Strous Sweeps Weekend at Mont-Tremblant to Score First Atlantic Victory and Take Over Points Lead
Strous Sweeps Weekend at Mont-Tremblant to Score First Atlantic Victory and Take Over Points Lead
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/Muermans Group/Red, White & Bluezz entry for Condor Motorsports/Team Holland, Strous led throughout the 30-lap event and his victory was secure when the day’s third and final full-course caution period came out on the final lap of the race. In addition to scoring a bonus point for the pole position and 31 for the victory, Strous earned one more bonus point for turning the race’s fastest lap.
With three of 11 Atlantic races now in the books, Strous has taken over the points lead by seven points, 74-67, over James Hinchcliffe and Markus Niemela. It was also the Dutchman’s second consecutive podium result, following a third-place outing at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and helps to erase painful memories of a broken wrist during his rookie Atlantic season last year once and for all.
"This first career victory feels so good," Strous said. "I remember last year at Mont-Tremblant, I still had a broken wrist. It was total hell, especially the first chicane. I’m feeling it a little bit now, but we just had a great weekend. We had a clean sweep this weekend, had the pole position, won the race and had the fastest race lap. The guys worked really hard.
We had some problems with the car throughout the weekend, but the mechanics stayed up late and fixed it. I’d like to thank them a lot. They worked so hard. I took the lead in the championship, so obviously, I’m really happy with that. Franck Perera won his first race here last year. It’s not a coincidence that I also won my first race here. It’s just great. I’m really happy!"
Niemela also posted the best result of his young Atlantic career with a second-place performance aboard the No. 8 Mr. Jones Bar & Kitchen/Rauma Town/Turku Karting machine for Brooks Associates Racing. The Finnish rookie started third, but got a great jump on the standing start to easily take over second place from Kevin Lacroix heading into the first turn. Like Strous, Niemela would not be seriously challenged during the race. He moved into a tie for second in the overall championship standings with Hinchcliffe, and has taken over the lead in the Rookie of the Year standings. He now leads the rookie race by 16 points over American Jonathan Summerton.
"I think the result of the race was all right," Niemela said. "It was good, actually. Of course, winning is a completely different story. You can be completely, genuinely happy if you win, but I’m definitely happy with second position. It keeps us in a good position for the championship, as well. I knew that Condor (Motorsports) was probably going to have a really good car for the race, like we saw last year. Junior is a fast driver as well. I knew it was going to be tough, and I couldn’t quite keep up with him. I don’t think there was that big of a speed difference, but he was slightly faster than me pretty much all the time. Anyway, it was a good race."
Enjoying a good race for the second straight time was American Carl Skerlong in the No. 14 King Taco machine for Pacific Coast Motorsports. Skerlong also took advantage on the standing start to move from fourth to third where he would remain throughout the event. Skerlong’s third-place result fits together nicely with his second-place run the last time out at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last month and he has now moved into the top five in the point standings.
"It was not a super-eventful day," Skerlong said.
"It was wet in the morning (warm-up), and we didn’t really get a chance to try new changes or anything before the race. We knew we had a decent car. I qualified third in the first qualifying, and that was pretty much the car we had for the race. I think the top three broke away a little bit and we had a pretty clean race going. In the last 10 minutes, we had the first restart and it definitely made us step our game up having someone in our mirrors. I think James (Hinchcliffe) did a good job of holding some people off behind him.
All in all, it helped me out. The way the points worked out, I’m very happy with third. You’ve got to take what you can get. This is what we need for the championship. We’re happy. I’ve got to thank all the guys from Pacific Coast Motorsports and King Taco and everybody that made this possible."
While the three cars ahead of him seemingly cruised to their respective finishing positions, Hinchcliffe had a bit more of a battle throughout the race to secure a fourth-place result in the No. 3 Indeck/Tire Rack/NOCO machine for Forsythe/Pettit Racing. It was Hinchcliffe’s second consecutive top-five performance, and although he lost the points lead, he remains well within striking distance of the championship with eight races still to come this season.
Also enjoying a career-best result at Mont-Tremblant was American rookie Dane Cameron, who came home fifth in the No. 19 MAZDASPEED/Finlay Motorsports/Lynx Racing machine for Genoa Racing. The 2007 Star Mazda champion improved greatly upon results of 11th and 17th with the top-five performance in just his third Atlantic Championship start.
Driving the No. 26 Del Taco/RLM Investments/Stone Brewing entry for Mathiasen Motorsports, Jonathan Bomarito charged all the way to sixth place after starting 13th to earn the bonus point for most improved positions. German Andreas Wirth finished seventh in the No. 88 Wirsol Solar Energy/Sueba USA Development machine for Brooks Associates Racing, while Mexican racer David Garza came home eighth in the No. 7 Axtel/Tecate/Madisa Cat entry from Forsythe/Pettit Racing.
Simona De Silvestro, who won the season-opening race at Long Beach in April, finished ninth in the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy mount for Newman Wachs Racing, and Strous’ Condor Motorsports/Team Holland teammate Dominick Muermans completed the top 10 in the No. 9 Hugenholtz Property Group/Jumbo Supermarkten/Muermans Group entry.
