26.11.2008: News, Notes & Quotes from the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP OFFICIALS IMPRESSED WITH SAVANNAH
With a celebration to commemorate the centennial of the first American Grand Prix race as the
News, Notes & Quotes from the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP OFFICIALS IMPRESSED WITH SAVANNAH
With a celebration to commemorate the centennial of the first American Grand Prix race as the backdrop, Atlantic Championship President Vicki O’Connor and Vice President of Operations John Brunner joined series owner Ben Johnston in Savannah, Ga. to get a sneak preview of the two-mile road circuit at Hutchinson Island that will host the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season opener on March 15.
It was the first visit to the facility for O’Connor, while Brunner was making his second appearance in Savannah. Both came away extremely impressed by the responsiveness of the track officials to make the facility race ready for the 2009 Atlantic and GreenPrix USA season openers, as well as the enthusiasm of Savannah residents and local businesses to once again host a world class racing event after more than 10 years.
"They’re making progress, for sure," Brunner said. "It’s a motivating place to go because the people who live there and the business leaders are so supportive of this event. The track is awesome. It’s so fast. The drivers are going to love it. I think this is going to turn into one of our marquee events. I think everybody is really going to enjoy it."
A centerpiece of the celebration — which also featured a fireworks display — were Atlantic cars from Walker Racing and Forsythe Racing were on display alongside two Panoz DP01 race cars which will be used in the GreenPrix USA event, and a few 1930s-era race cars. The City of Savannah hosted the first-ever Grand Prix race in America on November 26, 1908.
CONDOR MOTORSPORTS SIGNS LEFEVRE FOR 2009 SEASON
Condor Motorsports, which has visited Victory Circle in each of the last two Atlantic seasons with drivers Franck Perera and Junior Strous, took its first step toward the 2009 Atlantic campaign with the announcement that French driver Max Lefevre has joined the team.
Lefevre logged approximately 650 miles in three days of testing with the Condor team at Buttonwillow Raceway last week. He impressed the team with his feedback and ability to adapt to car changes, while he was also impressed by the team’s performance to the point where both parties agreed to join forces for the 2009 season. The team expects to field two to three entries next year in the Atlantic Championship.
"It was a pleasure to work with Max," said Condor Motorsports Team Owner Carlos Bobeda. "I was not only impressed by his driving ability, but also his professional approach. He never put a wheel wrong in all the laps he turned. Max has achieved good results in the European lower formulas, so there was no doubt in my mind that he would do well in the test.
However, his performance in the more powerful Atlantic car was far superior to the expectations I placed on him. He adapted very quickly to the race track and the Atlantic car was turning competitive times from the onset. The whole team is excited to have Max in our driver lineup for 2009. He is definitely someone to watch."
"It was great fun to experience the power and downforce of the Atlantic car," added Lefevre. "The team chose Buttonwillow Raceway for my first tests. It was a good place to start since it presents many challenges while remaining safe. I also appreciate very much the team’s approach with a new driver. All the members of Condor Motorsports succeeded in making me feel at home and this helped me build confidence and adapt to the car within the first day.
Working on car setups at Condor’s level of professionalism was a real treat. The know how and the way I was looked after during the whole three days of the test confirmed that Carlos Bobeda was the perfect person for me to work with as I make my first steps in American racing. I am very excited with the opportunity to compete in this high-level series and look forward to the start of the Atlantic season."
USRT ON THE TESTING TRAIL AGAIN
US RaceTronics has been among the busiest teams in the Atlantic Championship, having tested four different drivers since the conclusion of the 2008 season last month at Road Atlanta. Last week at Buttonwillow Raceway, Colombian driver Sebastian Saavedra became the fourth driver to test for USRT, logging more than 225 miles in a one-day test.
"Sebastian was very quick right out of the box," said USRT owner Shane Seneviratne. "His lap times were very competitive, and by the third session, he seemed to hit his stride. Once he established a good baseline, we worked on getting him faster and to get the car more to his liking. With some tire strategy he became faster. I was real pleased with his performance and his feedback. I also have to thank the USRT crew for once again providing a fast and reliable car for our test.
Saavedra, 18, hails from Bogota, Colombia. Earlier this year, he raced in the German ATS Formula-3 Cup, taking second in the overall championship and taking top rookie honors.
"I am real happy with how the test went," Saavedra said. "We were fast right from the start and the team made my first time in an Atlantic car a great experience. I got to become more comfortable with the car and it showed with my lap times improving. Many thanks to USRT and Shane for their hard work over the last couple of days. Hopefully, a good opportunity can result from this test."
