2006 Atlantic Championship

All about the IRL Indy Pro Series and the Atlantic Championship

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2006 Atlantic Championship

Post by mlittle » Sat Apr 08, 2006 1:22 pm

With a new look to the (everynow, now...) Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda) or, as I usually refer to it, the Atlantic Championship, I figured it was time to open up a new thread for this year's championship.

Here is the schedule of events for this year's Atlantic Championship......

April 9: Long Beach
May 13: Houston
May 21: Monterrey
June 18: Portland
June 23: Cleveland #1
June 24: Cleveland #2
July 9: Toronto
July 23: Edmonton
July 30: San Jose
August 13: Denver
August 27: Montreal
Sept. 24: Road America
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Pagenaud takes provisional pole at LB

Post by mlittle » Sat Apr 08, 2006 2:54 pm

In a fast shootout for the provisional pole Friday, Atlantic driver Simon Pagenaud, driving for Team Australia's "B" team set the fastest lap of the session, clinching the provisional pole for Sunday's Atlantics race in Long Beach. Pagenaud, a protege of 2-time ChampCar series champion Sebastien Bourdais, outdueled both Jonathon Bomarito and 2nd-generation driver Graham Rahal to capture the pole and the 1 champ. pt. that goes with it. Here are the top-5 from provisional qualifying.....

1}S. Pagenaud(Team Australia)..................1:17.304 sec.
2}J. Bomarito(PR1 Mtrspts.)........................1:17.435 sec.
3}G. Rahal(MiJack-Conquest)......................1:17.455 sec.
4}R. Matos(Sierra Sierra Mtrspts.)................1:17.522 sec.
5}J. Hinchliffe(FCR-Atlantic).........................1:17.566 sec.
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Wirth takes pole for Atlantics race

Post by mlittle » Sun Apr 09, 2006 1:44 pm

After crashing in provisional qualifying for the Atlantics race yesterday, FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth wasn't in a good mood; that changed Saturday when he set the fastest time in qualifying to capture the overall pole for Sunday's race in Long Beach. On the outside of row 1 will be Friday's pole winner, Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, while starting in third will be Sierra Sierra's Rapahel Matos, who had the second-fastest time on Saturday but due to Pagenaud's prov. pole, will sit behind Wirth. Rounding out the top-5 are the PR1 Mtrspts. entry of Jonathan Bomarito and Wirth's Forsythe teammate, James Hinchliffe.
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Wire-to-wire win for Wirth at the Beach....

Post by mlittle » Mon Apr 10, 2006 9:20 am

They say there is a duality to life......tell that to the 28 starters at Long Beach for today's season-opening Atlantic Championship race. While there were many competitive battles from the front to the back of the grid, it was one of FCR-Atlantic's drivers, Andreas Wirth, who led every lap to capture his second career Atlantics win. Indeed, the top-5 looked like a future Champ Car top-5, with Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos in second, FCR-Atlantic's James Hinchcliffe also on the podium. Rounding out the top-5 were Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, who won the provisional pole on Friday and MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal.

Top-10 standings..............................
1}A. Wirth(FCR-Atlantic).......................33 pts
2}R. Matos(Sierra Sierra)......................28 pts
3}J. Hinchcliffe(FCR-Atlantic).................25 pts
4}S. Pagenaud(Team Australia).............24 pts
5}G. Rahal(MiJack-Conquest).................21 pts
6}D. Dirani(Condor Mtrspts.)..................19 pts
7}R. Pecorari(Gelles Racing)...................17 pts
8}A. Barron(Polestar Racing)...................15 pts
9}L. Maia(FCR-Atlantic)...........................13 pts
10}A. Sciuto(Polestar Racing)..................11 pts
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Another driver joins the Atlantic ranks...

Post by mlittle » Wed Apr 19, 2006 12:41 am

With the impressive list of young guns vieing for Atlantic supremacy in the 2006 campaign, it comes as no surprise that one more has decided to throw his name into the ring. Transnet Racing officials announced yesterday that Australian Barton Mawer will be driving for the team, partnering Brit Charles Hall for the remaining 11 races of the 2006 Atlantic Championship campaign, beginning with the Fast Trac 100 during the CC event weekend at Reliant Park, Houston.

