2006 Atlantic Championship

All about the IRL Indy Pro Series and the Atlantic Championship

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Pagenaud leads Portland Open Test

Postby mlittle » Fri Jun 16, 2006 1:17 pm

For the drivers of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship it was business as usual Wednesday, as they returned to the track, this time Portland Intl. Raceway, for an open test session; while over half of the 26 drivers present have track time there, it was Montmorillon, France's Simon Pagenaud, who drives for Team Australia, who led the timing charts at the end of the session. But Pagenaud will have lots of on-track competition to deal with in Sunday's 40-lap Atlantics race, as several others, including Raphael Matos, Graham Rahal(who won last year's Star Mazda race at PIR), current points leader Andreas Wirth and Wirth's FCR-Atlantic teammate, James Hinchcliffe(who has raced there in both Star Mazda and Formula BMW), were at the top end of the charts. Here are the top-10 from the session and selected driver quotes.......

1}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia.........................1:05.154 sec/108.518 mph
2}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts....................1:05.394 sec/108.120 mph
3}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic................................1:05.435 sec/108.052 mph
4}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest..........................1:05.585 sec/107.805 mph
5}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic.............................1:05.713 sec/107.595 mph
6}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic.................................1:05.984 sec/107.153 mph
7}Carlos Mastretta, Brooks Assoc. Racing................1:06.148 sec/106.888 mph
8}Ryan Lewis, MiJack-Conquest..............................1:06.154 sec/106.878 mph
9}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts...........................1:06.186 sec/106.828 mph
10}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts.............................1:06.350 sec/106.562 mph

Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia:
This track looks like a lot of the European tracks that I'm used to. We weren't so good at the beginning of the day but we found a good balance in the car in the afternoon. When the car is good like that you feel like you can do whatever you want. This was good for everyone's confidence on the team heading into the weekend.
Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts.:
The day was very good for us. We experimented with a lot of different things. We worked on race setups, we managed the tires well and I think we definitely have a good setup for qualifying.
Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic:
We still have a lot of work to do, but the FCR team is the best in the business and I know they're going to give me a good car this weekend and its' up to me to drive it and get the most out of it.
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Pagenaud leads Friday qualifying at Portland

Postby mlittle » Sat Jun 17, 2006 6:46 pm

For the third time in the 2006 Atlantic Championship, the Friday QS-1 belonged to Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, who captured the provisional pole for Sunday's Trinity Carpets 100, and set a new pole record(formerly held by Ryan Dalziel from 2003) with a time of 1:05.700 sec(107.616 mph) set early in a session that began with sunny conditions and ended in rain.

With weather conditions in everyone's mind, most of the 27 drivers on the Atlantic grid went out early, including Pagenaud, who reeled off several flyers en-route to pole. About halfway through the 35-minute session, Mother Nature opened up, drenching the course with lots and lots of rain......effectively dashing anyone's hopes of catching the Team Australia driver. While a few brave souls(Newman-Wachs' Daniel Gaunt and Mathiasen Mtrspts.'s Justin Sofio) braved the wet, slippery PIR circuit, most everyone else decided to sit on their times from early in the session. Here are the top-5 from today's session...........

1}S. Pagenaud, Team Australia......................1:05.700 sec/107.616 mph
2}C. Matsretta, Brooks Assoc. Racing..............1:05.791 sec/107.468 mph
3}G. Rahal, Mi-Jack Conquest.........................1:05.852 sec/107.368 mph
4}Joe D'Agostino, Newman-Wachs Racing........1:05.860 sec/107.355 mph
5}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts....................1:05.884 sec/107.316 mph
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Rahal secures pole for Portland race

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 19, 2006 1:38 am

For the second race in a row, MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal secured the pole for today's Trinity Carpets 100, reeling off a late flyer to capture P1. Unlike Friday, conditions were clear and sunny, with no rain anywhere in sight. Here are the top-5 after final qualifying..........

