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Cheers! May the year be fruitful and s...
|02.2006 Cheers! May the year be fruitful and successful….for Champ Car Atlantic Championship and Yokohama
The euphoria from the day, in which the song ‘Love is all around’ and all its versions, were beginning to swamp the mind to the brink of boredom and stupidity, has begun to settle down. But should we try to give definitions for this coveted feeling, warming the hearts in the cold, not only outside, weather? I guess not. After all, how to explain the unexplainable. Those who have shared St. Valentine’s day and felt the magic and sweetness that a love confession brings can only hope that it wasn’t caused only by the holiday. But let’s look at another kind of enchantment that also happens to be a very passionate one whose objects of affection are high-speed automobiles. Because February 14 gave an occasion for celebration, not only the day of love, but also one particular Bulgarian holiday that marks the nearing end of the winter and the hope that the coming spring brings for a fertile and wealthy year. Of course, the crew of Champ Car Atlantic Championship (USA) probably had no idea about it, but still this is exactly what they celebrated. After the long and exhaustive work and preparations for the upcoming season in the beginning of April in Long Beach, the constructors and organizers of the Championship enjoyed a short period of rest and entertainment that culminated with the presentation of the long-awaited all-new, made-in-the-USA car, specially created for the series – with newly-designed 016.a chassis by Swift Engineering, powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine (Mazda has also joined the team of constructors after signing a three-year agreement) riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks. Yokohama .returns for its 18th season of Atlantic competition in 2006, serving as the exclusive tire supplier and presenting sponsor of the series. While Tuesday night’s festivities focused on the beauty and the accomplishment of producing the new car, the remainder of this week will be concentrated on competition. The ’06 machine traveled from Los Angeles to Phoenix on Wednesday and it will spend the next few days going through its first on-track test. Former Atlantic series champion Jon Fogarty will put the car through its paces with a three-day test session at Firebird Raceway. After teams take delivery of their new cars on March 8, the Atlantic series will host an open test session for all teams at the California Speedway road course, March 21-22. The 2006 Champ Car Atlantic season gets underway April 7- 9 at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. There are less than 2 months till then when we will also be able to trace the competition series and assure ourselves if the organizers will keep their promise for a new era in the history of the championship – with a new-look, new teams, new drivers, new cars and engines, but still with a firm basis from the past – Yokohama.