26 April 1999. Rondet readies for more firsts on Nazareth oval
Palm Springs, Calif. (April 26, 1999) --- Nicolas Rondet, in his first season of competition in the CART Kool/Toyota Atlantic Championship, is preparing for more firsts at Nazareth Speedway this weekend - the second round of the 1999 Atlantic season.
While Rondet, of San Diego, California, has clearly established himself as a leading force on the 1999 circuit after running as high as second two weeks ago in Long Beach, the former Barber-Dodge Pro Series standout will make his professional racing oval debut this weekend during the Bosch Spark Plug Grand Prix presented by Toyota.
"I've never been on an oval before in my life," said Rondet, who was born in Melle, France and raised in Sao Paulo, Brazil. "I will count on the experience of Chuck (West) and Mike (Doyle) to know what to do this weekend. I always believed that real talent is being able to learn and adapt quickly, and, hopefully, we'll be able to prove it again this weekend."
Rondet had his share of ups and downs during the season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. While he set the fastest lap of the race and ran as high as second, his race ended early while challenging for second place with just five laps remaining following contact with the Turn One tire wall. Rondet is considered one of the leading Rookie contenders in this year's Atlantic championship.
The CART Kool/Toyota Atlantic weekend at Nazareth begins on Thursday, April 29 with an open test session, followed by practice and qualifying on Friday, April 30. The 60-lap, 60-mile race is scheduled to begin at 3:00 pm Eastern on Saturday, May 1. The race will be televised on Sunday, May 9 at 12:300 pm Eastern on espn2, with repeat broadcasts on Tuesday, May 11 at 1:30 am, and Thursday, May 13 at 2:00 am. Further information, including Nazareth event photos, will be available throughout the weekend on the World Speed Motorsports Web site.