IRL: Toyota Motorsports notes 2004-03-30

TOYOTA SET TO TEST NEW 3.0-LITER IRL ENGINE The new Toyota Indy V8 3.0-liter engine will make its on-track debut this weekend during the manufacturer's closed test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Four of the five Toyota-powered teams are ...

TOYOTA SET TO TEST NEW 3.0-LITER IRL ENGINE The new Toyota Indy V8 3.0-liter engine will make its on-track debut this weekend during the manufacturer's closed test at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Four of the five Toyota-powered teams are expected to participate including Target Chip Ganassi Racing, Marlboro Team Penske, Kelley Racing and A.J. Foyt Enterprises.

TOYOTA'S KVAPIL TAKES NCTS POINTS LEAD Just two races into Toyota's new NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series program, Toyota-powered driver Travis Kvapil has taken over the series points lead. The defending series champ has registered a pair of top-five finishes with a second at Daytona and a fourth at Atlanta to take a four-point lead. Kvapil's joined by two more Toyota- powered drivers in the top 10 with rookie David Reutimann in fourth and Mike Skinner in eighth.

DIXON TESTS F1 Long-time Toyota open-wheel driver Scott Dixon tested with the Williams Formula One team this past week and was quickly up to speed. In just one day of testing, Dixon clocked a fast time within four-tenths of a second of that registered by Williams team driver Ralf Schumacher, despite the fact that a faulty gearbox limited Dixon's morning test time.

Les Unger, Toyota national motorsports manager, "We identified Scott four years ago as a young driver that we thought had enormous talent and potential and to date, he's fulfilled that promise. It's not surprising to us that he did so well in his first F1 test. He's been a terrific addition to the Toyota line-up from day one."

LEXUS DRIVER TOYOTA RACE Max Papis will make the switch from Lexus to Toyota for one weekend in April. The Grand-Am driver will take part in this year's Toyota Pro/Celebrity Race, a part of the 30th Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend. Papis will spot a 30-second advantage to such celebrities as singer Lil Kim, actor Sean Astin, of "Lord of the Rings," Frankie Muniz, of "Malcolm In the Middle" fame, champion boxer Laila Ali and Olympic swimming gold medallist Dara Torres. Papis will need a victory to match the exploits of current Ganassi Racing Lexus teammate Scott Pruett, the 2001 race winner who's already made certain that his Grand-Am teammate is aware of that fact.

In addition to Pruett, Papis joins a group of the world's finest professional drivers who have participated in the race over the years including Dan Gurney, Parnelli Jones, Al Unser, Gordon Johncock and Rick Mears. Should Papis win, he'd hold an advantage over one other former pro racer who participated in the event in 1986 none other than his team owner Chip Ganassi.

TOYOTA RACE CALENDAR
NHRA: Summit Nationals, Las Vegas, April 4, ESPN2
GRAND-AM: Food City 250, Phoenix International Raceway, April 10, 9 p.m. SPEED
IRL: Japan Indy 300, Twin Ring Motegi, April 16, 11:30 p.m., ESPN2
NASCAR CRAFTSMAN TRUCK: Kroger 250, Martinsville, April 17, 1 p.m. SPEED

*All times Eastern time zone

-toyota-

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Series Formula 1 , Grand-Am , IndyCar , NASCAR Truck
Drivers Mike Skinner , Max Papis , Scott Dixon , Scott Pruett , Dan Gurney , Al Unser Sr. , Rick Mears , Parnelli Jones , David Reutimann , Chip Ganassi , Sean Astin , A.J. Foyt , Travis Kvapil , Frankie Muniz
Teams Williams , A.J. Foyt Enterprises , Team Penske , Chip Ganassi Racing , Chip Ganassi Racing