The race was slowed by full-course caution three times for a total of 10 laps. Greg Mansell, who was entered in the No. 5 Sunseeker machine for Walker Racing and Luis Schiavo in Eurointernational’s No. 46 Constructora Iriaca/Astaltatora Maracay/Transporte Jumbo/Energy Freight System entry, did not compete in the Sommet des Legendes. Both cars were damaged in a crash during the morning warm-up session. The drivers were not injured.
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 >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA
WHAT: Monterey Festival of Speed
WHERE: Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca – Monterey, Calif.
ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times local, PT): FRIDAY, MAY 16: Practice – 9:00 – 9:45 a.m., First Round Qualifying – 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. SATURDAY, MAY 17: Practice – 8:30 weiter >>
The Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will return to beautiful Mazda Raceway Laguna for the first time since 2004 with a field full of drivers that are sure to have their share of fan support in Sunday’s Monterey Festival of Speed.
MRLS locals need look no further than Monterey’s own Jonathan Bomarito when searching for a rooting interest. N weiter >>
Leads 81 of 83 laps en route to third career victory
Will Power got the jump on the entire field Sunday, vaulting from fourth to first at the start of the race, and never looked back as he cruised to victory in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, the final race in Champ Car World Series history.
The 20-car field used a standing start for the first time in weiter >>
.. with Victory in Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach
Less than 24 hours after Atlantic Championship graduate Danica Patrick earned her first career Indy Racing League IndyCar Series victory in Japan, second-year Swiss driver Simona De Silvestro became the second woman in the 34-year history of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlan weiter >>
1. 2 Justin Wilson GB Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing 1:06.902 105.898
2. 15 Alex Tagliani CDN Walker Racing 1:07.084 0.182 0.182 105.611
3. 34 Franck Perera* F Conquest Racing 1:07.180 0.096 0.278 105.460
4. 8 Will Power AUS Team Australia 1:07.205 0.025 0.303 105.421
5. 3 Paul Tracy CDN Forsythe Racing 1:07.352 0.147 0.450 105.191
6. 7 Fr weiter >>
Justin Wilson saved his best for last Saturday, recording the fastest lap of the weekend in the final minute of qualifying to earn the pole position for the 34th annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.
Wilson lapped the 11-turn, 1.97-mile circuit in 1 minute, 6.902 seconds, 105.898 mph, surpassing Alex Tagliani to win his seventh career Champ Car pole.
"My car was weiter >>
.. for Season-Opening Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach
While many of the names on the entry list changed places several times during the on-track sessions prior to Sunday’s Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season-opener at Long Beach, Jonathan Bomarito has been a fixture atop the time chart weiter >>
American racer Jonathan Bomarito put the wraps on an eventful off season in fine fashion on Friday at the Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach by taking the provisional pole position for Sunday’s 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season-opener.
Bomarito posted a best lap at 1:16.830 (92.214 mph) in the No. 26 RLM Inves weiter >>
...to Be Honorary Starter for Season-Opening Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach
Since joining the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda as presenting sponsor a year ago, Cooper Tire & Rubber Company’s display at every Atlantic race has been a hotbed of activity, with music and interactive displays in additi weiter >>
Enrique Bernoldi, Nelson Philippe and EJ Viso flew into Long Beach from Miami on Tuesday afternoon and drove immediately--and very quickly--to the Los Angeles Lakers-Sacramento Kings NBA game for an eventful evening at the Staples Center.
At the game, the weiter >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA
· 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 years, the Atlantic se weiter >>
COOPER TIRES PRESENTS THE ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP POWERED BY MAZDA IMPERIAL CAPITAL BANK ATLANTIC CHALLENGE OF LONG BEACH
WHAT: Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach
WHERE: Long Beach, Calif.
ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WEEKEND SCHEDULE (All times local, PT): FRIDAY, APRIL 18 – Practice: 8:00 – 8:45 a.m., First Round Qualifying: 12:1 weiter >>
... Gets Underway with Imperial Capital Bank Atlantic Challenge of Long Beach
After a long off-season that included drastic changes to the open-wheel racing landscape in North America, the 35th Anniversary season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will embark on its 11-race season this Sunday with the Imperial Ca weiter >>
Features Mix of New Venues and Historic Facilities
In the five weeks since open-wheel unification was announced, officials from the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda have been hard at work on several fronts, including shoring up its schedule for the 35th Anniversary season in 2008.
Those efforts bore fruit today as Atla weiter >>
Prior to 2008 Atlantic Championship Opener in Long Beach
The return of Jonathan Bomarito to the cockpit of a Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda car could not have been more triumphant, as the Californian closed out his first test in the No. 26 machine for Mathiasen Motorsports atop the time charts at the end of two days of activity at weiter >>
A strong contingent of 18 drivers and 19 cars are in the midst of testing their Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda machinery at MSR Houston for the final time prior to the 2008 season-opening Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 18-20. The test is scheduled for today and tomorrow, March 25-26, and is being conducted by Atlantic Championship teams weiter >>
Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Concludes
Rookie driver Dane Cameron went two-for-two in his first Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda test with Genoa Racing, concluding the two-day Spring Training tune-up at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca atop the time charts.
