Long Beach: Dorricott Racing preview

Dorricott Racing looks to win again at Grand Prix of Long Beach - This time in the Toyota Atlantic Champiionship - LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2003) - If early momentum is a preface to the future, Dorricott Racing is on solid ground in its ...

Dorricott Racing looks to win again at Grand Prix of Long Beach - This time in the Toyota Atlantic Champiionship -

LONG BEACH, Calif. (April 10, 2003) - If early momentum is a preface to the future, Dorricott Racing is on solid ground in its second year of racing in the Toyota Atlantic Championship. This weekend's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach is round two of the 12-race Toyota Atlantic Championship and Luis Diaz, of Mexico City, looks to improve in the championship standings after winning the pole at Monterrey last month while being the fastest driver in the season opening race too.

The 32 lap/62.976 mile Toyota Atlantic Championship race around the picturesque 1.968-mile, 11-turn seaside street circuit is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. (PT), Sunday, April 13. It is the featured support race to the Bridgestone Presents The Champ Car World Series Powered by Ford Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach later that day.

Diaz started this season with an impressive pole at Monterrey (his third career $1000 Toyota "Pole Award") with an Atlantic track record time of 1:24.960 (89.153 mph). Unfortunately, Diaz's checkered flag hopes were dashed shortly after the green flag dropped when he was accidentally struck from behind by A.J. Allmendinger, who started third. After being forced to pit with a punctured tire, Diaz responded by turning the race's fastest lap late in the running en route to a 10th place finish.

Diaz dropped from first place to 15th when he pitted to change a punctured tire. However, Diaz adeptly drove the Dorricott Racing-prepared Telmex Swift past four cars in the following 27 laps and claimed the fastest lap on Lap 27 before running even faster on Lap 30 at 84.708-seconds (89.418 mph). Diaz was the only driver in the field who had descending lap times as the race progressed. If one excludes lost time during the pit stop, Diaz clearly ran the fastest overall race thereby suggesting an untouched race start would have resulted in a victory.

Dorricott Racing has a rich history at Long Beach. It captured wins in 1999 and 2001 as well as race runner-up honors in 2000 in the Dayton Indy Lights Championship. World-class sports car ace Philipp Peter, of Austria, dominated the 1999 race while the 2000 Indy Lights race was highlighted with Australian Jason Bright finishing second place. Former Indy Lights champion Townsend Bell led Dorricott Racing to victory at Long Beach in 2001.

Last year's Atlantic race at Long Beach placed two Dorricott Racing drivers on the podium. Alex Gurney, of Newport Beach, Calif., ran an intelligent, error-free race last year to finish second place while 2002 Toyota Atlantic champion Jon Fogarty, of Portola Valley, Calif., finished in third place.

Speed Channel will provide a LIVE telecast of the Long Beach Toyota Atlantic Championship race from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. PT), Sunday, April 13.

Dorricott Racing is a year-round professional motorsports organization with its race shop located in Bakersfield, Calif. Detailed race results, team, and sponsor information are available on Dorricott Racing's official web site, www.dorricottracing.com.

-dr-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Alex Gurney , Jon Fogarty , Townsend Bell , Luis Diaz , A.J. Allmendinger , Jason Bright , Philipp Peter