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The History-Maker: The 1999 No. 24 Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Powered by Toyota

On October 29, 1999, PPI (under the Arciero-Wells Racing banner), Toyota and driver Scott Pruett made history. It was qualifying day for the Marlboro 500, the Champ Car World Series (CART) race at California Speedway (now Auto Club Speedway) in Fontana, California. From behind the wheel of this Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota, Pruett clocked a lap at 30.030 seconds, 235.398 miles per hour – earning the team’s and Toyota’s first pole position in Champ Car history.

This remarkable qualifying effort, the fifth pole of Pruett’s five-year open wheel career, stood out among a 24-car field that had an average qualifying speed of 228.076 miles per hour. It also outpaced all other Toyotas, with the next highest Toyota-powered qualifier starting 15th at 31.432 seconds, 273.911 miles per hour.

Toyota entered the Champ Car arena in 1996 with an aggressive engine development program designed specifically for the highest echelon of open wheel competition. From the beginning, PPI was an integral partner in that effort. For both racing programs, winning the pole was a significant victory. For Toyota, it signaled to the world that what had begun as a development program had finally become a serious contender, one that would go on to win races and championships. It also became a major milestone in the manufacturer’s storied motorsports legacy.

For Pruett, this Pioneer/MCI WorldCom Toyota would be the last car he would ever drive in Champ Car competition. The Marlboro 500 was the last race of the 1999 Champ Car season and the last open wheel race of Pruett’s career. An eight-time champion in American sports car racing and two-time Champ Car race winner, Pruett continues to compete in sports car and NASCAR events.

Official Qualifying Report

CHASSIS
Type:
99 Reynard, made in England
Body Construction:
Carbon fiber/honeycomb
Front/Rear Suspension:
Double wishbone with Eibach springs
Sway Bars:
Front and rear sway bars, adjustable from the cockpit
Weight:
1,550 lbs.
Length:
185 inches
Cockpit Width:
18 inches
Height:
32 inches
Wheelbase:
116 inches
Weight Distribution:
40/60
Fuel Capacity:
35 U.S. gallons
Steering Type:
Rack and pinion
 
ENGINE
(Note: Vehicle does not come equipped with power plant.)
Type:
Toyota Engine
Management:
Denso fuel, ignition system
Displacement:
1.65 liters/161.7 cubic inches
Engine Block:
Aluminum alloy V8
Valve Train:
Double overhead camshaft, four valves per cylinder
Crankshaft:
Forged steel alloy
Piston:
Forged aluminum alloy
Connecting Rods:
Forged steel alloy
Transmission/Gearbox:
Xtrac, six-speed sequential shift
Ignition:
Denso CDI system
 
OTHER
Brakes:
Brembo ventilated steel discs with eight piston calipers
Tires:
Firestone Firehawk Racing Radials
Wheels:
BBS forged magnesium
Mirrors:
Multivex Racing Mirrors with multiple angle convex lens
Fuel:
Methanol
Paint:
PPG Industries, Inc.
Steering Wheel:
Momo Corse Products, Inc.