CHAMPCAR/CART: American Spirit Team Johansson team news 2003-04-24

Going For the Triple Crown: Jimmy Vasser will go for his third 500 mile victory next month, when he drives the ...

Going For the Triple Crown: Jimmy Vasser will go for his third 500 mile victory next month, when he drives the #19 Rahal/Letterman Racing Honda/Dallara/Firestone entry at the 87th running of the Indianapolis 500 for Team Rahal. Vasser won the 1996 U.S. 500 while driving for Target Chip Ganassi Racing en-rout to the 1996 CART Championship. Last year, he won the fastest 500-mile race ever (197.995 mph avg.) when he took the checkered flag at the California 500 at Fontana, racing under the Team Rahal banner. Vasser will attempt to qualify the Rahal/Lettermen entry on the final day of qualifying upon his return from CART's European tour, starting next week at Brands Hatch in Kent, England, followed by the 500 km event at the Eurospeedway in Lausitz, Germany. It will be the American's eighth attempt at the Brickyard, he has two-top five finishes.

Role Model: Ryan Hunter-Reay will be a guest speaker to the students of Morikami Elementary school in Boca Raton, Florida on Friday. Hunter-Reay will give a motivational speech to the kids about setting and achieving goals. A Champ Car driver at just 22 years of age, Hunter-Reay is on the fast-track to achieving the goals he set at a young age. He graduated through all of the ranks of CART's ladder system in just four years. Up to speed immediately in the Champ Car he earned his first top-ten finish in just his third CART event. His next goal; a Champ Car victory and if history tells his story, it won't be long before he achieves that goal.

The Road to Le Mans: Stefan Johansson will test his Audi R8 next week while in Europe for the Champ Car races, in preparation for the upcoming 24 Hours of Le Mans. Johansson and his Champion Racing teammates, JJ Lehto and Emanuelle Pirro nearly one the 12 Hours of Sebring in March. Johansson will be racing for his second Le Mans title; his first victory at the historic endurance race came in 1997.

FantasyCART.us: If you had a budget to build the ultimate CART team, who would you chose? Check out www.FantasyCART.us, registered contestants will receive a budget and manage their CART teams throughout the Champ Car season. Winners will receive American Spirit team gear, the opportunity to be a guest of American Spirit at a race, which includes team credentials, hospitality and lunch with Jimmy and Ryan as well as cash and various other prizes.

Brands Hatch an Engineer's View: A native of England and a veteran of British Motorsports, Graham Taylor, the race engineer for the #31 entry of Ryan Hunter-Reay gave us some tips on what to expect at the upcoming Champ Car event at Brands Hatch. "I think the race at Brands Hatch is going to be unbelievably exciting. This is a true bull-ring of a circuit with incredible overtaking opportunities. The drivers will have to muscle their cars around, there will be 2,000 gearshifts and they will definitely have had a work-out by the end of the 165 laps. The most exciting corner for the drivers will be the Paddock Hill Bend, it will be a fifth gear corner at 135-140 mph and the apex is blind. In addition to the other elements, we will be running a compromised road course aero set-up to accommodate the fact that we race on an oval the following weekend with that same aero package, it should make for an exciting show. The spectators at Brands Hatch will be able to see all of the action all of the time, it will be a race they won't soon forget." Taylor joined American Spirit and the Champ Car World Series, from Arrows Formula One Team, prior to his three years at Arrows; he engineered the Volvo team to the series title in the British Touring Car Championship.

-astj-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Stefan Johansson , Jimmy Vasser , Ryan Hunter-Reay , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing