FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK OFF TO GOOD START IN LONG BEACH Long Beach, California - April 7, 2006 -- Despite mixed results on the time sheet for the year's first round of Qualifying, Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic Team "Track Pack"...
FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK OFF TO GOOD START IN LONG BEACH
Long Beach, California - April 7, 2006 -- Despite mixed results on the time sheet for the year's first round of Qualifying, Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic Team "Track Pack" of Andreas Wirth, Richard Philippe, James Hinchcliffe and Leonardo Maia showed that an incredibly competitive Atlantic field will have to deal with the four blue and white Forsythe cars in 2006 as Yokohama Presents the Champ Car World Series Powered by Mazda.
Both Hinchcliffe and Wirth spent substantial amounts of the session in P1, with traffic and wall clipping incidents limiting their final results. Philippe ran in the top ten of the 29-car field all day, while Maia took a measured approach in his first return to an unforgiving street course in over three years.
James Hinchcliffe -- 5th overall - 1m17.556s / 91.351mph / 147.011kph
#3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a
"That was a good first day of the season! Practice this morning was good, although I had to spend quite a bit of time breaking in some new parts while trying to learn the track. In Qualifying, I had a great start to the session and spent part of the time in P1 and then spent quite a while in P3. Then I clipped the Turn 10 wall as I was turning in and thought I'd thrown it all away. I thought I'd broken the suspension so I pitted, but the team told me it was just a broken wheel and the suspension was fine. Unfortunately that left me a tire short, so I had to go back out on three new tires and one old one but it seemed to be ok. I got back to P3 but on the last lap a couple of guys jumped in front of me. I'm just a quarter-second out of the top spot so we're right there. I'm still learning the track, but we've got an awesome car; it's something we can win with so now it's up to me to get it done."
Richard Philippe -- 12th overall -- 1m18.173s / 90.630mph / 145.851kph
#33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a
"The car was fast! I was in the top five for a good part of the session but there was so much traffic out there. I would start a quick lap and then come up on somebody's gearbox in the last couple of corners, back off, try again and run into traffic again. I could never do more than one quick lap in a row for every five I had to throw away. But there's a lot left in the car so I'm ready for tomorrow. It's just amazing to be driving in Long Beach; it's incredible how many people there were on a Friday!"
Andreas Wirth -- 16th overall -- 1m18.554s / 90.190mph / 145.143kph
#37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a
"I was running great and just hit the wall. It was my fault, I was actually too confident. I was in first place, 7/10ths of a second ahead of everybody and the car was just so good I thought I could get away with anything. The cars this year are much faster than last year's car but I tried to brake at last year's braking point anyway and it just didn't work. The rear end came around and I was into the tires before I knew it. The suspension was damaged and that was it. I'll do everything I can to get pole tomorrow. The car is good and the driver is good, so today was actually a very good day!"
Leonardo Maia -- 19th overall -- 1m18.930s / 89.761mph / 144.452kph
#7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a
"I felt comfortable during the session and I was pretty surprised when I got out and was so far down the order, but that just shows you how tough this field is this year. I haven't driven on a street circuit in over three years so it's a challenge to get used to the sightlines and different visual clues than what you get on a road course. I had a look at the telemetry from the other guys and it was pretty apparent where the issues were, so I'm confident that tomorrow I'll be right up there. I had a little problem with brakes that made me a bit conservative but with the level of competition this year giving away a little bit will cost you a lot. I've always taken a calculated approach to gaining speed through the weekend and being fast when it counts, but I'll need to be more aggressive tomorrow. The guys gave me a great car and I'm looking forward to sleeping on it tonight and coming out quick in the morning."