Earlier this fall, drivers Sergio Pena, Juan Camilo Acosta and Juan Carlos Sistos tested for the USRT team.
ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP TO BE WELL-REPRESENTED IN KEY OFF-SEASON EVENTS
While teams and drivers continue to work on their plans for the 2009 Atlantic season, the series will be well represented at two major annual events for the racing industry on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
On Sunday, December 7, series president Vicki O’Connor and communications and promotions director Anne Roy will attend the prestigious Autosport Awards at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on behalf of the Atlantic Championship.
The annual event brings together the most influential personalities and decision-makers in the world of motorsports to celebrate outstanding personal and team achievements from the past season. Awards are voted on by the readers of Autosport magazine and include the Young Driver of the Year, International Driver of the Year and Rookie of the Year among many others.
A few days later, the Atlantic Championship will have a strong presence at the annual Performance Racing Industry show in the Orlando (Fla.) Convention Center. The series will have Booth 1352 at the world’s largest racing trade show, which runs from Thursday, December 11 through Saturday, December 13. Atlantic officials on hand at the PRI show will include vice president of operations John Brunner, operations & technology director Eric Haverson, logistics director Brian Hughes and communications director Nate Siebens.
Via series partner Mazda North American Operations; the Atlantic Championship will also have a presence at upcoming auto shows in Los Angeles; San Francisco; Indianapolis and Portland, Ore.
The 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will go down in history as one of the most exciting and entertaining championship battles in the 35-year history of the series, and beginning this weekend, race fans will have the opportunity to relive all of the excitement on SPEED.
As was announced i weiter >>
The Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will be well represented this week at the SEMA Show, the world’s premier automotive specialty products trade show, being held this week in Las Vegas.
At the Cooper Tire display, 2008 Atlantic champion Markus Niemela and 2008 Pacific Coast Motorsports teammates Frankie Muniz and Carl Skerlong complete the weiter >>
Date Venue/Location With
March 15 Hutchinson Island – Savannah, Ga.* Green Prix USA
March 20 Sebring International Raceway – Sebring, Fla. American Le Mans Series
May 17 Miller Motorsports Park – Tooele, Utah American Le Mans Series
June 14 New Jersey Motorsports Park – Millville, N.J.** Feature
July 18 Lim weiter >>
The 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda schedule unveiled today represents a substantial departure from previous Atlantic schedules but will bring the series to many new and important markets.
The 11-weekend schedule features five venues that hosted the series in 2008, four venues that hosted Atlantic events at some point in the past and weiter >>
On the heels of an outstanding, 35th anniversary season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, which wrapped up at Road Atlanta earlier this month, the series’ future has been solidified as it was announced today that Atlanta-area businessman Ben Johnston has purchased Atlantic Racing Series, LLC from Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe. Terms of weiter >>
Following a thrilling conclusion to the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda last Friday at Road Atlanta, the drivers, teams, partners and officials gathered at the posh Chateau Élan in Braselton, Ga. to pay tribute to the 2008 season at the annual Awards Banquet.
After wrapping up the title earlier in the day with his second victory of th weiter >>
Coming to a restart with four laps remaining in Friday’s 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season finale at Road Atlanta, Finnish rookie Markus Niemela was sitting second in both the race and championship standings.
American rookie Dane Cameron had led handily from the race’s standing start, while another American rookie, Jonathan Summe weiter >>
Rookie Jonathan Summerton turned up the heat on championship-leader Jonathan Bomarito in the final qualifying session of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda by taking the pole position for Friday’s season finale at Road Atlanta in support of the Petit Le Mans Powered by the Totally New MAZDA6.
Driving the No. 36 Nuclear Clean Air Ener weiter >>
The 10 members of the 35th Anniversary Atlantic Championship All-Star Team were honored in a media luncheon earlier today at Road Atlanta, site of Friday’s 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season finale in support of the Petit Le Mans Powered by the Totally New MAZDA6.
