NCDL TECH FORMS NEW CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC TEAM AND NAMES AMERICAN RYAN SPENCER-SMITH AS ITS DRIVER INDIANAPOLIS (February 8, 2006) -- Continuing to expand as a series with new teams and fresh new racing talent, the Champ Car...
NCDL TECH FORMS NEW CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC TEAM AND NAMES AMERICAN RYAN SPENCER-SMITH AS ITS DRIVER
INDIANAPOLIS (February 8, 2006) -- Continuing to expand as a series with new teams and fresh new racing talent, the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama welcomes a new competitor to its 2006 ranks with the formation of the NCDL Tech Atlantic team.
Based in Napa, California, NCDL Tech will compete with a one-car, full-season entry this season in North America's top open-wheel racing development series. While the team may be new to Atlantics, its driver has already experienced the tough competition in the series. Ryan Spencer-Smith raced in two Atlantic events in 2005 and the 19-year-old native of Napa will return to the cockpit to drive for his hometown team this season.
After emerging as a talented shifter kart racer in California, Spencer-Smith advanced to the SCCA ranks in 2004, winning several regional and national events in both the Formula Atlantic and Formula Mazda categories. He made his Atlantic debut at the challenging San Jose street circuit last season, earning a 12th-place finish for Jensen MotorSport. Spencer-Smith also raced at Denver where he qualified 10th, but was forced to retire after becoming involved in an early-race incident. The promising young driver is excited about competing full-time in '06 against some of the top rising stars in racing.
"I love our new team and I'm really looking forward to the start of the Atlantic season," said Spencer-Smith, who tested with NCDL Tech at California's Buttonwillow Raceway last week. The team ran a Swift 014.a Atlantic machine during the test session and was aided by the Optimum G race car engineering consulting firm. "It was a real pleasure working with our guys and with Optimum G as well. The team's set-up of the car made it fast and consistent to drive. We're like a big family who understands the commitment it takes and all of us want to see the entire team doing well."
More testing is planned in the next few weeks as NCDL Tech eyes the March 8 delivery date of its new generation Atlantic car. The first-year team, headed by experienced crew chief Jeff Couture, is continuing to assemble its roster for 2006.
Spencer-Smith has demonstrated his development both on and off the track over the past year. He has completed his training as an Emergency Medical Technician and continues to work toward his goal of becoming a firefighter and a paramedic. Through both the Red Cross and Firefighters Fighting for Children's Literacy charities, Spencer-Smith has made a concerted effort to give back to his local community.
Spencer-Smith and the NCDL Tech team will be one of many 2006 Atlantic competitors who will be present at the Official Unveiling of the new Atlantic race car on Tuesday, February 14 at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Beginning its 33rd season in 2006, 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. 2005 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Cosworth engine riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.