Chuck West, owner of World Speed Motorsports, announced that the team will relocate to a new, custom-built facility in Palm Desert, California. Located in a professional industrial park near Palm Springs (about 90 miles east of Los Angeles), the World Speed facility features 10,000 square feet, expansive office space and an in-house machine shop.
“As a professional team building for the future, owning our own base of operations was the next logical step,” said West, who runs teams in the Kool/Toyota Atlantic Championship and Star Formula Mazda Pro Series. “With more than 14 race cars and three transporters under one roof, we needed a building designed to meet our specific requirements. The new shop enables us to house everything in one convenient location and gives us access to nearly ten different track configurations within a four hour drive.
“Sears Point has been our home for more than five years. We had been looking around the (San Francisco) Bay-area for some property to build on for more than a year, but nothing suitable was available. While Northern California’s been a great place to live, Palm Springs offers terrific weather for ten months out of the year and makes it easier for us to get to the mid-west races.”
The new complex is expected to be completed in three to four weeks, with the team moving everything to Palm Springs by the end of March, including a staff of 18 full-time World Speed employees.
For 1999, Nicolas Rondet will drive the first of an expected two-car effort in the Kool/Toyota Atlantic Championship. Jeff Bucknum returns to lead the Star Formula Mazda Pro team along with rookies Grant Ryley and Pierre Ehret, as well as returning veterans Bryan Willman, Frank McCormick, Ginni Swanton and Debbie Girdler. World Speed also prepares up to three additional Formula Mazdas for the Star series as well as SCCA regional and national competition.