Over the past two years, Mawer, who hails from Camden, Australia, has made a name for himself in the lower formula series'. In 2004, he finished second overall in the British Formula 3 championship, claiming 6 wins and 12 podiums that year. Last year also saw him win the Formula 3 support race held during the F1 Australian Grand Prix weekend. Before that, in 2004, he was runner-up in the Australian Formula 3 series, collecting 5 wins and 5 poles during the year.
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Atlantic drivers test in Houston

Post by mlittle » Mon May 08, 2006 4:57 pm

For the drivers of the 2006 Atlantic Championship, it was an interesting first day of a 2-day test session as drivers/teams continue to stretch the limits of the 2006-spec Swift 016.a/Mazda MZR(over 4,000 miles of testing conducted Sunday at the Houston Mtrspts. Ranch road course). Here are the top-10 times from Sunday's testing.....

1}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia......................1:19.608 sec/107.627 mph
2}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest.......................1:19.859 sec./107.289 mph
3}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts........................1:20.051 sec./107.032 mph
4}James Hinchliffe, FCR-Atlantic...........................1:20.072 sec./107.004 mph
5}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic..............................1:20.234 sec./106.788 mph
6}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts.................1:20.276 sec./106.732 mph
7}Stephen Simpson, Gelles Racing........................1:20.283 sec./106.722 mph
8}Richard Phillipe, FCR-Atlantic.............................1:20.294 sec./106.708 mph
9}Alex Barron, Polestar Racing Group...................1:20.479 sec./106.463 mph
10}Robbie Pecorari, Gelles Racing........................1:20.510 sec./106.422 mph

Testing resumes Monday for the drivers of the Atlantic Championship; the next race is the Fast Trac 100 at the Reliant Park circuit in Houston, Tx. the weekend of May 11-13, 2006.
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Wirth tops final day of testing at HMSR

Post by mlittle » Wed May 10, 2006 3:13 pm

Monday saw the second day of a 2-day open test for the drivers of the Atlantic Championship at the Houston Mtrspts. Ranch road course, and here are the top-10 testing times from the testing......(results are based on driver's best time from either test day)

1}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic...................................1:18.669 sec/108.912 mph
2}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia...........................1:18.686 sec/108.888 mph
3}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrpsts......................1:18.788 sec/108.748 mph
4}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest............................1:18.970 sec/108.497 mph
5}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic...............................1:19.013 sec/108.438 mph
6}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts..............................1:19.050 sec/108.387 mph
7}Robbie Pecorari, Gelles Racing................................1:19.345 sec/107.984 mph
8}Luis Schiavo, Brooks Assoc. Racing.........................1:19.398 sec/107.912 mph
9}Richard Phillipe, FCR-Atlantic..................................1:19.418 sec/107.885 mph
10}Stephen Simpson, Gelles Racing...........................1:19.481 sec/107.799 mph
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Matos top driver in QS-1 at Houston

Post by mlittle » Fri May 12, 2006 3:26 pm

In Long Beach, he finished 2nd to FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth, but in provisional qualifying for Saturday's Fast Trac 100, Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos was fastest, securing a front-row spot and shrinking Wirth's points lead from 5 to 4 pts. Here were the top-5 from provisional qualifying.....

1}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra.............................1:05.318 sec/93.144 mph
2}A. Wirth, FCR-Atlantic...............................1:05.490 sec/92.900 mph
3}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest........................1:05.581 sec/92.771 mph
4}J. Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic.........................1:05.640 sec/92.687 mph
5}S. Pagenaud, Team Australia.....................1:05.642 sec/92.685 mph

QS-2 for the Atlantics is set for Saturday morning, with the race itself sometime Saturday afternoon.
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Wirth takes the win in Houston

Post by mlittle » Sun May 14, 2006 4:32 pm

In the 1992 Atlantic Championship season, Russell Spence won the first two rounds, at Miami's Tamiami Park and Phoenix Intl. Raceway. 14 years later, Andreas Wirth did the same, winning first in Long Beach and then battling the competition and the track to win in Houston. Finishing on the podium behind Wirth were Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud and PR1's Jonathan Bomarito. Here are the updated Atlantic standings following Saturday's race in Houston...............