Driving the No. 17Genoa Racing machine, Cameron logged a be weiter >>
Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
It didn’t take long for rookie Dane Cameron to adjust to his new surroundings with Genoa Racing, as the rookie racer from nearby Sonoma, Calif. posted the quickest lap in the first day of Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca for the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
In th weiter >>
for Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
With the recent unification of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and the Champ Car World Series, the 35th Anniversary season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will be a watershed one in the history of North America’s longest-running open-wh weiter >>
In Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca Next Week
As the start of the 35th Anniversary season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season draws closer, 10 teams representing 20 cars have committed to participating in Spring Training at the picturesque Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca circuit on March 10-11.
With Entries for James Hinchcliffe and David Garza
Officials from Forsythe Racing Inc. confirmed today that popular Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe and Mexican rising star David Garza, who logged the fastest and second-fastest times, respectively, in a recent open test at Sebring International Raceway, will continue in the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents The Atl weiter >>
Set For 35th Anniversary Season in 2008
The longest-running open-wheel driver development series in North America will contest its 35th Anniversary season in 2008 with today’s announcement that the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will conduct a 12-race schedule beginning April 18-20 in Long Beach, Calif. The announcement was weiter >>
Depuis un bon moment il y avait des bruits de couloir sur une fusion entre IRL et Champ Car, et les possibles conséquences sur les courses Européennes planifiées en 2008.
Comme vous saviez, le Belgian Champ Car Grand Prix était sur le calendrier du Circuit Zolder, plus particulièrement le 31 mai et le 1 juin.
Entre-temps cette fusion a été confirmé. Jusqu'à prés weiter >>
Despite an abbreviated final day of Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda testing at Sebring International Raceway for their team, teammates James Hinchcliffe (#3 Forsythe Championship Racing) and David Garza (#7 Forsythe Championship Racing) found themse weiter >>
---for 2008 Champ Car World Series Season
Conquest Racing announced today that 2007 Atlantics ‘Rookie of the Year’ Franck Perera, who posted the fastest time among all drivers during the recent Champ Car World Series testing in Sebring, would join the team for the upcoming 2008 season.
Perera completed his first test with weiter >>
As the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda convened for the first time in 2008 for open testing at Sebring International Raceway today, officials from Paladin Motorsports and Canadian driver Adrien Herberts announced that they have rejoined forces for the full 2008 season.
The 18-year-old native of Port Coquitlam, British Columbia wi weiter >>
French driver tops competitive field; all 14 cars within 1.1 seconds
With the results of the first two days of testing at Sebring International Raceway, most people expected to see the name Franck atop the timing sheets at the conclusion of the first pre-season open test for the Champ Car World Series. What they may not have expected is that his last name would be weiter >>
Testing begins next week with Eurointernational
Fresh off a record-setting season that saw him crowned the 2007 Formula BMW USA Champion, seventeen-year-old Daniel Morad is making the move to the COOPER weiter >>
Once again France’s Franck Montagny ends day in Sebring on top
If pre-season testing is foretelling as to what will happen during the 2008 Champ Car World Series season, it’s safe to say that Forsythe/Pettit Racing will be in the hunt thanks to an exciting newcome weiter >>
... for 2008 Champ Car Season
Rocketsports Racing driver brings a multi-national education company into the United States and the Champ Car World Series to support his 2008 open-wheel campaign
Brazilian Champ Car drive weiter >>
THE MODERATOR: We're pleased today to announce the 2008 Champ Car driver lineup for the Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing Team. As many of you know, this team has had the driver that's captured the Vanderbilt Cup over the past four seasons. And glad to make it official that Newman/Haas/Lanigan Racing has decided to have Justin Wilson and Graham Rahal make up their formidab weiter >>
... to Accelerate its Growth and Popularity
Champ Car World Series race now part of Northlands signature summer festival, Capital EX
The Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton, the Champ Car World Series event held July 18-20 in Canada, has forged a new relat weiter >>
The Champ Car World Series will appear exclusively on the ESPN networks in 2008 with a 14-race schedule combining live and same-day telecasts. The international open-wheel racing series returned to ESPN in 2007 after an absence of six years.
The schedule includes four races on both ABC and ESPN and six on ESPN2. The season begins Sunday, Apr. 20, with same-day coverage of weiter >>
... for assault on 2008 Champ Car Atlantic Championship
The Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda paddock will once again be headquarters for the "Mayor of Hinchtown" in 2008 as popular Canadian racer James Hinchcliffe has rej weiter >>
After a long off-season, Champ Car Atlantic Series competitor Genoa Racing started the new year with a very successful two-day test at the Sebring International Short Course this past weekend. The team tested with experienced Atlantic Series drivers Tom Sutherland and J.R. Hildebrand, along with longtime racer Larry Connor, and was joined by the Atlantic teams of Forsythe Champio weiter >>
Michael Self, the recipient of Champ Car’s ROTAX Career Enhancement Scholarship, ends first weekend on a winning note.
Michael Self was able to gain some valuable firsthand knowledge this past weekend. The 17-year-old high school student from Park City, Utah, learne weiter >>