IndyCar »

Ave considers Atlantic return.


Former Toyota Atlantic standout and race winner Tony Ave has revealed that he is considering a return to the category in 2009, and would be doing so with his own team.

Tony Ave Racing is currently the leading manufacturer of Trans-Am style tube frame sportscars for the SCCA based GT-1 class, as well as the recently relaunched pro Trans-Am series, but its head admits that the Atlantic Championship, now backed by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda, is under consideration.

“Our sportscar business is strong right now - our cars have dominated in the US, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico - so fortunately we are really busy,” Ave confirmed, “Now may be the perfect time to diversify our operation a bit, and Atlantic racing has always held a big interest to me. Besides, I could use that one million dollar bonus.”

Ave competed on and off in the Atlantic Championship as a driver for ten years from 1993 through 2003, but only ran one full season in that time. However, he was consistently one of the drivers to beat, despite also running with some of the smallest teams. With his own operation, though, that would no longer be the case.

“We have a 25,000 square-foot facility, with all the resources at hand we could need,” he admitted, “We are seriously looking to do at least a one-car team, perhaps two if the right deal could be found.”

While Ave's sportscar operation could field as many as six entries in the Trans-Am series in 09, any attempt at Atlantic would see a completely separate at-track staff, although the open-wheel and sportscar divisions would share things such as the composite and fabrication departments and machine shop, which are already up and running.

“There are some economies of scale for us, but most important is that Atlantic is standing on its own, and could become a destination series, much like it was for [1974-75 Atlantic champion] Bill Brack and the like. There will still be plenty of young guns, but maybe there needs to be a few guys like me for them to measure themselves against.”


Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Champ Car Atlantic logo
Tony Kanaan chats with teammate Scott Dixon during qualifications for the Iowa Corn Indy 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan and Helio Castroneves set up for Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 1 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 3 during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan streaks past the start/finish line during practice for the Iowa Corn 300 at Iowa Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet IndyCar V6 races to a second-place finish Saturday, June 27, 2015, in the Verizon IndyCar Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.  (Photo by Perry Nelson/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Marco Andretti, Tony Kanaan, and Graham Rahal go three-wide going into Turn 1 during the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)
The podium of Graham Rahal, Tony Kanaan, and Marco Andretti hoist their trophies on Victory Lane following the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday, June 27 2015. (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, Ed Carpenter, and Tony Kanaan go three-wide during practice for the MAVTV 500 at Auto Club Speedway (Photo by: Richard Dowdy for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon, driver of the #9 Energizer Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet V6 IndyCar, celebrates his victory with teammate Tony Kanaan Saturday, June 6, 2015, after winning the Verizon IndyCar Series Firestone 600 race at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth, Texas. Canaan, driver of the #10 NTT Data Chip Ganassi Racing Chevrolet finished in second-place. (Photo by Russell LaBounty/LAT for Chevy Racing)
Simon Pagenaud and Tony Kanaan enter Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Bret Kelley for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan on course during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park (Photo by: Joe Skibinski for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan apexes Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan sets up for Turn 7 during practice for Race 1 of the Chevrolet Dual in Detroit at Belle Isle Park. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Tony Kanaan`s wrecked car is craned away during the 99th running of the Indianapolis 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday May 24 2015. (Photo by: Jim Haines for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.