Michael David update

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MICHAEL TODD DAVID/PDR OPTIMISTIC ABOUT '97 ATLANTIC CAMPAIGN CORONA,CALIF. (Feb. 13) - - With less than three weeks until his first race of the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, Michael Todd...



CORONA,CALIF. (Feb. 13) - - With less than three weeks until his first race of the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship, Michael Todd David and his PDR Enterprises Team are confident about their chances for the coming year. In 1996, PDR completed its first full season of Atlantic competition in the No. 3 PDR/ Ralt RT-41. The satisfaction of finishing ninth in the Players/Toyota Atlantic Championship didn't settle until well after the last race at Laguna Seca Raceway in September. Telephone calls from fellow competitors, team owners, suppliers and sponsors communicated a clear message to PDR team owner Mike David -- for a rookie team, they had exceeded many of their expectations and showed they were serious about racing. PDR did not take these comments lightly and immediately started on a game plan aimed at making their second season even more successful.

Michael, always looking for that extra competitive edge, learned about the Human Performance International Program and enrolled. During the fall program he was compared and evaluated against many of the world's top racing drivers and athletes. The program identified his strengths and weaknesses, and gave him insight into better mental and physical preparation, also a road to self improvement. While he was in Florida attending the HPI program, the PDRs team owner and crew chief were in Europe attending a seminar where they learned how to better prepare their PDR/Ralt-41 for the coming season. An aggressive testing and development program followed.

The proof as they say is in the pudding, and it showed in their first two-day test at Willow Springs, Calif., in early October. Two weeks later it was on to the Phoenix International Raceway for oval testing. "I couldn't believe I could push a car and myself that hard," said driver Michael. "Under [the guidance of] Bob [Lobenberg, PDR's driver coach and computer analyst] and Tony's preparation (Tony Woodford, PDR's crew chief and team manager), this was my best performance ever on an oval."

Everyone there seemed to share in his eagerness to compete at the first oval race. "Michael's a very good driver and quick learner, his feedback gets stronger with very test session." Lobenberg responded to fellow team members.

Two weeks later it was back to Willow Springs for an exhaustive two-day, 350-mile test and evaluation of new components and ideas from the PDR race shop. At the conclusion of the testing, the team spoke confidently about what they had learned. Team owner Mike David reflected on the 1996 season with Lobenberg who joined PDR very late in the season.

"We certainly had our ups and downs last year" said David. "After that fifth place in Long Beach, I expected a few more podium finishes."

Bob was quick in his response, "As does any new team Mike, but 'ninety seven' isn't that far off and you're way ahead of where you were last year and we're only half way through the testing cycle."

November was also a busy month for PDR's marketing and promotions liaison Mick Long. They had an on-site promotional event at the Riverside Tire Pro, their 1996 Yokohama tire sponsor. PDR displayed the race car while Michael was busy signing posters. The event was co-promoted with KGGI FM who provided remote broadcasting, interviewed Michael live and had many promotional giveaways.

"I was quite surprised by the turnout," Long noted during a PDR marketing meeting. "Racing fans seemed to be coming from everywhere to see just who Michael Todd David was and what an Atlantic car looked like. You should have seen the grip they had on those posters as they were walking back to their cars. It was first class all the way!"

Last Christmas was a welcome break for PDR, because January's schedule was even more aggressive. January rains in California forced PDR to chase the sun and dry tracks to complete its testing. Having sold its transporter without having a new transporter immediately available made it more challenging. With just enough time to repaint and rebuild the car, PDR will be head east to Homestead, Fla., later this month for the first race.

Michael Todd David believes his training and testing schedule has mentally and physically prepared him to represent the PDR team at the highest level in the 1997 KOOL/Toyota Atlantic Championship.

"With hard work and a little luck, 1997 should reward us with some podium finishes and a strong contention for the drivers championship" said team owner Mike. "We've also been working very hard to attract corporate sponsorship support. With CART teams entering Atlantic cars, the ante in Atlantic has raised.

"Atlantic's has become serious business. When I bought the new transporter, I sent a message, we're in this for the long haul, [no pun intended]. We'll show them just how competitive we are when we race at Homestead, and Long Beach is getting closer every day. Mike took fifth in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach last year. I see a podium finish on our home track as a real possibility."

Team Contact:        Mick Long                       mlong@bigscreen.mea.com
Series Contact:        James Hyneman        103735.3402@compuserve.com

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Mike David , Tony Wood