1}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest........................1:04.628 sec/109.401 mph
2}S. Pagenaud, Team Australia.....................1:04.848 sec/109.030 mph
3}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts...................1:04.939 sec/108.878 mph
4}R. Lewis, MiJack-Conquest.........................1:05.083 sec/108.637 mph
5}L. Maia, FCR-Atlantic.................................1:05.356 sec/108.183 mph
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Hinch wins in Portland

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 19, 2006 2:11 pm

In a race that saw several accidents, wild passing and a last-lap pass for the win, FCR-Atlantic's James Hinchcliffe won his first race of the 2006 Atlantic season and erased memories of his 2005 visit to Portland, when he led most of the Star Mazda race until losing, when some 16yo upstart :wink: named Graham Rahal passed him on the curved backstretch and held on through the Carousel to win. This year was different, for both, as Rahal, along with Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, retired on the first lap when Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos managed to knock both of them off-track w/out damaging his own car. In the end, Hinchcliffe passed Rahal's MiJack-Conquest teammate, Ryan Lewis, late in the going to secure the victory. Rounding out the top-5 behind Hinchcliffe were Lewis, FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth, Polestar Racing's Alan Scuito, and Condor Mtrspts.'s Danilo Dirani. Here are the updated points stdgs.(top-10) following the race..............

1st}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic............................109 pts(2 wins)
2nd}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic.......................85 pts(1 win)
3rd}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia....................80 pts
4th}Alan Scuito, Polestar Racing............................70 pts
5th}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts..........................68 pts
6th}David Martinez, US Racetronics.......................67 pts
7th}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest......................63 pts(1 win)
8th}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts................61 pts
9th}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts.......................56 pts
10th}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic...........................50 pts

Next stop.............rounds 5 and 6, at Burke Lakefront Airport, Cleveland, which will host the Atlantic Championship's first-ever standing starts since the late 1990's.
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Rahal wins Cleveland race #1

Postby mlittle » Sun Jun 25, 2006 3:39 pm

In a race which saw the first standing starts since 1998 in Atlantic Championship competition, MiJack-Conquest Racing's Graham Rahal overcame a slow start and several miscues by competitiors to notch his second win of the season. At the drop of the lights(Atlantic Championship officials started the race using an F1-style starting system.........5-light count, then no lights signifying a start.), though, it was Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud who took the early lead and, for 23 laps, the Frenchman held the point......until hitting lap traffic. Once in traffic, however, Rahal was able to pick his way through and then, with Pagenaud battling FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth, Rahal fought past the two of them going through turn 8 to grab the lead and never looked back, winning the first of the two-race Cleveland weekend.

Race #2 from Burke Lakefront Airport is set for 12 PM Sunday; series stdgs. will be updated at that time.
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Back-to-back for Ohio's favorite 2nd-gen. driver

Postby mlittle » Mon Jun 26, 2006 4:19 pm

For the second race in a row this year, MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal came out victorious......unlike Saturday's come from behind win, the second time around was similar to Monterrey; a wire-to-wire victory for the New Albany, Ohio native. On hand to witness his weekend sweep in the second race was 3-time CART series champion(and father) Bobby Rahal, who 25 yrs. ago prior won the first-ever CART race in Cleveland. Graham was never seriously challenged, winning by over 15 seconds in front of FCR-Atlantic's Richard Phillipe, who scored his career-best finish this year. Rounding out the podium was Houston native Steve Ott, who seemingly has come out of nowhere to take his first career Atlantic podium. With the weekend's events in the rearview, here are the updated Atlantic stdgs............

1st}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic.................................139 pts(2 wins)
2nd}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia........................131 pts
3rd}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest..........................127 pts(3 wins)
4th}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts............................94 pts
5th}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic..............................91 pts(1 win)
6th}Alan Scuito, Polestar Racing..................................90 pts
7th}David Martinez, US Racetronics.............................89 pts
8th}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic..................................86 pts
9th}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts................................83 pts
10th}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts....................82 pts
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Rahal captures provisional Atlantic pole

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 08, 2006 7:30 pm

After qualifying P1 and finishing P2 in last week's Indy Pro Series Liberty Challenge at the Brickyard, MiJack-Conquest Racing's Graham Rahal picked up where he left off in the Atlantic Championship, winning the provisional pole for Sunday's race, edging out Raphael Matos and Andreas Wirth for P1. Here are the top-5 from provisional qualifying.........

