CHAMPCAR/CART: Long Beach Friday Notes

David Reininger - motorsport.com Long Beach, Calif. (April 14, 2000) - Notes from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has renewed their agreement with the Long Beach Grand Prix Association to sponsor the Long...

David Reininger - motorsport.com

Long Beach, Calif. (April 14, 2000) - Notes from the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. has renewed their agreement with the Long Beach Grand Prix Association to sponsor the Long Beach Grand Prix through the year 2005. Toyota has been the sponsor of the race since its inception in 1975 when it as a Formula 5000 race. The 26-year partnership is the longest running active professional sponsorship arrangement in the CART FedEx Series.

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Officials from CART joined with city and state officials of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon to announce the addition of a race date in Mexico in 2001. The Monterrey Grand Prix will take place on a 1.9 mile circuit in Fundidora Park in March of 2001. Construction of the concrete circuit is to begin by mid-May. The circuit and walls should be in place by October.

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Derek Walker announced today a new partnership with EWRX Internet Systems Inc. The three-year agreement will allow race fans an insider view of open wheel racing by visiting www.speedwrx.com. Walker Racing is the only team competing full time in both the CART Championship Series and the Indy Racing League Series. EWRX Internet Systems builds websites in the $21 billion specialty automotive aftermarket.

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As the only Champ car team based in California, PPI Motorsports is looking forward to this weekends Long Beach Grand Prix. The team's headquarters is based in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., just 40 minutes south the Long Beach circuit.

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The only U.S. designed and built engine in the CART series is the Toyota RV8E. The engine is built by Toyota Racing Development in Costa Mesa, Calif, 20 miles south of the site of the Long Beach Grand Prix.

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The official lap distance of the Long Beach circuit is 1.968 miles. The scheduled race distance for Round Two of CART FedEx Championship will be 82 laps (161.376 miles). The Bosch Grand Prix at Nazareth, Pa., scheduled for April 9, has been postponed until May 27, 2000. The circuit length in 1998 was 1.586 miles. In 1999, the circuit length was changed to 1.824 miles.

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Target Chip Ganassi Racing is looking for their fifth straight win at Long Beach. The four race win streak started in 1996 with Jimmy Vasser. Alex Zanardi won the race in 1997 and 1998 and Juan Montoya is the defending champion. Each of the Long Beach winners of the past four years have gone on to capture the CART FedEx Championship as well.

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Thirty-one cars were introduced to the circuit in this morning's practice session. Back up cars were used by De Ferran, Moreno, Tagliani, Fernandez, Papis, and Brack.

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Jimmy Vasser , Chip Ganassi
Teams Chip Ganassi Racing , Toyota Racing