98 series champion, qualified fourth but contact with another car cut his rear tire, dropping him out of the race. Bentham continued to lead the championship, however, following his DNF.
ATLANTIC HISTORY AT ROAD AMERICA: The KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship has raced at Road America 15 times, dating back to the series' inaugural 1974 season. The list of previous winners at Road America includes the following Atlantic drivers: Tom Klausler (1974), Howdy Holmes (1978), Bob Earl (1979), Bob Earl (1980), Whitney Ganz (1981), John David Briggs (1982), Roberto Moreno (1983), Scott Goodyear (1986), Ted Prappas (1987), Colin Trueman (1988), Claude Bourbonnais (1989), Jimmy Vasser (1990), Patrick Carpentier (1996), Alex Barron (1997), and Anthony Lazzaro (1998).
TELEVISION BROADCASTS OF ROAD AMERICA RACE: ESPN2 will televise Sunday's KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship race at Road America on Saturday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m., with repeat broadcasts on Monday,, July 19, at 1 a.m., and again at 5 a.m. The French-speaking RDS Canadian network will broadcast the Road America race on Sunday, Aug. 1. Check local listings for RDS air time. ESPN International will televise the Road America race on Saturday, July 17, at 5:30 p.m. All times are Eastern. Canadian broadcaster CTV SportsNet is airing the race on Tuesday, July 20, at 8 p.m. in all local markets.
NEXT ATLANTIC EVENT: Round 7 of the 12-race 1999 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship will be held Sunday, Aug. 1, at the Grand Prix Player's de Trois-Rivieres, in Trois-Rivieres, Que., Canada.