MCATEE MOTORSPORTS TO JOIN TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TWO-CAR ENTRY IN 2005 INDIANAPOLIS (March 9, 2005) -- The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama today announced that McAtee Motorsports will join the Atlantic series, ...
MCATEE MOTORSPORTS TO JOIN TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WITH TWO-CAR ENTRY IN 2005
INDIANAPOLIS (March 9, 2005) -- The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama today announced that McAtee Motorsports will join the Atlantic series, fielding a two-car entry for the 2005 season.
McAtee Motorsports, which competed in the Star Mazda series for the last three years, will run both Kyle Kelley and Brian McAtee in the Atlantic series this season. The team is owned by Brian's father, Dale McAtee -- a veteran of more than 30 years in motorsports.
"McAtee Motorsports is pleased to announce its entry into the Toyota Atlantic Championship for 2005," said Dale McAtee. "The Toyota Atlantic series has a rich history and a solid connection the Champ Car World Series, presenting the finest opportunity for a youthful team to participate at world-class venues."
While the San Clemente, California-based team may be new to Atlantics in 2005, McAtee Motorsports does bring along continuity and a track record of success as it prepares for its maiden Atlantic voyage this season. The team produced three of the top four championship finishers last season in the Star Mazda West Coast Redline Oil Championship.
Kelley, the 19-year-old Huntington Beach, California native, captured the Redline series title in 2004 with five wins and seven pole positions. After being named California's Sports Car Driver of the Year in 2002, Kelley entered Star Mazda with the McAtee team and continued to be productive in SCCA national and regional competition as well. Kelley also won the SCCA Southern Pacific Formula Mazda title last season.
Brian McAtee has competed with the team for the last three seasons in Star Mazda. The 27-year-old driver finished fourth in last season's West Coast Championship, winning at Buttonwillow Raceway Park in early May.
Both Kelley and McAtee turned their first laps in a 240 HP Atlantic machine recently at Buttonwillow as they began preparations for the 2005 Atlantic schedule. McAtee Motorsports plans to compete in at least six Atlantic races this season, beginning with the season-opener April 8-10 at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Another motorsports veteran of more 30 years, Kyle's father Bob Kelley, will serve as team manager for the McAtee team. "The team was looking for the best series to provide exposure while racing at good venues," said Bob Kelley. "With the great spectator and sponsorship opportunities available and its close ties to Champ Car, we felt that the Toyota Atlantic series was the best place to be."
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.