14 April 2002. Figge's day ends early at Long Beach
Rookie Alex Figge's race today at the CART Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach ended early following light contact with the wall on the tight, 1.968-mile temporary street circuit. He was credited with 23rd out of 27 starters, although he was running ninth when he made contact with another competitor and was forced out of the race.
"This race was a little bit rough," said Figge, who qualified 16th but was moved to the back of the pack when the starter motor failed on the grid. "We started from the back, but started moving forward pretty quickly. I caught up to a big group after about ten laps and just got a little too optimistic. Several of us were battling and I got nudged and just touched the wall. It wasn't a hard hit, but it was enough to break the front end. We had a great car for the race. We were hoping for a top ten finish and were already running ninth when it ended, so that gives us something to feel good about. Once again, I can't thank the World Speed guys enough and we're already looking forward to Milwaukee."
As a rookie to the Atlantic series, this weekend marked Figge's first appearance at Long Beach, as well as his first-ever race on a temporary street course. Last month, he set the fastest lap of the race in the Atlantic season-opener in Monterrey, Mexico. Following today's race, Figge is 17th overall and the 9th rookie in the 2002 CART Toyota Atlantic Championship point standings.
Round three of the 12-race 2002 Atlantic series is scheduled for Sunday, June 2, at the Miller Lite 225 CART FedEx Championship weekend on the Milwaukee Mile oval in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Further information is available on the team’s web site at www.worldspeed.com
as well as the official Atlantic series site at www.toyotaatlantic.com