LONG BEACH, Calif. - After scoring a near miss in their first race together, the new alliance in CART, Team P.R.G. and Dale Coyne Racing will be back at the always popular Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set for April 6-8, on the long and winding...
LONG BEACH, Calif. - After scoring a near miss in their first race together, the new alliance in CART, Team P.R.G. and Dale Coyne Racing will be back at the always popular Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, set for April 6-8, on the long and winding streets of the coastal Southern California city.
The first race of the 2001 season, the Tecate/Telmex Grand Prix of Monterrey, was a near-miss for rookie driver Michael Krumm, of Germany, as he was running 11th before mechanical problems shelved his run. The other driver on the Team P.R.G./Coyne Racing alliance, Luiz Garcia Jr., was also running well before he also went out with engine woes.
But for Garcia, last year's Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach holds special memories. It was there he scored his first CART championship point, when he finished 12th in the race. Garcia is hoping for a similar run, but a few places higher.
Krumm, who opened some eyes with his debut, also hopes to make Long Beach his first points-paying event, which would be a remarkable feat in his second race in the CART series. What also made Krumm's Mexican run an eye-opener was the fact it was his first time-ever in the Lola-Ford/Cosworth package after testing once in February with a Reynard-Ilmor/Phoenix.
The pair will continue to drive 2000 Lola's with the new Ford/Cosworth engine. Garcia is backed by Chapeco, Embratel, Infineon and Dark Dog, while Krumm will also have Chapeco, Infineon and Dark Dog sponsorship.
Notes * Garcia is one of 10 Brazilian drivers in the FedEx CART Championship.
*Garcia's best finish in a CART race was 11th at the Michigan 500 last season.
* The Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will be Garcia's 31st CART start.
* At the 2000 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Garcia scored his first-ever CART championship point.
* Garcia won more than $150,000 in prize money last season.
* Garcia competed for Coyne Racing briefly during the 1999 CART year.
* Krumm starts his second FedEx CART Championship race at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
* Krumm ran as high as 11th before encountering mechanical difficulties.
* Krumm is the first German driver in CART since Arnd Meier in 1998.
* Krumm is a former Japanese GT Champion (1997).
* Team P.R.G. and Dale Coyne Racing formed alliance for 2001 season.
"Long Beach is one of my favorite races of the season. It was a really special race last year when I scored my first point in CART competition. Scoring was the goal then, now it's qualifying well and getting into the top ten. The Lola-Ford/Cosworth is a strong package as evidenced by how well it did at Monterrey." - Luiz Garcia Jr., Driver
"In general, I like street circuits. They are very demanding and having raced on several in Formula 3, I am looking forward to visiting Long Beach for the first time. I have never seen Long Beach, so I will spend as much time as I can (before the race) walking the track and getting a feel for it. Mexico was a fantastic experience and the fans were amazing. This was definitely the biggest race of my career so far. I have always wanted to race in CART and to finally achieve this and make a strong performance in the race was great. It is a shame we did not finish, but now I am just looking forward to Long Beach. Since Mexico, I have had two days of testing in Formula Nippon, a race (retired due to electrical failure) and another test in a Nissan GT car." - Michael Krumm, Driver
-Coyne Racing/Team P.R.G.