In 1989 Toyota became the title sponsor for the Formula Atlantic series. All cars used the Toyota 4A-GE engine, which is a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine tuned to produce approximately 240-horsepower. The Swift 008.a was the exclusive chassis supplier in 2001 and all cars used Yokohama tires. The Formula Atlantic series was one of the rungs in the Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) ladder system. The list of alumni was impressive and included many open-wheel stars such as Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Keke Rosberg, Danny Sullivan and the Villeneuve’s.

The 2001 season began at Long Beach in April and ended at Laguna Seca in October. A majority of the races took place in the United States, but there were four events held in Canada – Montreal, Toronto, Trois-Rivieres and Vancouver. The series was often a support event to the CART series – the exceptions were Montreal as part of the Formula 1 weekend and Trois-Rivieres, where they shared top billing with the Grand Am series.

Round six of the 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship was held at Toronto’s Exhibition Place. Drivers would complete on the eleven turn 1.755-mile temporary street circuit for thirty-five laps.

British Columbia’s David Rutledge found himself in the title hunt after collecting victories in the season opener at Long Beach and the first Canadian stop, Montreal. The driver of the No. 19 Lynx Racing prepared Swift 008.a was sixth fastest in the opening practice but improved with each session and recorded the fastest time during qualifying. In the race, Rutledge would lead flag-to-flag.
The 2001 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship points leader entering Toronto was Hoover Orsi. Like Rutledge, he had two victories, but his overall record was better. Orsi was second fastest in the first qualifying session, which put him on the outside of the front row for the start. He avoided any contact entering turn one of the race and went unchallenged to collect his third runner-up result of the season.
Martin Basso had a slow start to the year but collected a third-place finish at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve and qualified on the pole for the previous round at Cleveland. The driver of the No. 5 Michael Shank Racing prepared Swift 008.a was gridded fourth for the thirty-lap event. Basso moved to third place during the contest, but contact with Michael Valiante at the end of Lakeshore Boulevard relegated him to a fourth-place finish.
The No. 27 DSTP Motorsports Swift 008.a was piloted by Joey Hand. Hand was yet to find the top step of the rostrum but finished third at Long Beach and collected a runner-up result at the Burke Lakefront Airport in Cleveland. He qualified third fastest at Toronto. During the race, Hand slipped down the order after being passed by Grant Ryley and Martin Basso to finish in the fifth position.
Newcomer Michael Valiante drove the No. 95 Lynx Racing Swift 008.a. Valiante was running a limited schedule which saw him entered at Long Beach and Montreal, where he finished second. He qualified seventh fastest at Toronto and wasted little time moving forward. An aggressive move in turn three elevated him to fourth-place, but the same maneuver on Martin Basso resulted in contact and a sixth-place finish.
2000 Canadian Formula Ford champion, Jonathan Macri, was fourth fastest in the first practice but crashed on the opening lap of qualifying session one. The P-1 Racing team made repairs to the No. 31 NTN Bearing Swift 008.a and Macri started in the eighth position. Unfortunately, the car suffered from poor handling during the race and he was only able to manage a ninth place result.

11David RutledgeSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
22Hoover OrsiSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
310Grant RyleySwift 008.a - Toyota35-
44Martin BassoSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
53Joey HandSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
67Michael ValianteSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
76Tim BellSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
814Rodolfo LavinSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
98Jonathan MacriSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
1011 Charles HallSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
1116Christophe BeauvisSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
1212Case MontgomerySwift 008.a - Toyota35-
1315Frank DancsSwift 008.a - Toyota35-
145Tony AveSwift 008.a - Toyota34-
159Stephan RoySwift 008.a - Toyota34-
1619Sergi SzortykaSwift 008.a - Toyota34-
1718Bob SiskaSwift 008.a - Toyota33-
1817Eric JensenSwift 008.a - Toyota16Mechanical
1913Rocky Moran Jr.Swift 008.a - Toyota10Contact

Copyright Notice:
All content (photographs and text) appearing on this website are the exclusive property of © and are protected under International copyright laws. The subject matter on this website may not be reproduced, copied, stored or manipulated.

© Copyright 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016

Return to home page.