Long Beach: Forsythe Racing preview

FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK READY FOR 2006 SEASON OPENER Long Beach, California -- April 6, 2006 -- When a new racing team is formed, expectations of spraying champagne and waving checkered flags are usually tempered by the challenge of ...

FORSYTHE ATLANTIC TRACK PACK READY FOR 2006 SEASON OPENER

Long Beach, California -- April 6, 2006 -- When a new racing team is formed, expectations of spraying champagne and waving checkered flags are usually tempered by the challenge of successfully meshing a complex mix of untested people and unfamiliar equipment. In the case of Forsythe Championship Racing's all-new Champ Car Atlantic Team, that reality is offset to some degree by having an existing pool of experienced Champ Car personnel to tap into and an extensive regimen of pre-season testing to sort out the chemistry of success. Also in the team's favor is the fact that it put hundreds of laps on the new Swift 016.a chassis, 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth engine and high-performance Yokohama Advan tires during the final test of the preseason two weeks ago at Fontana.

Nevertheless, facing perhaps the single most competitive field in open wheel racing worldwide in the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, the task ahead will be substantial. Team Forsythe's "Track Pack" of James Hinchcliffe, Leonardo Maia, Richard Philippe and Andreas Wirth know that the winner of the 2006 Championship will have achieved something very special on the global stage of motorsport. But challenge is what racing is all about, and this very young team already has its sights set on the highest rung of the ladder. As team owner Jerry Forsythe says - "Expect to Win."

John Brunner, Team Manager

"We've prepared as well as we know how, and I'm confident that we'll be up front. The group of teams and drivers that has assembled for this year's championship is pretty incredible and we have to thank the powers that be for putting that $2 million dollar carrot out there for the winning driver. The new Atlantic car is a pretty big step up in terms of power and downforce, but our guys seemed to get right on top of it in Fontana. We have a very strong mix of people, and while we're still getting to know a lot of new faces, everyone seems to be rowing in the same direction. I'm very impressed with all four of our drivers and I'm going to be as excited as any fan in the stands when that green flag waves!"

James Hinchcliffe, Canada -- #3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

"The test in Fontana was the first glimpse at the new season, and for us, things look good! No one new what really to expect going into it, but we came out with a wealth of knowledge about the new car. The guys are really pro and it makes the driver's job easier. So now we head to the first race ready to do battle. We have a great team, great cars and there is some incredible competition so this year is going to be amazing. I have never been so excited for the start of a season. It's going to be 'uber' fun...as Andreas would say!"

Leonardo Maia, America -- #7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

"I am incredibly excited for the first race of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship in Long Beach. I've been attending the race as a fan since 1997 and now I will finally have a taste of Shoreline Drive! I first have to thank Mr. Forsythe and everyone at FCR for giving me the opportunity to realize a dream. Everything about this year's Atlantic series is at its best. The Mazda powerplant is putting out more horsepower than all previous motors, the new Swift 016.a is producing neck-warping cornering forces, and the $2 million driver incentive prize will ensure that every driver is racing at the very limit at all times. This FCR team has been preparing all winter and has worked nonstop to give me and my three teammates the best equipment possible. It's going to be a very tough championship, but I'm sure that this FCR team and I will come out on top."

Richard Philippe, France -- #33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

"I'm very excited for this upcoming weekend. The Long Beach race is so prestigious that it's hard for me to realize that I will be driving in it this week. It's really a dream come true for me to race in Champ Car Atlantic at 16 years old! I'm with the most professional team, we have a great team of engineers and mechanics and I have very talented teammates - really nothing to complain about! My goal for the weekend is to bring back a 1-2-3-4 finish for Forsythe Championship Racing and to put on a good show for all the fans. I'd also like to wish my brother luck in the Champ Car World Series race, kick their butts Nelson!" (Richard's older brother drives the #4 CTE Racing HVM Champ Car.)

Andreas Wirth, Germany -- #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a

"I'm really looking forward to the first race now and for the whole season. There was enough time without racing this winter! I think the series will be very good this year. We are very competitive guys which is good for the drivers and the fans. I think with the new Swift 016.a, the Mazda engine and the Yokohama tires we have a great package and fun car to work with. I can't wait. I like the streets of Long Beach and since I couldn't make the first turn last year starting from the front row, I really have to prove something! Not just for myself - our Forsythe Racing team will be prepared to win and I'm hungry and want to show what we can do. There will be a lot of cars on track and the crowds and fans are just awesome. It'll be just great, and we're definitely ready to go!"

The 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship gets underway April 7-9 on the downtown streets of the original "Three Day Festival of Speed," the 32nd running of the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. For more information, please visit the official site of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at www.champcaratlantic.com.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Leonardo Maia , Andreas Wirth , Richard Philippe , James Hinchcliffe