Forsythe Atlantic Track Pack Starts Season with a Win at Long Beach Long Beach, California -- April 9, 2006 -- At the end of the 1999 season, the Forsythe Atlantic team was disbanded as the operation stepped up to the Champ Car World Series.
Forsythe Atlantic Track Pack Starts Season with a Win at Long Beach
Long Beach, California -- April 9, 2006 -- At the end of the 1999 season, the Forsythe Atlantic team was disbanded as the operation stepped up to the Champ Car World Series. A young Quebec driver named Alex Tagliani won in Montreal to mark the team's last victory in the development series after teammate Lee Bentham had previously grabbed the 1998 Championship. This year in Long Beach, the team returned to the track with four of the most promising drivers in racing and picked up right where they left off as Andreas Wirth took a flag to flag win after starting on Pole. Forsythe Championship Racing's Atlantic Team now has the points lead as Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
Teammate James Hinchcliffe also had a stellar day as he moved from his fifth-place starting position to join Wirth on the podium with a third place finish. Leonardo Maia continued his momentum at his first street race in over three years as he moved from his 14th starting spot all the way to ninth at the checkered flag. The youngest member of the team, 16-year old Richard Philippe, was the only casualty on the day as he started a strong sixth but found the Turn 1 tire wall midway through the event and ended his day early.
Andreas Wirth, #37 INDECK/Wirth Solar Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a -- Race Winner
"What a great day for my team! The car was pretty good, a little understeer, but it still seemed like I could just ease away from the pack. Thanks to Jerry Forsythe for putting this amazing team together. There were lots of yellow flags so I was a bit frustrated that I would build up a lead and then lose it because of a yellow, but each time I was able to expand my lead again so it was good. I was really happy to have James join me on the podium. I'm sure we're going to see a lot of podiums this year!"
James Hinchcliffe, #3 Emexis/INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a -- Finished Second
"Awesome! I can't say enough about this team and my teammates. To come here with all these incredible drivers and teams and come out with two of us on the podium is absolutely mega. I was stoked before the race but now I'm like off the dial! It seems like we've already got the chemistry that we need to succeed. I had a little bit of understeer that started causing a bit of snap oversteer towards the end of the race, but I can't complain can I? This is a series where the top ten or fifteen cars can win, if not more, so we started the season great. Bring on Houston!"
Leonardo Maia, #7 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a -- Finished Ninth
"I got off to a slow start this weekend but it just got better and better. I hadn't been on a street course in a few years so it's taking me a while to get comfortable, but ending up ninth in this field is pretty good. I'm not satisfied, but I'm feeling confident about the next race in Houston. Today I had a braking issue that made me a little tentative but the guys will fix it so I'm not worried. I just want to thank the team for all their hard work that got us here today. With these guys behind me I know we're going to be in the hunt this year."
Richard Philippe, #33 INDECK Mazda-Cosworth/Yokohama/Swift 016.a -- Did Not Finish
"That was a bummer. The car was good and I was running quick lap times but I got a big draft off of the car in front of me and arrived at Turn 1 with a bit more speed than I expected. I braked a little too late and started going off line. I thought about just going into the runoff but it felt like there was enough grip to make the corner so I kept turning. Once I got to the point of no return the grip just disappeared and I nosed into the tires. The car had a little damage so that was it. But I had a good weekend overall. Qualifying sixth in this field was very good for me and I think it shows I have the speed. I just need to stay out of the tires!"
The next race in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship takes place on Saturday evening, May 13th, on a temporary circuit around the grounds of Reliant Stadium and the Astrodome in Houston, Texas. For more information, visit the official website of Atlantic at www.champcaratlantic.com.