Long Beach Friday notes #2

TEAM MEDLIN ENTERS PETER MACLEOD IN KOOL/TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP Team Medlin has announced that it will field a KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic team with rookie Atlantic driver Peter MacLeod,...


Team Medlin has announced that it will field a KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic team with rookie Atlantic driver Peter MacLeod, of Kirkland, Wash. MacLeod will drive in a white and green Ralt RT-41 with sponsorship from Evergreen Aviation. Long Beach will be the inaugural Team Medlin race in the Atlantic championship. The team expects to run the remainder of the season with MacLeod as its lead driver. "I'm very pleased that we were able to put together this program," said team owner Steve Medlin. "We wanted to compete at Long Beach for the experience since the next road course on the schedule is not until Montreal in June." Team Medlin has entered into a multi-year agreement with MacLeod to develop an Atlantic program. MacLeod, 27, competed in the SCCA Formula Ford Championship in 1996 where he scored a "fastest lap" and win on the road circuit at Phoenix International Raceway, and a second-place finish on the road circuit at Las Vegas. In 1995, MacLeod won the Skip Barber Formula Ford 1600 Western Series. He competed in five Barber Pro races in 1994, six Barber Pro events in 1993, and ran in the Formula Mazda Championship in 1993. (Molly Medlin)

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The late night talk show wars have opened up a new battleground - the streets of Long Beach Calif. David Letterman has been a part owner of Bobby Rahal's CART team since last year, but now Jay Leno has lent his name to the KOOL/TOYOTA Atlantic Championship team of rookie driver Marcelo Gaffoglio. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Guess Jeans are providing the backing for the Fountain Valley, Calif., resident. "Jay gave me permission to use the Tonight Show name on my car," said Gaffoglio who has been friends with Leno for a number of years. "That's how he's helping me out. He has also guided me in the right direction and opened some doors for me." Gaffoglio and Leno met at a historical race in Monterey, Calif., in 1991 when Gaffoglio was serving as translator for close family friend Juan Manuel Fangio. The Argentinean Formula One legend was being honored for his 80th birthday. Leno was standing in line to get an autograph from Fangio, when Gaffoglio spotted him and asked his wife to go get him so he could meet and talk with Fangio. The two men, with a common interest in cars and racing, began talking and have been friends since. Will Leno make an appearance at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach? "I don't know if he will be here (Long Beach). He has a very busy schedule," said Gaffoglio who is competing in the C2 class. "He'll probably surprise us and show up." Gaffoglio plans to compete at series races in Montreal, Vancouver and Laguna Seca with the help of his friend and mentor.

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. In response to this morning's abbreviated practice session, series officials have canceled first-day provisional qualifying, and substituted the allotted time with an official practice session. The session will be divided into two portions with the field equally in each portion. . Saturday's final qualifying session has been rescheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. It had originally been slated to begin at 11:10 a.m.

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Practice Session:

5:27 p.m. - - #95 PARENTE goes into the turn seven run-off and continues following a brief delay. #35 POOK spins on course in turn seven and stops. #25 AVE takes evasive action to avoid contact with #35 POOK and goes into the turn seven run-off, no contact is reported between cars and both cars continue following a brief delay.

5:32 p.m. - - #26 CUTLER contacts turn two wall brings out a YELLOW FLAG; car suffers serious damage to its left front wheel, front suspension, and its nosecone breaks from the chassis; driver out and okay.


5:40 p.m. - - Group II begins session

5:43 p.m. - - #9 FRAZIER makes nose-to-tail contact with #22 SAUCE in turn eight-both cars continue

5:45 p.m. - - #9 FRAZIER makes nose-to-tail contact with #31 GAFFOGLIO in turn eight - both cars continue

5:50 p.m. - - #6 ALLERS stops in turn two and retires from the session.

5:55 p.m. - - #9 FRAZIER makes heavy contact with wall in turn three  driver out and okay

CHECKERED FLAG. #32 ALEX BARRON, of Vista, Calif., is fastest in the Lynx Racing-prepared Ralt RT-41 at 1:01.362 93.282 mph.

#29 CASE MONTGOMERY, of Salinas, Calif., is second fastest in the Sandy Dells Racing-prepared Ralt RT-41 at 1:01.379 = 93.256 mph.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Skip Barber , Jay Leno