1}A. Wirth(FCR-Atlantic).................................65 pts
2}S. Pagenaud(Team Australia).......................51 pts
3}J. Hinchcliffe(FCR-Atlantic)............................48 pts
4}R. Matos(Sierra Sierra Mtrspts).....................41 pts
5}D. Dirani(Condor Mtrspts).............................40 pts
6}A. Scuito(Polestar Racing Group)...................30 pts
7}G. Rahal(MiJack-Conquest)............................27 pts
t-8}(8)Jonathan Bomarito(PR1 Mtrspts)..............26 pts
t-8}(9)L. Maia(FCR-Atlantic)..............................26 pts
10}David Martinez(US Racetronics)....................24 pts
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Post by <T-K> » Tue May 16, 2006 5:16 am

:woohoo: :clap:

I have been offered a drive in the Champ car Atlantic Championship with Bite racing......(They're not a front running team...but a good place to start)

I'm not going to go into the figures, But I will say that the offer stands for the Round of Monterrey, Mexico(Skipping the rounds from portland to Toronto) and then from Edmonton through to the Season Finale at Road America.......

Unfortunately, I have had to decline the offer due to lack of funding, My sponsor decided to pull out at the last minute.... :evil: :evil: And I cant do anything about it, because part of the contract states that they can pull out of the deal at any time :evil: Damn the Fine Print :evil:

Not even my manager could help... :cry:

As you can imagine, I am rather annoyed with my sponsor(whos name I will not mention, But I will say that it was a hotel chain)
Hopefully I can get it together for next Season.....

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Pagenaud takes provisional pole in Monterrey

Post by mlittle » Sat May 20, 2006 4:23 pm

In what is becoming an early pattern in this year's Atlantic Championship, Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud set the fastest lap in provisional qualifying, putting a lap of 1:24.806 sec.(89.314 mph) on top and earning the championship pt. for the provisional pole. The closest fight, though, was for P2-P3, won by Gelles Racing's Stephen Simpson(1:24.936 sec/89.178 mph), who used his experience from the A1 Grand Prix race earlier this year to prevail over US Racetronics' David Martinez(1:25.201 sec/88.900 mph). Rounding out the top-5 were series points leader Andreas Wirth(1:25.239 sec/88.861 mph) and MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal(1:25.273 sec/88.825 mph).

QS-2(qual. session #2) is set for Saturday afternoon; the third round of the 2006 Atlantic Championship is set for Sunday afternoon.
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New Record at Monterrey

Post by mlittle » Sun May 21, 2006 3:16 pm

Two years ago, the QS-2 session at Fundidora Park saw the pole times fall left and right as the top Atlantics drivers that year, from Michael Valiante, Danica Patrick, 2004 series champion Jon Fogarty, to eventual 2004 polesitter Ryan Dalziel, set the polebar higher and higher. At the end of that 45-minute session, Dalziel, now in the Rolex Sports Car Series, set what some(myself included!) thought was an unassailable time. Apparently, 2006 Atlantic driver Graham Rahal never got that message. The 17-year-old from New Albany, Ohio sent the Scotsman's poletime into the dustbin, settinga blistering time of 1:23.217, almost 1.5 seconds faster than Dalziel's time. In doing so, he blunted challenges from Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth, Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos, and local favorite, US Racetronic's David Martinez. Here are the top-5 from final qualifying......

1}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest...........................1:23.217 sec(new record)
2}S. Pagenaud, Team Australia........................1:23.404 sec
3}David Martinez, US Racetronics.....................1:23.500 sec
4}Stephen Simpson, Gelles Racing....................1:23.541 sec
5}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts.....................1:23.833 sec
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Wire-to-wire win for Rahal in Monterrey

Post by mlittle » Mon May 22, 2006 4:26 pm

After setting the course record in qualifying yesterday, MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal went one better, becoming the youngest driver to win an Atlantics race, the second time the young, 17yo New Albany, Ohio native has done so.(He won the SCCA Formula Atlantic Championship run-offs at Mid-Ohio last year, the youngest driver to accomplish that.). In addition to winning, Rahal set new course records for fastest lap of the race, a 1:23.206 sec. lap set on the second-to-last lap, and for total time elasped, at 44 min., 52.255 secs. Following Rahal on the podium were Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud and US Racetronics' David Martinez. Finishing 4th and 5th in their best efforts of the year were PR1 Mtrspts.' Jonathan Bomarito and Gelles Racing's Stephen Simpson. Here are the updated stdgs. following today's race......

