TRANSNET RACING SOLIDIFIES 2006 ATLANTIC LINEUP WITH AUSTRALIAN RACER BARTON MAWER INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2006) -- The depth of talent in the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda was clearly on display...
TRANSNET RACING SOLIDIFIES 2006 ATLANTIC LINEUP WITH AUSTRALIAN RACER BARTON MAWER
INDIANAPOLIS (April 18, 2006) -- The depth of talent in the 2006 Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda was clearly on display in the series' opening round of competition at Long Beach in early April. The Atlantic Championship continues to grow and add more skilled racers to its impressive lineup, however, with today's announcement that one of Australia's top developing open-wheel drivers will join the series. Transnet Racing has solidified its two-car effort for '06 by naming Aussie young gun Barton Mawer as its second driver for the remaining 11 races this season.
Mawer, a 24-year-old racer from Camden, Australia, has spent the last several seasons competing successfully at the Formula 3 level. He joins the fourth-year Transnet team for his rookie season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship driving the #17 entry with sponsorship from the Australian Motorsport Foundation. Mawer will be paired with British driver Charles Hall (#16 Accent Card/OmniSource/Dixien) to create a solid two-car lineup for Transnet Racing in 2006.
"I am very pleased to have Barton join us," said Alex Garcia, co-owner of the Transnet team. "He brings great experience and will be a tremendous asset to Transnet Racing. Bart has adapted very well to the team and has shown great dedication, spending his spare time working with the guys at the shop. I expect to see him at the front of the field in 2006."
In 2005, Mawer shined in the British Formula 3 International Championship, claiming second in the series national class standings. He scored six wins and 12 podium finishes on his way to the runner-up performance. The son of David Mawer, who designed Australian Formula Fords in the 1970s, Barton also won the Formula 3 support race at last year's Australian Grand Prix. He posted nine consecutive podium results in the 2004 British Formula 3 scholarship class after collecting five wins and five poles to finish as Australian Formula 3 series runner up in 2003.
Mawer was present and working with the team throughout the season-opening weekend at Long Beach, April 7-9. He watched as Hall qualified 16th for the team and unfortunately witnessed an early exit for Transnet on race day. Hall ran well for most of the race but was forced to retire after making contact with a tire wall just eight laps from the finish of the 32-lap event. Both Hall and Mawer are anxious to make their debut as a team in Round 2 of the Atlantic Championship -- May 11-13 at the Grand Prix of Houston's Fast Trac 100 Atlantic event. For more information on Transnet, log on to www.transnetracing.com.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for me," said Mawer. "Having watched the first race at Long Beach with the team I am really excited to join the action at Houston. Transnet is a very professional team and I feel a part of the family already. I just can't wait to get to the track."
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. In its 33rd season in 2006, 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. 2006 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger, Katherine Legge and 2005 Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman are established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine and riding on Yokohama ADVAN Racing Slicks, 2006 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the series and to view this season's races on demand, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.