TRAMMELL WILL RETURN TO BARBER DODGE PRO SERIES ACTION AT LAGUNA SECA; TOYOTA ATLANTIC WILL BE LIVE AT MILWAUKEE; HAND SIDELINED INDEFINITELY AFTER TOYOTA ATLANTIC TEST ACCIDENT INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2002) - The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race ...
TRAMMELL WILL RETURN TO BARBER DODGE PRO SERIES ACTION AT LAGUNA SECA; TOYOTA ATLANTIC WILL BE LIVE AT MILWAUKEE; HAND SIDELINED INDEFINITELY AFTER TOYOTA ATLANTIC TEST ACCIDENT
INDIANAPOLIS (May 22, 2002) - The Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race weekend on June 7th-9th will mark the professional return of driver Rhonda Trammell. Trammell, a member of the CART Pace Car Team since 1990, will compete in Round 3 of the Barber Dodge Pro Series as part of her current efforts to secure a CART Toyota Atlantic Championship ride for the 2003 season. Trammell is not new to the Pro Series as she contested the 2001 season with assistance from CART FedEx Championship Series team Forsythe Racing.
In preparation for her return, Trammell - the mother of two - spent Mothers Day weekend at Putnam Park west of Indianapolis with the Formula Dodge Regional Championship, winning her Sunday class event despite a torrential rain storm. While the Regional Championship RT/2000 cars and Reynard Dodge 98E Pro Series cars are quite different, the experience provided valuable seat time for the Pittsboro, Ind. resident.
"The win at Putnam Park really helped my confidence and put me in the right frame of mind heading into Laguna Seca," commented Trammel. "It was good to get some competitive seat time and I learned quite a bit during that weekend. I am looking forward to applying that new knowledge in Monterey.
"I really enjoy racing at Laguna Seca. I have always felt comfortable in a car there but I just haven't been able to get the results to show that, something always seems to happen. If I can avoid any problems, I might have an advantage over some of the rookie drivers.
"Right now, we are on a race-to-race situation, looking for funding," continued Trammell. "So, it is very important to do well and put myself out there in front of potential sponsors."
If proper funding can be found, Trammell looks to drive in the remainder of Pro Series season in addition to possible Toyota Atlantic testing efforts.
"I really want to be at Portland the following week after Laguna Seca, but if that isn't possible, we are definitely going to be at Toronto in July. I really love the street courses!"
LIVE FROM THE "MILE"
When the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship takes the green flag at the Milwaukee Mile on June 2nd, race fans in the United States will able to view an Atlantic event live for the first time. The race, Round 3 of the 2002 season, will be broadcast at 4pm ET on SPEED Channel. While in the past some Canadian races have been broadcast on RDS and CTV Television in Canada, Milwaukee will mark the first time in the prestigious 29-year history of the Atlantic Championship that events will be televised live in America.
"The Milwaukee race weekend will mark a special milestone in Toyota Atlantic history," said Atlantic President and CEO Vicki O'Connor. "As I have said before, this is by far the best television package we have ever had and the crown jewels of the package are definitely the five live events."
In addition to the live televised events at Milwaukee, Toronto, Trois-Rivieres, Montreal and Denver, remaining events will be broadcast on a same day delay on SPEED Channel, another CART Toyota Atlantic first.
HAND INJURED IN MILWAUKEE TEST ACCIDENT
As has been reported, Toyota Atlantic driver and pre-season championship contender Joey Hand was injured in a testing accident last Friday at the Milwaukee Mile in preparation for the race there on Sunday, June 2nd. He will miss up to three months and likely will not be cleared to drive until after the 2002 Atlantic finale at Denver on August 31st.
Hand, a native of Sacramento, Calif., reportedly lost control of his DSTP/BG Products Swift 014.a in Turn Four and made hard contact with the outside retaining wall on the 1-mile Bullring in West Allis, Wisc. He suffered compression fractures of T-11, 12 and L-1 vertebrae in the middle of his back in addition to a fractured left knee-cap. CART's Chief Orthopedic Consultant Terry Trammell examined Hand in Indianapolis and will continue to monitor his progress over the following months.
Hand's team, DSTP Motorsports, will not field a car at Milwaukee next week as it looks for a substitute to take over the driving duties beginning with Laguna Seca on June 7th-8th. Several unnamed drivers are reportedly at the top of DSTP's list to take over the highly coveted ride in the short term but owner Dede Rogers is committed to Hand in the long term.
"We're committed to Joey 100 percent," commented Rogers, whose team captured the 2000 Toyota Atlantic Championship with Buddy Rice. "He has a great future ahead with us, so we want to be sure that he takes the time to heal properly and is as healthy as possible before getting back into the car."
At this time, Hand is 8th in the season point standings with 15 points, after placing 3rd at Monterrey, Mexico and capturing the pole at Long Beach.
Toyota Atlantic Championship
(Through Round 2 of 12)
1. Jon Fogarty - 35 points
2. Michael Valiante - 32 points
3. Rocky Moran, Jr. - 21 points
4. Luis Diaz - 19 points
5. Alex Gurney - 17 points
Barber Dodge Pro Series
(Through Round 1 of 10)
1. AJ Allmendinger - 22 points
2. Davy Cook - 16 points
3. Julio Campos - 14 points
4. Nilton Rossoni - 13 points
5. Christian Szymczak - 11 points
Formula Dodge National Championship
(Through Round 6 of 13)
1. Scott Speed - 84 points
2. Grant Maiman - 76 points
3. Burt Frisselle - 75 points
4. Scott Poirier - 67 points
5. Al Unser - 57 points
*Last week's update incorrectly listed driver Scott Poirier as having 77 championship points and being in second place in the point standings. He is now listed in his appropriate position.
The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship prepares for its next action May 31-June 2 during the Miller Lite 250 at the historic Milwaukee Mile. Round 3 of the 2002 Championship will take competitors to their first oval race of the season.
The Barber Dodge Pro Series returns to action this weekend in the Memorial Day Classic at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Conn. Barber CART Scholarship drivers Leo Maia, Julio Campos and Rafael Sperafico will be three of 25 competitors looking to tame the tight, 1.54-mile road course.
Rounds 7 and 8 of the Formula Dodge National Championship will be contested June 14-16 at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Barber CART Scholarship drivers Scott Poirier, Ward Imrie, Craig Baltzer, Colin Fleming and Charlie Kimball will try to track down 2001 Stars of Tomorrow Champion Scott Speed in the season point standings during the double race weekend.
Championship Auto Racing Teams, Inc. (NYSE: MPH) owns, operates and markets the CART FedEx Championship Series. Former series champions Michael Andretti and Jimmy Vasser are among the stars who will battle for the 2002 FedEx Championship Series title on ovals, temporary street circuits and permanent road courses. CART also owns and operates its top development series, the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship. CART also sanctions the Barber Dodge Pro Series as part of a marketing partnership with Skip Barber, LLC. For more information about the CART Ladder System, log onto www.cart.com and click on the links to the Toyota Atlantic Championship, Barber Dodge Pro Series, Formula Dodge National Championship and Stars of Tomorrow.
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