1}A. Wirth(FCR-Atlantic).................................84 pts(2 wins)
2}S. Pagenaud(Team Australia)......................79 pts
3}G. Rahal(MiJack-Conquest).........................61 pts(1 win)
4}J. Hinchcliffe(FCR-Atlantic)...........................53 pts
t-5}(5)J. Bomarito(PR1 Mtrspts).......................49 pts
t-5}(6)D. Martinez(US Racetronics)..................49 pts
t-7}(7)D. Dirani(Condor Mtrspts)......................47 pts
t-7}(8]A. Scuito(Polestar Racing)......................47 pts
9}R. Matos(Sierra Sierra).................................41 pts
10}L. Maia(FCR-Atlantic)..................................37 pts
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ChampCar and Yokohama to part ways after 2006

Post by mlittle » Wed May 31, 2006 8:38 am

In an announcement today at ChampCar headquarters in Indianapolis, Ind. earlier today, Atlantic Championship officials and Yokohama tire company executives announced that 2006 will be Yokohama's final season with the Atlantic Championship......Here are some quotes from those involved...

Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director, ChampCar Atlantic Championship:
The Atlantic series thanks Yokohama for their unwavering support and dedication over the years. Yokohama has been a valued partner of the series for over 18 years and throughout all the changes in Atlantic competition, Yokohama tires have remained reliable and have certainly helped raise the level of racing to where it is today. This relaitionship will continue through the end of the 2006 season and we wish Yokohama nothing but the best of success in the future.
Robert Dole, Product Promotions Manager, Yokohama Tire:
Over our 18 years of partnership with the Atlantic Championship, we have been privileged to witness the birth of so many great careers, whether it was drivers, mechanics, owners or marketing personnel. We are very proud to have been part of the series, through all of its' phases, to see it grow to where it is now. While 2006 will mark the end of our run, we intend to make it our best season yet, including the tire contingency program and our innovative dealer activation program. We express our thanks and gratitude to everyone at the Atlantic Championship and Champ Car for such a great relationship, especially Vicki O'Connor. The heart and drive of Vicki and her staff is the key reason Atlantics is the top driver development program in the world and we will miss everyone.
Beginning in 1989, Yokohama tires have been used by the Atlantic Championship series and has been one of the major reasons for the series' success over the years. Although no announcement has been made concerning who the series' new tire supplier will be, rest assured it will most likely be one of the most coveted roles a tire company could have in NA motorsports.
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Cooper Tires to supply Atlantic series in 2007

Post by mlittle » Fri Jun 02, 2006 3:27 pm

24 hours after parting ways with Yokohama Tire, ChampCar officials announced Wednesday that, beginning in 2007, Cooper Tire will become the presenting sponsor of the Atlantic Championship. The three-year deal was announced at ChampCar HQs' in Indianapolis, and here are some quotes from those involved.....

Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director, ChampCar Atlantic Championship:
We're very excited to welcome Cooper Tire to both the Atlantic and Champ Car family. We're certainly proud of the legacy and the high level of competition that has become a staple of Atlantic racing over the last 33 years and the Atlantic Championship is looking forward to beginning a new partnership with Cooper Tire in 2007. With Cooper's experience and knowledge in motorsports, we know that the racing will be as exciting as ever and we're looking forward to growing the series even further next season with Cooper Tire as a series sponsor and a proactive marketing partner.
Tom Datillio, President, Chairman/CEO, Cooper Tire:
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship series is well known throughout the world. This new strategic partnership positions Cooper squarely at the forefront of the motorsports world. It provides an excellent platform to showcase our ultra-high performance racing products and technological capabilities to enthusiasts around the world. We are thrilled at the prospects this relationship provides for Cooper and are obviously pleased about joining forces with one of the premier organizations in motorsport racing. Together with Cooper's rich racing heritage, this partnership will create an all-new competition portfolio that will allow drivers to compete at an even higher level of racing.
Steve Johnson, President, Champ Car World Series:
Cooper Tire has demonstrated a tireless commitment to racing over the years and Champ Car is happy to team up with such a well-established industry leader for the future. We look forward to developing this partnership as both companies continue to grow and move forward.
In joining with the Atlantic Championship, Cooper Tire will be supplying racetires to two major racing series; the company was the official tire supplier to the A1 Grand Prix of Nations over the 2005-2006 NA motorsports off-season. Tire testing will begin this weekend, as Team Australia's Atlantics drivers, Simon Pagenaud and James Davison, will put the new tires through their paces at Sebring. Several more tests will be conducted throughout 2006 and leading up to the 2007 season.
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