In attendance at the luncheon were Bill Brack, who won the first tw weiter >>
Dane Cameron may be considered a rookie in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, but he is one of the drivers with the most previous experience at Road Atlanta, which he used to his advantage in the first official practice in preparation for Friday’s Atlantic season finale in support of the Petit Le Mans Powered by the Totally New Mazda 6. weiter >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA PETIT LE MANS POWERED BY THE TOTALLY NEW MAZDA 6
• Three Way Battle: All eyes will be on the three drivers battling it out for the 2008 Atlantic title in Friday’s season finale. American Jonathan Bomarito (No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments) weiter >>
Imagine a championship game that has three teams fighting for one title. While that is impossible in stick-and-ball sports, that is exactly the scenario in front of drivers Jonathan Bomarito, Jonathan Summerton and Markus Niemela—as well as their teams—as the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda concludes a dramatic, 35th Anniversary season on Fri weiter >>
Race fans will have the opportunity to catch the excitement of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda on Sunday afternoons in November and December as officials from the series, Mazda and SPEED today announced that 2008 Atlantic races will be shown on the network.
"With the invaluable assistance of our partners at Mazda, we are pleased t weiter >>
- Three Drivers Still in Contention for Title
Finnish driver Markus Niemela became the seventh different winner in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and remained one of three drivers still in mathematical contention for the championship in the SunRichGourmet.com 1000 at Miller Motorsports Park.
Niemela started weiter >>
Following a windy final qualifying session on Saturday morning at Miller Motorsports Park, Finnish rookie Markus Niemela retained his first career Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda pole position for Sunday’s SunRichGourmet.com 1000.
Niemela will start from the pole in the No. 8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kitchen/Rauma Town/Turku Karting machine for weiter >>
After a season full of second-place results in practice, qualifying and races, Finnish rookie Markus Niemela found his way to the top of the charts in provisional qualifying for Sunday’s Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda race at Miller Motorsports Park.
Driving the No. 8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kit weiter >>
Six drivers are still in mathematical contention for the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda as the series makes its inaugural visit to the 4.5-mile Miller Motorsports Park near Salt Lake City for Sunday’s SunRichGourmet.com 1000.
American Jonathan Bomarito continues to lead the season standings, but saw his lead reduced from 28 to 16 poi weiter >>
In a dominating performance at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway, Carl Skerlong claimed his first career Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda victory in the inaugural Mazda Formula X. He was the sixth different winner in nine Atlantic races this season.
Driving the No. 14 King Taco machine for Pacific Coast Motorsports, Skerlong weiter >>
Throughout Friday’s test sessions and practice on Saturday morning, Carl Skerlong has been the quickest driver at New Jersey Motorsports Park’s Thunderbolt Raceway. Skerlong continued the trend in qualifying on Saturday afternoon, claiming the provisional pole for Sunday’s Mazda Formula X event, which will be Round 9 of the 11-race Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship weiter >>
The drivers and teams Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda got their first look at the new Thunderbolt Raceway at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Friday for a test session in advance of this Sunday’s Mazda Formula X race.
Carl Skerlong posted the quickest lap of the day in the second of three test sessions with a lap at 1:10.259 in the No. 14 Ki weiter >>
Jonathan Bomarito took a big step forward in his quest to be champion of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda with a dominating victory in the Grand-Prix de Trois-Rivieres.
After starting from the pole position in his No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments machine for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito got away clean weiter >>
Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Jonathan Bomarito continued his hot streak in final qualifying for the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres and extended his points lead in record fashion.
Driving the No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments entry for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito broke the Atlantic Champ weiter >>
In provisional qualifying for Sunday’s Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda points leader Jonathan Bomarito managed to extend his lead in the championship and guarantee himself a front row starting spot by taking the provisional pole.
Bomarito posted a best lap at 59.875 seconds (91.451 mph) in the No. 26 Del Taco/ weiter >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA
• Jonathan and Jonathan: Lately it’s been good to be an American driver named "Jonathan" in the Atlantic Championship. Jonathan Bomarito (No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments) has taken over the championship lead on the strength of victories in Race #1 of weiter >>
For the first time since 2003, the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will headline the historic Grand Prix de Trois-Rivieres, and the supportive Canadian fans will be treated to one of the closest Atlantic points battles in years.
Just seven points separate leader Jonathan Bomarito and third-place Markus Niemela, with fifth-place Carl Skerlo weiter >>
The race winners of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at Road America were a carbon copy of the Rexall Edmonton Indy doubleheader two weeks ago, as American rookie Jonathan Summerton won the second race of the doubleheader one day after Jonathan Bomarito won the first race of the weekend.
In the first race of a Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Road Race Showcase, American racer Jonathan Bomarito became the first two-time winner of the season at Road America.
Driving the No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Discount Tire/RLM Investments machine for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito took the lead in the race’s stand weiter >>
On his final lap in qualifying for Saturday’s Race #1 of the Road Race Showcase doubleheader at Road America, rookie driver Dane Cameron scored his first career Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda pole position.
