RACE 5 -- MILWAUKEE MILE -- JUNE 1 to 3, 1995 RACE 6 -- CIRCUIT GILLES-VILLENEUVE -- JUNE 9 and 10, 1995 PLAYER'S LTD./TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA PREVIEW MILWAUKEE AND MONTREAL NEXT ON SCHEDULE: After a brief hiatus in May, the...
RACE 5 -- MILWAUKEE MILE -- JUNE 1 to 3, 1995 RACE 6 -- CIRCUIT GILLES-VILLENEUVE -- JUNE 9 and 10, 1995 PLAYER'S LTD./TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP MEDIA PREVIEW
MILWAUKEE AND MONTREAL NEXT ON SCHEDULE: After a brief hiatus in May, the Player's Ltd./Toyota Atlantic Championship resumes with back-to-back events on the Milwaukee Mile (June 1 to 3) then at the Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve in Montreal (June 9 and 10). Contenders for the championship will have to demonstrate their versatility as they move from the flat one-mile oval at Milwaukee to the challenging 2.74-mile road course in Montreal.
ATLANTIC GRADS DOMINATE INDIANAPOLIS 500: Former Atlantic standout Jacques Villeneuve scored a dramatic come-from-behind victory in his Player's Ltd. Reynard after being penalized two laps for a pace car infringement early in the race. Villeneuve finished second and was the rookie of the year in last year's Indianapolis 500. Villeneuve's victory came at the expense of 1986 Atlantic champion Scott Goodyear who qualified on the front row and was leading when he passed the pace car on the final restart. Another former Atlantic competitor, Bobby Rahal, finished third and was also in contention for the win until he also was penalized in the closing laps for a pit lane speed violation. Five former Atlantic start (Villeneuve, Rahal, Goodyear, Andretti and Vasser) were among the ten drivers to lead the race. The Atlantic-grad "dream team" combined to lead almost two-thirds of the race and always had at least one member in the top three at every ten lap interval during the 500 miles. Both Vasser and Goodyear were leading late in the race when they were eliminated (Vasser by a crash, Goodyear by penalty).
CANADIANS HOPE TO CONTINUE STRANGLEHOLD: All four Player's Ltd./Toyota Atlantic Championship races this year have been won by Canadian drivers. Patrick Carpentier won the opener in Miami and the most recent race at Nazareth Speedway. Reigning two-time champion David Empringham won on the oval at Phoenix and the following weekend on the street course in Long Beach. Will Empringham repeat his oval/road course combo at Milwaukee and Montreal or will an American (or Brazilian, Japanese or English) driver break the Canadian domination?
CASE MONTGOMERY RETURNS AT MILWAUKEE: One American looking to break the Canadian string will be Californian Case Montgomery with sponsorship from Microsoft on his Sandy Dells Racing Ralt RT-40. Montgomery finished fourth at Long Beach.
SCHUCHMANN TO ATTEND REUNION REMOTELY: Bernie Schuchmann began his path to racing by attending the Harvard Business School so that he could build a financial base to support his racing efforts. Schuchman will have to miss the Harvard Business School reunion this weekend as he will be busy demonstrating the success of his unusual path by competing in the Player's Ltd./Toyota Atlantic Championship race on the Milwaukee Mile. Schuchmann will be thinking of his college mates, though. His Sandy Dells Racing Swift DB-4 will carry sponsorship from the HBS reunion and the Wyndham Hotel (the Atlantic host hotel in Milwaukee). Schuchmann will also send a videotape from the track to the reunion attendees.
PETERSON DEBUTS NEW P-1 RACING RALT RT-41 AT MILWAUKEE: Gary Peterson of Huntington Beach, Calif. will debut a new Ralt RT-41 from the P-1 Racing shops at Milwaukee this weekend. Canadian Lee Bentham, making his series debut, will take over the car in Montreal.
CHIEF STEWARD K. C. VAN NIMAN IN WALKING CAST: Player's Ltd./Toyota Atlantic Championship chief steward K. C. Van Niman broke two bones in his ankle following the race in Nazareth. Van Niman will be back for the Milwaukee race, wearing a walking cast.
IMPRESSIVE NEWCOMERS AND RETURNEES SWELL FIELD AT MONTREAL: The Atlantic field will swell again at Montreal with a flood of new entries, the return of a former champion and one of his championship foes and the return of a series regular. 1992 Atlantic champion Chris Smith will return to the series at Montreal in a Ralt RT-41 sponsored by Earl's Performance Products and ARBCO Wheels. Willi Oppliger, who managed Smith's championship effort, will be team manager. Smith will be familiar with Charles Nearburg of Dallas, Texas who won the most-improved-driver award during Smith championship year in 1992. Nearburg also finished third in the Peter Jackson International Series in New Zealand in 1993. Robert Sollenskog, son of renowned engine builder Bertil Sollenskog, will make his Atlantic debut in a Team Duke Ralt RT- 40 at Montreal. Sollenskog is a former rookie of the year in the North American Pro Series. He plans to run three races this year to acquaint himself with Atlantic while retaining his eligibility for the 1996 rookie of the year competition. Other drivers making a debut in Montreal will be Michael Clifford of North Vancouver, B.C. (Johnston Engineering/Keen Engineering Reynard 92H) with veteran Atlantic driver Frank Allers serving as crew chief and driver coach; Paolo Dal Cin of Downsview, Ont. (RDS Motorsports Inc. Ralt RT-41); Lee Bentham, Richmond Hill, Ont., (P-1 Racing/TMI Racing Ralt RT-41); Tony Nabico, Toronto (T.N. Racing Swift DB-4); and Martin Roy of Montreal (Le Volant Racing Team Raven RVN-93). Bob Ferstl of Houston, injured in the opening round at Miami, is entered at Montreal.