ISHIKAWA PLACES THIRD IN CLASS, 9TH OVERALL IN LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX TOYOTA ATLANTIC SEASON OPENER Los Gatos, California, April 11, 2005 - First-year Toyota Atlantic driver Mark Ishikawa placed third in his class and ninth overall in the ...
ISHIKAWA PLACES THIRD IN CLASS, 9TH OVERALL IN LONG BEACH GRAND PRIX TOYOTA ATLANTIC SEASON OPENER
Los Gatos, California, April 11, 2005 - First-year Toyota Atlantic driver Mark Ishikawa placed third in his class and ninth overall in the Long Beach Grand Prix Sunday, completing the final lap of the series season opener with a flat tire.
Long Beach was the first of at least six races in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama series that Ishikawa expects to run in 2005.
"The course was fantastic wand the competition was best I've ever run against," Ishikawa said after the race. "We worked through some mechanical issues early in the week and my team had the car running beautifully on race day."
Ishikawa's C2-class Formula Atlantic suffered mechanical difficulties due to a collision during the first qualifying session and the team used subsequent track time to fine tune the car's setup for the challenging Long Beach street circuit.
Ishikawa started 15th in a field of 19 and began his rise through the pack avoiding a crash on Lap One and five-car spinout on the hairpin Turn 11 on Lap 25.
The most challenging part of the race came near the final lap when Ishikawa was hit from behind by a lapped back marker. The collision blew out Ishikawa's left rear tire, but he was able to keep the Atlantic together long enough to clear the finish line before his closest competitor.
A tape-delayed broadcast of the race will air on SPEED Channel on Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time.
In addition to racing, Ishikawa worked with Toyota Atlantic organizers, visiting four schools around Long Beach, encouraging students to Say No to Drugs, stay in school, emphasizing the value of math and science classes and teamwork and how they apply to racing.
"It's important for us as representatives of the racing community talk with kids about the value of a good education, particularly in those cities where we're racing," said Ishikawa, who is CEO of BayTSP, a company that provides online intellectual property protection to the entertainment, software and videogame industries.
About Ishikawa Racing Group
Mark Ishikawa formed Ishikawa Racing Group in 2002 to compete in the Toyota Atlantic class. He won the Sports Car Club of America San Francisco regional championships in 2003 and 2004. Ishikawa has been racing for more than 20 years and has several SCCA championships and lap records to his credit.