Driving the No. 19 MAZDASPEED/Finlay Motorsports/Lynx Racing machine for Genoa Racing, Cameron clocked a best lap at 1:59.190 (122.26 weiter >>
A few hours after the checkered flag dropped on the second race of last weekend’s Rexall Edmonton Indy doubleheader, several Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda drivers made their way to Rexall Place to take in Saturday’s final round of a two-day Professional Bull Riders (PBR) elite Built Ford Tough Series presented by Wrangler (BFTS) event in Edmonto weiter >>
It was a good weekend to be named "Jonathan" in the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda at the Rexall Edmonton Indy, as Jonathan Summerton became the second driver with that first name and the fifth different driver in five races this season to win in Saturday’s second half of a doubleheader weekend north of the border.
Driving the No. 36 Newm weiter >>
Jonathan Bomarito became the fourth different winner in four races for the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda in the first race of the Rexall Edmonton Indy doubleheader on Friday evening.
Driving the No. 26 Del Taco/Stone Brewing/Rockview Builders/RLM Investments machine for Mathiasen Motorsports, Bomarito stalked polesitter James Hinchc weiter >>
Just as he did last year, Canadian driver James Hinchcliffe will start from the pole position for the first race of a Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda doubleheader at the Rexall Edmonton Indy.
Driving the No. 3 Indeck/Tire Rack/NOCO machine for Forsythe/Pettit Racing, Hinchcliffe clocked a best lap at 1:05.910 (107.765 mph) to score his sec weiter >>
• O, Canada: The Rexall Edmonton Indy field will feature three Canadian drivers, including two who hail from Toronto. James Hinchcliffe, who drives the No. 3 Indeck/Tire Rack/NOCO entry for Forsythe/Pettit Racing, makes his home in Toronto, as does Eurointernational rookie Daniel Morad in the No. 70 Metro Directories of Georg weiter >>
The first doubleheader weekend of the 11-race 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season and the "stretch run" gets underway with this weekend’s Rexall Edmonton Indy twin-bill.
While the first four races of the 35th Anniversary Atlantic season were each separated by a month or more, the final eight races of the championship will be run ov weiter >>
One day after taking his first career Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda pole position and one year after watching his Condor Motorsports teammate Franck Perera celebrate his first victory at Circuit Mont-Tremblant, Dutchman Junior Strous dominated the Sommet des Legendes en route to his first career Atlantic win.
Driving the No. 6 Shell/HTP/ weiter >>
Under weather conditions that alternated between dry and wet a few times throughout the day, Junior Strous scored his first career pole position in Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda competition and will start Sunday’s Sommet des Legendes at Circuit Mont-Tremblant from the inside of the front row.
Strous posted a best lap at 1:28.805 (106.251 weiter >>
Atlantic Racing Series, LLC, which owns and operates the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, moved into its new headquarters in the Indianapolis suburb of Brownsburg on Monday.
The series headquarters were previously located in the former Champ Car World Series, LLC home on the Northwest side of Indianapolis. The new address for Atlantic Raci weiter >>
... Powered by Mazda Events in 2008
A key component of the 35th anniversary season for the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda has finally fallen into place as Atlantic Championship President Vicki O’Connor and officials from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) announced today that IMSA has agreed to sanction weiter >>
Atlantic Championship Notebook – June 5, 2008
News, Notes & Quotes from the Atlantic Championship
One of the hallmarks of open-wheel racing over the past several years was the presence of a dedicated, full-time safety team at each event. On several occasions, the safety team has literally saved the lives of drivers involved in incidents on-course.
With an air temperature of 97 degrees Fahrenheit and a track temperature of 125, it was unseasonably hot for the first day of practice and qualifying at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, but Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe scorched the 2.238-mile road course with a lap at 1:17.541 (103.904 mph) to score the provisional pole for Sunday’s Monterey Festival of Speed.
The performan weiter >>
CAR DRIVEN BY SIMONA DE SILVESTRO AND NEWMAN WACHS RACING
Officials from Entergy Nuclear today announced enhancements to its partnership with the Nuclear Clean Air Energy Campaign, which kicked off in April at the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season-opening Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long B weiter >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA MONTEREY FESTIVAL OF SPEED
• 35 Years and Counting: The 35th Anniversary celebration for the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda kicks off with this weekend’s season-opening Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach.
Over the yea weiter >>