Monterrey: Josh Hunt preview

Josh Hunt heads to Mexico Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt continues his campaign in the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship this weekend when the series heads to Monterrey in Mexico. Following his successful debut in the Championship at Longbeach ...

Josh Hunt heads to Mexico

Gold Coast driver Josh Hunt continues his campaign in the 2004 Toyota Atlantic Championship this weekend when the series heads to Monterrey in Mexico.

Following his successful debut in the Championship at Longbeach where Hunt steered his Wright Patten Shakespeare Swift chassis to a top 10 finish last month he has been eating, drinking and sleeping open wheel racing. The 18-year-old has spent several days testing and in addition to this he has also attended several Champ Car test days as an observer with PKV Racing.

Based in Sanoma, California Hunt travelled to Portland the week immediately following the Long Beach event for a test and last week headed to Milwaukee to spend a week in the life of a Champ Car driver as PKV tested on the Milwaukee oval.

"I have never been to an oval track before, let alone driven on one so it was great to be a part of a team while they were testing," said Hunt.

"Although I was only there as an observer overseeing how they went about things I gained a heap of knowledge that should put me in a good position when I have my first race on an oval later in the Championship."

While he has never raced at Monterrey before Hunt is looking forward to getting back to the familiar surroundings of a permanent road circuit this weekend.

"I enjoyed the challenge of a street race at Long Beach but it is always good to get back onto a permanent circuit where you can push ten-tenths all weekend without concrete walls inches from you," said Hunt.

"The majority of my racing in karts and cars has been held on permanent circuits so although it is a new circuit to me this weekend I will be able to get back to the basic principles I have applied over the years of going fast slowly and being as smooth as possible."

In last year's event at Monterrey Hunt's team, Lynx Racing won the event with Michael Valiante at the wheel.

Run in conjunction with the opening round of the Champ Car World Series this will be the 31st year of competition for the Toyota Atlantic Championship and is regarded as the premier training ground for the future stars of the sport.

Hunt is the first Australian to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Series since fellow Queenslander David Besnard in 1999 and has received major support from Wright Patten Shakespeare Financial Group, which is owned by Gold Coast Business man Craig Gore and Champ Car World Series Co-Owner and Aussie Kevin Kalkhoven.

The Toyota Atlantic race at the Tecate Telmex Grand Prix in Monterrey, Mexico is the second of 12 rounds in the Championship. All 12 scheduled races this year will be run in conjunction with Champ Car World Series events on tracks that include road courses and ovals, as well as street and airport circuits. All Atlantic races will be run in the NAFTA market, with eight events in the US, three in Canada, and one in Mexico.

Practice for the second round of the Toyota Atlantic Championship around the 2.104 mile (3.36 km) Fundidora Park circuit begins on Friday May 21 at 9:15am with qualifying in the afternoon. The final 30-minute qualifying session will be held on Saturday at 1:00pm with the 32-lap race on Sunday at 12:30pm (10:30pm Sunday May 23 Aust EST).

The time in Monterrey, Mexico is 10 hours behind Australian EST.

Toyota Atlantic Championship presented by Yokohama - Round Two
Tecate Telmex Grand Prix in Monterrey

Friday, May 21, 2004
9:15 AM - 9:45 AM Atlantic Practice
1:00 PM - 1:40 PM Atlantic Qualifying

Saturday, May 22, 2004
9:15 AM -- 9:45 AM Atlantic Practice
1:00 PM - 1:30 PM Atlantic Qualifying

Sunday, May 23, 2004
8:30 AM - 8:45 AM Atlantic Warm Up
12:30 PM - 1:20 PM Atlantic Race (32-laps or 50 minute limit)

-jhr-

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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Michael Valiante , David Besnard , Josh Hunt , Kevin Kalkhoven