Long Beach: Roger Yasukawa preview

Yasukawa ready for hometown debut. Roger Yasukawa, driver of the ...

Yasukawa ready for hometown debut.

Roger Yasukawa, driver of the #9 Autobacs/u.s. print/Toyota/Swift will make his CART Toyota Atlantic debut with the defending Atlantic championship team, Hylton Motorsports next week at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Yasukawa completed two additional days of testing yesterday at Buttonwillow Raceway. The test was Yasukawa's second with the Swift 014.a, he also tested at Firebird last week. Yasukawa experienced some problems with the fit of his seat last week at Firebird, which made it difficult for him to maneuver the shift lever and steering wheel. The team prepared a new seat for Yasukawa earlier this week, which allowed him to successfully log 260 miles over the two-day test. Sigma Autosport and Lynx Racing were also testing at Buttonwillow, which gave Yasukawa a benchmark to rate his strong performance.

"I feel very good about our test this week," said Yasukawa, who recently joined Hylton Motorsports from the CART Barber Dodge Pro Series. "I learned a lot about the car in this test and I am much more comfortable and confident with the car, which makes it easier for me to push it to the limit." Yasukawa continued, "We used two sets of new tires which was good for me, it gave me an indication of how soon the tires come up to temperature. We also completed a long run which was very important because it tells me how the car will react not just after five laps but after 20 laps as well."

"At Firebird last week, Roger had a good introduction to the team and to the car. This week, he was up to speed right away and we were able to work on developing his driving style with different set-ups and configurations. The Buttonwillow test was a good opportunity for Roger to work with Derek (Higgins, Driver Coach) and really experiment with the car. Roger is adapting to the car very quickly and I am very pleased with the progress we made this week," said Bob Montgomery, Engineer for the #9 Swift.

Yasukawa is confident he is prepared for his first Atlantic event at the 1.968-mile temporary street circuit, "I have spent quite a lot of time with my team the past couple of weeks and I can't say enough about them. It gives me great confidence to be with a team of this caliber. Their experience helps me along much quicker as a rookie, they know how to make a car go fast, but they also know how to push me and make me much faster as well. I definitely feel well prepared for Long Beach. It will not only be my first race in the Atlantic series, but it is my home race. The track is challenging, but we are ready for this type of circuit from our testing. I have studied the track and we should be on pace right away."

Practice for round 2 of the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship begins next Friday, April 12th at 8:30 am (PT). Qualifying will take place Saturday at 1:00 pm with the race on Sunday at 10:00 am. The race will be televised Sunday on Speed Channel at 2:30 pm (ET). For more information, please visit www.rogerspeed.com or www.toyotaatlantic.com.

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Roger Yasukawa