Series announces 2004 schedule

INDIANAPOLIS (November 18, 2003) - Highlighted by the series' first race in Vancouver since 2001, officials from the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama released its 12-weekend 2004 schedule today. "The 2004 schedule, once ...

INDIANAPOLIS (November 18, 2003) - Highlighted by the series' first race in Vancouver since 2001, officials from the CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama released its 12-weekend 2004 schedule today.

"The 2004 schedule, once again, provides a solid mix of various racing venues that assist in developing driver skill," commented Les Unger, national motorsports manager for Toyota. "The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship continues to provide fans throughout North America the opportunity to watch 'tomorrow's stars' display their racing talent."

The 2004 season gets underway on the weekend of April 18 with the series' 15th consecutive and 21st overall visit to the streets of Long Beach, Calif. Round 2 will be the inaugural event in Las Vegas on the weekend of May 16, followed by Toyota Atlantic's third visit to Monterrey, Mexico on the weekend of May 23.

After a two-week break, the series will once again contest its lone event on an oval track at The Milwaukee Mile on June 5, before heading west for its third consecutive race at Portland International Raceway on the weekend of June 20. The season reaches its halfway point on Independence Day weekend, as Round 6 will see the Toyota Atlantic machines return to Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport on the weekend of July 3.

The series makes its first of three trips into Canada on the following weekend, paying its annual visit to Toronto, Ontario on the weekend of July 11. Toyota Atlantic action returns north of the border two weeks later and visits Vancouver, British Columbia on the weekend of July 25 for the first time since Joey Hand emerged victorious on the street circuit at Concord Pacific Place two years ago.

After a one-year hiatus, the series returns to historic Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis. on the weekend of August 8, and makes its third consecutive visit to the streets of Denver, Colo. on the weekend of August 15. The famed Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve plays host to the penultimate round of the 2004 season on the weekend of August 29, and the season draws to a close on the weekend of September 12 at the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit, the first time since 2001 that the series has held its final event in Monterey, Calif.

The series is also exploring the possibility of contesting two races per weekend at some venues, and television dates and times will be announced at a later time.

"We're thrilled with this schedule, and we're particularly looking forward to our first visit to Las Vegas as well as returning to Vancouver," said CART Toyota Atlantic Championship president, Vicki O'Connor. "As we continue to work on an engine parity program for 2004, it is extremely helpful that our season begins in April at Long Beach. Once again next year, we will have three events in Canada and one in Mexico to go with eight terrific venues in the United States, and I am also looking forward to finishing up our season in Monterey, Calif. All of our events will be run on Champ Car weekends, which is excellent for several reasons, including television and the fact that the full Champ Car Safety Team is on location."

The CART Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama is North America's premier open-wheel development series.The series is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into CART Champ Car competition. Among the drivers who have graduated from Atlantic are current Champ Car competitors Jimmy Vasser, Patrick Carpentier, Alex Tagliani, Roberto Moreno, Ryan Hunter-Reay and Rodolfo Lavin, as well as former Champ Car champions Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve.

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Roberto Moreno , Bobby Rahal , Patrick Carpentier , Alex Tagliani , Joey Hand , Danny Sullivan , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Rodolfo Lavin