News roundup 2003-04-18

CART Toyota Atlantic Championship News Roundup - April 18, 2003 Notes & quotes from the world of Toyota Atlantic. TEAMS TEST LAGUNA With six weeks remaining before the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship reconvenes for the Milwaukee Mile ...

CART Toyota Atlantic Championship News Roundup - April 18, 2003
Notes & quotes from the world of Toyota Atlantic.


With six weeks remaining before the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship reconvenes for the Milwaukee Mile Centennial 250 Presented by Miller Lite at the historic Milwaukee Mile on the weekend of May 31 (SPEED, June 1, 9:00 p.m. ET), most of the teams in the series took advantage of the opportunity to put their machines through paces at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Wednesday.

Participating in the test were Pacific Coast Motorsports;, Dorricott Racing; DSTP Motorsports; Lynx Racing; Polestar Atlantic, LLC; Team Rahal; RuSPORT; Sierra Sierra Racing; Starwood Team Jensen; and Transnet Racing. The test was conducted in cool temperatures and overcast skies, but that didn't prevent the teams from putting several miles on their machines.

Long Beach winner A.J. Allmendinger (#4 RuSPORT) posted the unofficial fastest time at 1:17.5, followed by Sierra Sierra Racing's Ryan Dalziel (#28 Discovery Lake/Daily Record Newspaper) at 1:18.4, and Alex Figge (#69 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Patrick Racing) at 1:18.5. Rounding out the top five were RuSPORT's Aaron Justus (#3 RuSPORT) at 1:18.6 and Sierra Sierra's Marc DeVellis (#67 Pro-Works) at 1:18.7.

Rain during the afternoon prevented many teams from running the entire day, and the test was interrupted only once, when Jonathan Macri (#84 NTN) pulled his car off-course just shy of Turn 3. The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship will visit Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on the weekend of June 14, for the Grand Prix of Monterey, which is Round 4 of the 12-race 2003 season.


Pacific Coast Motorsports and driver Alex Figge paid a visit to Meadows Elementary School in Manhattan Beach, Calif. on April 8 as the team geared up for last weekend's Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The team brought its #69 Pacific Coast Motorsports/Patrick Racing Toyota/Swift and the team's transporter to the school and participated in a two-hour autograph and question-and-answer period with the students from Grade 1 to 5. The team also provided the students with various souvenirs related to Pacific Coast Motorsports and the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship.

Figge followed up his school visit by posting a Toyota Atlantic career-best finish of fifth in the Argent Mortgage Toyota Atlantic Race, which enabled him to move into fifth place in the season point standings after two of 12 races.


In an effort to foster a unified CART Toyota Atlantic Championship and foster business-to-business relationships between the team and series sponsors, the first meeting of the Toyota Atlantic Sponsor Council was held at Long Beach on Thursday, April 10.

A steering committee was selected at the meeting and consists of CART Toyota Atlantic Championship President Vicki O'Connor, Toyota National Motorsports Manager Les Unger, Yokohama Tire Corporation Director of Marketing Communications Art Michalik, and Transnet Racing owner Juan Garcia.

The meeting was open to all CART Toyota Atlantic Championship teams, as well as their existing and potential sponsors, and set a course for future discussions that will take place throughout the season. Key issues discussed were ways to assist teams in their quest to find sponsors, providing value to current and new partners, and ideas on helping teams create sponsorship proposals that capture the interest of potential new partners. With that in mind, the Toyota Atlantic Sponsor Council will meet again in conjunction with the Grand Prix of Monterey at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where a sponsorship proposal workshop with input from key Champ Car World Series and CART Toyota Atlantic Championship sponsors will be held.

"It was extremely helpful to gather all of our teams and partners into the same room and discuss the issues and opportunities in front of us this season," said O'Connor. "In today's environment, it has never been more important to deliver value to our sponsors, and the creation of a Sponsor Council is a wonderful idea. By working together as a group, we can use what we learn in these meetings to create successful programs for the series and all of its teams."


Officials from SPEED Channel and Yokohama Tire Corporation have announced that Yokohama has agreed to become the presenting sponsor of all CART Toyota Atlantic Championship race broadcasts on the television network. The agreement includes television commercials, broadcast mentions, and on-air billboards.

In addition to its involvement in the Toyota Atlantic broadcasts, Yokohama will be a part of other SPEED Channel programming, including American Le Mans, and FIA World Rally events. The agreement extends through the end of the 2003 racing season.

"We are very pleased with this agreement," said Yokohama Tire Corporation Director of Marketing Communications, Art Michalik. "It is one more step in our continuing efforts to support the Toyota Atlantic Championship series, and increase Yokohama's brand awareness among true enthusiasts. It is even more fitting in that this year marks Yokohama's 15th year as the official tire and associate sponsor for the Toyota Atlantic Championship series. The other great thing is that SPEED Channel is such an ideal fit for us. The depth and breadth of their programming reaches true racing and auto enthusiasts. Our variety of performance offerings suits the needs of this audience."


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About this article
Series Atlantic
Drivers Ryan Dalziel , Jonathan Macri , A.J. Allmendinger , Alex Figge , Aaron Justus