1st}G. Rahal, Mi-Jack Conquest Racing.....................1:05.305 sec
2nd}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts..........................1:05.464 sec
3rd}A. Wirth, FCR-Atlantic........................................1:05.543 sec
4th}J. Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic..................................1:05.722 sec
5th}R. Pecorari, Gelles Racing..................................1:05.861 sec
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Rahal on point in Toronto

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 09, 2006 4:23 pm

For the third time this year, MiJack-Conquest Atlantic racer Graham Rahal will start on the pole, this time coming within .04 secs. of the current Atlantic record on the Exhibition Place circuit, set in 2003 by current ChampCar racer A.J. Allmendinger. Indeed, it was a red-white-n'blue day in the Atlantics, as fellow American Jonathan Bomarito put his PR1 Mtrspts. ride in the second spot, producing the first all-American front row since Denver in 2004 when Pacific Coast Mtrpsts. teammates Jon Fogarty and Alex Figge started P1-P2. Here is the top-5 from Saturday's QS-2.......

1}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest...............................1:04.969 sec/97.246 mph
2}J. Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts..................................1:05.075 sec/97.088 mph
3}A. Wirth, FCR-Atlantic.......................................1:05.077 sec/97.075 mph
4}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts..........................1:05.079 sec/97.082 mph
5}R. Pecorari, Gelles Racing.................................1:05.389 sec/96.622 mph
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Pecorari wins in Toronto

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 11, 2006 12:03 pm

In an action-filled Atlantic Championship that saw A)the third standing start of the year, B)several crashes and spins, and C)close racing, it was Gelles Racing and Robbie Pecorari who came out on top, as he would notch his first Atlantic series win. Like the starting grid, which saw two Americans in P1-P2 for the first time since 2004 in Denver, second place went to American Jonathan Bomarito, the first time two Americans had finished 1-2 since 2004 in Portland, when Jon Fogarty and Danica Patrick finished 1-2. Rounding out the podium was MiJack-Conquest Racing's Ryan Lewis. Here are the current Atlantic standings after Toronto.......

1st}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia.........................153 pts
2nd}Andres Wirth, FCR-Atlantic..................................144 pts(2 wins)
3rd}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest..........................136 pts(3 wins)
4th}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts...........................121 pts
5th}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic.............................110 pts(1 win)
6th}David Martinez, US Racetronics............................104 pts
7th}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic.................................97 pts
8th}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts.....................95 pts
9th}Alan Scuito, Polestar Racing..................................94 pts
10th}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts..............................90 pts

The 2006 Atlantic Championship season continues at Finning International Raceway(a/k/a City Centre Airport) in Edmonton, Alberta on the weekend of July 21-23.
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Fleming joins Gelles Racing

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 18, 2006 7:45 am

In an effort to improve their standing in the 2006 Atlantic Championship, Gelles Racing signed former Red Bull Driver Search finalist Colin Fleming to drive the #14 Gelles Racing entry formerly piloted by South African Stephen Simpson. Fleming, who had been competing in the Renault World Series this year for Carlin Mtrspts, will join fellow American Robbie Pecorari for the remaining five rounds of the 2006 season.
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Pagenaud leads QS-1 at City Centre Airport

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 22, 2006 1:59 pm

In an Atlantic qualifying session that saw the top-spot change several times, it was "Monsieur Friday", a/k/a Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, who took the provisional pole, extending his points lead to 10 over FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth. Here are the top-5 from the session............

