Figge and Imperial Capital Bank Reunite with PCM for Champ Car Finale
For the last five years, Alex Figge has piloted a Pacific Coast Motorsports prepared race car. That ritual will come to an end - at least for now, on Sunday, April 20th when he is strapped into his #29 Panoz Champ Car for the final time.
A race for the record books, the 2008 Grand Prix of Long Beach will be the final race of Champ Car’s 29 years of rich racing history as the Champ Car World Series and the Indy Racing recently merged to create a unified open-wheel racing series in North America.
Figge, 27 of Denver, Colorado, will pilot the #29 Imperial Capital Bank/Panoz. "Obviously things didn't end up the way that PCM and I thought and hoped they would,” said Figge. “After Sebring in January I was really excited and extremely positive about the upcoming Champ Car season. I think both PCM and I learned a lot in '07 and made huge strides for '08. I was looking forward to a new experience with my engineer Chris Lurch, who was really tuned in to the Panoz and helped me a lot at Sebring, and Mike Zimicki who I just started working with as a coach and who has a great resume all over the industry. My feelings on Long Beach are bitter sweet...it's my favorite race of the season but in this case also the final race for me and a team that I think was ready to surprise a lot of people this year. Tyler, Michael, and Roy did an amazing job rebuilding after what was a very difficult rookie season. I'm sure the atmosphere of the weekend will be enthusiastic as always and once I'm in the car it'll be back to the business of racing with a group that I'm as close to personally as professionally. And that I'm definitely looking forward to!"
Figge formed Pacific Coast Motorsports with Tyler Tadevic in the fall of 2002. He drove for the California-based squad in the Atlantic Series in 2003 and 2004, which was highlighted by his first professional victory at Monterrey, Mexico in 2004. The team changed gears and headed to sports cars, with a full season in the ALMS in 2005 and Grand AM in 2006. Figge and his teammate Ryan Dalziel earned podium finishes both seasons. In 2007 Figge piloted the #29 PCM Panoz in the Champ Car World Series. He finished eighth in his season debut. The Long Beach Grand Prix will be Figge’s final race with Pacific Coast Motorsports. His plans for the future will be announced in the coming weeks. PCM team owner, Tyler Tadevic commented, “It’s been an amazing run with Alex Figge and his parents Tom and Jennifer. Although we are sad to put Alex in the car for the last time at Long Beach, we are excited for another opportunity to showcase Alex and PCM’s abilities, in what will be a very memorable race. I want to thank the Figge’s for the opportunities they presented to me and to Pacific Coast Motorsports, and I look forward to the opportunity to run Alex again in the future.”
Pacific Coast Motorsports are in discussions with a number of drivers for the #28 entry for Long Beach, an announcement should be forthcoming.
In addition to the final Champ Car race at Long Beach, Pacific Coast Motorsports will return to their roots in 2008 with a two-car Atlantic effort for American drivers Carl Skerlong and Frankie Muniz. The PCM team won the 2004 Atlantic Championship with Jon Fogarty and is hoping for a strong return this season. “As for PCM, we are proud to return to the Atlantic Series and I believe our drivers have the potential for great success this year and we are really looking forward to kicking off the Atlantic Season in Long Beach,” said Tadevic.
The 34th running of Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach will kick-off April 18th. The three-day event will feature the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, the American Le Mans Series, Formula Drift, SPEED World Challenge, the Toyota Pro-Celebrity race and the final Champ Car race on Sunday, April 20th at 1:00 pm. Tune in to the Grand Prix on ESPN2 at 2:00 pm ET. For more information, visit www.gplb.com or www.pcmracing.com.