TEAMS READY TO TAKE DELIVERY OF 2006 SWIFT 016.A CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CARS INDIANAPOLIS (March 8, 2006) -- The long wait is finally over. Today marks the day when 40 of the new-generation cars of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic ...
TEAMS READY TO TAKE DELIVERY OF 2006 SWIFT 016.A CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CARS
INDIANAPOLIS (March 8, 2006) -- The long wait is finally over. Today marks the day when 40 of the new-generation cars of the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda are delivered to series teams and the preparation for the much-anticipated 2006 Atlantic season can officially begin in earnest.
After committing last July to produce the new Swift 016.a Atlantic car, officials from Swift Engineering have completed a monumental task. Working closely with Champ Car Atlantic teams, officials and all of the series manufacturers, Swift has designed, produced and now delivered 40 high-tech racing machines, all in just a 226-day time frame.
"We must commend Swift and all of the Atlantic series manufacturers on producing a superb racing machine," said Kevin Kalkhoven, Champ Car World Series co-owner. "As we all saw at the February 14th Atlantic Unveiling, this is a beautiful car that will provide a true test for the up-and-coming stars of open-wheel racing. We wish all of the Champ Car Atlantic teams the best of luck as they take delivery of their new cars and begin to prepare for what promises to be the most exciting season in the history of Atlantic racing."
Swift Engineering will celebrate today's Atlantic delivery with a special event at its San Clemente, California plant from 3-5 p.m. Pacific Time featuring Champ Car Atlantic and Swift representatives, local dignitaries and special guests.
"This is an important moment in the history of Swift Engineering," said Swift President Chuck Sprague. "When we agreed to design and build a new Atlantic car, we fully committed to the assignment right then and there. What we didn't know in July 2005 was that we would be building and delivering 40 race car chassis all at once. But we were always confident we would do it and are proud of the contributions of the entire Swift team. Forty chassis is a terrific accomplishment, but what's equally exciting is the tremendous number of Atlantic teams who have ordered these chassis and will take delivery of them today. That's a testament to the strength of the Atlantic series and open-wheel racing in general."
Several Atlantic teams have traveled to California to take possession of their new cars, while others anxiously await the shipment of the new Atlantic, featuring the new Swift chassis powered by a 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth engine capable of producing speeds up to 175 mph. While Swift has now completed the bulk of its work on the project, the hard labor is just beginning for the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic teams. With just under two weeks to assemble their cars and get them ready for the first road test with the new Atlantic, series squads have a very tight and disciplined schedule to follow.
"We've been waiting for this day and I think everyone's been rehearsing for weeks," said John Brooks, former Atlantic competitor and owner of Brooks Associates Racing, which will take delivery of three of the new cars. "Now it's just a matter of who does what once the new cars arrive."
Like most series teams, the Brooks squad will unpack and inventory all of its car components once its shipment arrives from Swift. Then the real work begins. Most teams will then begin to assemble body work, sending the chassis off to get prepped and painted. While that's being done, teams will typically concentrate on the sub-assemblies of the car like the suspension, gearbox and fuel system. These components will be completely disassembled, inspected and then re-assembled to exact manufacturer specifications. Once the chassis is back from the body shop, the car will begin to take shape from the inside out. Beginning with the wiring, pedals and fuel system and then, likely early next week, the suspension, gearbox and the engine will be installed in the cars. After all of the electronics are in place, teams will then focus on doing systems checks and then it's a matter of fitting the drivers to their new Atlantics and putting a basic setup on the car before it's loaded on the transporter for the first series test session at California Speedway, March 21-22.
At the two-day test, teams will concentrate on getting to know the ins and outs of the car while engineers will gather as much data as possible at the only on-track session with the new machine before the season-opening race on the streets of Long Beach, April 7-9. It will certainly be a tight frame for the competitors to get familiar with their new rides, but considering what has been accomplished over the last several months with the rebirth of the Atlantic Championship, it should seem like an eternity.
"It's absolutely amazing how far we've come in such a short period of time since the new look of the series was announced last July," said Brooks, entering his 12th season as a team owner. "It's really a testament to the history and dedication of the series, the owners of Champ Car, the manufacturers and the competitors that Atlantics can continue to evolve and move into the future like we have."
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 Mazda-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.