1--S. Pagenaud, Team Australia................1:05.935 sec*
2--J. Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic....................1:06.412 sec
3--A. Wirth, FCR-Atlantic...........................1:06.477 sec
4--R. Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts..............1:06.543 sec
5--G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest....................1:06.695 sec

*--new track record; previously held by Charles Zwolsman(1:07.628 sec)
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Weekend sweep for Monsieur Friday

Postby mlittle » Tue Jul 25, 2006 8:48 am

Frist, Friday qualifying...................then, final qualifying on Saturday...............then, winning Sunday's Atlantic Championship race after hounding polesitter Raphael Matos into a late-race mistake, it was a flawless weekend for Team Australia's Simon Pagenaud, who expands his points lead over FCR-Atlantic's Andreas Wirth and MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal. Here are the top-10 standings following Edmonton........

1st}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia...........................187 pts(1 win)
2nd}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic..................................169 pts(3 wins)
3rd}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest............................163 pts(3 wins)
4th}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts.............................140 pts
5th}David Martinez, Bite Racing(*)...............................113 pts
6th}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts.................................111 pts
7th}James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic...............................110 pts(1 win)
8th}Alan Scuito, Polestar Racing...................................104 pts
9th}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic...................................101 pts
10th}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra..................................98 pts

*-Edmonton was first race for Martinez w/Bite Racing; formerly drove for US Racetronics
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Rahal captures provisional Atlantic pole

Postby mlittle » Sat Jul 29, 2006 9:50 am

Friday's Atlantic QS-1 was an all-American affair, as three Yanks, MiJack-Conquest's Graham Rahal, PR1 Mtrspts.'s Jonathan Bomarito and Polestar Racing's Alan Scuito, led througout the session, but when the dust settled, it was the 17yo New Albany, Ohio native who held the provisional pole. Indeed, as their ChampCar counterparts did, all 25 Atlantic Championship racers set times faster than last year's pole-winning speed, set by 2005 series champion Charles Zwolsman. Here's the top-5 after provisional qualifying..........

1}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest...............................56.105 sec
2}J. Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts..................................56.322 sec
3}A. Scuito, Polestar Racing................................56.337 sec
4}A. Wirth, FCR-Atlantic......................................56.369 sec
5}J. Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic................................56.434 sec
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Matos takes P1 in San Jose

Postby mlittle » Sun Jul 30, 2006 11:15 pm

Under blisteringly clear skies in San Jose, Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos wrested away the pole for today's Atlantic Championship race from provisional polesitter Graham Rahal. The pair traded P1 several times in the QS-2 session until Matos set the fastest lap of the session. Here are the top-5 qual. times...............

1}R. Matos, Sierra Sierra..........................55.495 sec
2}G. Rahal, MiJack-Conquest.....................55.532 sec
3}J. Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts........................55.603 sec
4}Colin Fleming, Gelles Racing...................55.621 sec
5}S. Pagenaud, Team Australia..................55.630 sec
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Matos notches first win of the year

Postby mlittle » Wed Aug 02, 2006 2:45 am

After throwing away a near-certain win in Edmonton, Sierra Sierra's Raphael Matos rebounded to win an action-packed and incident-filled Atlantic Championship race in San Jose. Rounding out the top-5 were MiJack-Conquest's Ryan Lewis, Condor Mtrspts.'s Danilo Dirani, Epson/Jensen Mtrspts.'s Tim Bridgman and FCR-Atlantic's Leonardo Maia. Here are the updated top-10 standings as the Atlantic Championship travels to Denver......

1st}Simon Pagenaud, Team Australia.........................200 pts(1 win)
2nd}Graham Rahal, MiJack-Conquest.........................176 pts(3 wins)
3rd}Andreas Wirth, FCR-Atlantic.................................174 pts(3 wins)
4th}Jonathan Bomarito, PR1 Mtrspts............................145 pts
5th}Danilo Dirani, Condor Mtrspts...............................136 pts
6th}David Martinez, Bite Racing...................................132 pts
7th}Raphael Matos, Sierra Sierra Mtrspts......................131 pts(1 win)
8th}Leonardo Maia, FCR-Atlantic..................................122 pts
t-9th}[9]James Hinchcliffe, FCR-Atlantic........................110 pts
t-9th}[10]Alan Scuito, Polestar Racing..........................110 pts
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