AL UNSER III RETURNS TO TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WITH BROOKS ASSOCIATES RACING AND NEW SPONSORS BOSPOKER AND PKV RACING INDIANAPOLIS (June 14, 2005) -- He will have a new look and some exciting new sponsors but one of the most established...
AL UNSER III RETURNS TO TOYOTA ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP WITH BROOKS ASSOCIATES RACING AND NEW SPONSORS BOSPOKER AND PKV RACING
INDIANAPOLIS (June 14, 2005) -- He will have a new look and some exciting new sponsors but one of the most established and respected names in auto racing is coming home to a familiar place in the Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama with today's announcement that Al Unser III, son of legendary racer Al Unser Jr. and grandson of racing icon Al Unser, is returning to compete in the series with the Brooks Associates Racing team.
Unser, or "Just Al" as he's come to be known in the racing world, will join the Brooks squad beginning with Rounds 3 and 4 of the 2005 Toyota Atlantic Championship, June 18-19 at Portland International Raceway. The 22-year-old racer will compete in the #10 entry for the remainder of the Atlantic season. The primary sponsor for Unser's car will be BOSPoker.net -- a new entertainment-only gaming website hosted by BETonSPORTS PLC, which has been in service for over 10 years and is a publicly-traded company on the London Stock Exchange. PKV Racing of the Champ Car World Series will be an associate sponsor on Unser's 240-HP Atlantic machine.
Last season Unser made his Toyota Atlantic debut, running in four of the 12 events on the series calendar. He competed for P-1 Racing at Long Beach before joining the Brooks team for three consecutive events at Road America, Denver and Montreal. His top finish came in his final start of the season when he earned an eighth-place result at Montreal's Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve.
"I'm really excited to be back racing in Toyota Atlantics with my new on-line sponsor BOSPoker and with PKV Racing," said Al Unser III. "It's going to be great working with Brooks Associates Racing again. (Team engineer) Peter Jacobs is very smart and we got along really well last year and (owner) John Brooks does a great job with the team. I'm just looking forward to some good racing and some tough competition."
In addition to his limited action in Atlantics last season, Unser also competed in the Infiniti Pro Series. He finished eighth in the final 2004 standings and ranked seventh in the series rundown this season after four events. He ran in the Barber Dodge Pro Series in 2003, earning a 12th-place finish in the championship. Unser was also named Rookie of the Year in the Skip Barber Western Racing Series in 2002 and he finished seventh in the Formula Dodge National Championship that year as well.
The return to the Toyota Atlantic Championship represents a homecoming for Unser, whose father competed in the series in 1982. Al Unser III will also make his first Atlantic start of 2005 at the same track where his dad earned his first Champ Car win in 1984 -- Portland International Raceway, where he will compete in the Atlantic doubleheader event this weekend.
BOSPoker will also make its series debut at Portland this week, but not just as Unser's chief sponsor. The company's primary online poker website -- BOSPoker.com -- will serve as the presenting sponsor at several Toyota Atlantic races this season including events in Portland, Cleveland, Denver and Road America.
"BoSPOKER.com is excited to partner with a great young driver like Al Unser III and we look forward to being a part of him continuing the family success in open wheel racing. BoSPOKER is also pleased to be a presenting sponsor in the Champ Car World Series Toyota Atlantic Championship for four events, beginning with this weekend's races in Portland," said David Carruthers, CEO of BETonSPORTS PLC and BoSPOKER. "Partnering with Al III, Champ Car and various charities over the balance of the 2005 race season will be a great experience for BoSPOKER and race fans alike."
Through its relationship with the Unser family, BOSPoker also hopes to organize several celebrity poker events in the future with proceeds benefiting the Cody Unser First Step Foundation named for Al's younger sister who suffers from the paralyzing spinal cord disorder Transverse Myelitis.
The Toyota Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. The championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. Current Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Ryan Hunter-Reay, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also established Toyota Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. For more information on the Atlantic series, please visit www.toyotaatlantic.com.