One of the protagonists in the 2008 Atlantic Championship battle is returning with all the same assets as last year. Mathiasen Motorsports and Jonathan Bomarito confirmed their second season together with plans to finish one spot better overall...
One of the protagonists in the 2008 Atlantic Championship battle is returning with all the same assets as last year. Mathiasen Motorsports and Jonathan Bomarito confirmed their second season together with plans to finish one spot better overall than in 2008.
This will be the California native's fifth season of Atlantic competition and his second for Ray and Leslie Mathiasen after years spent driving with PR1 Motorsports and Transnet Racing from 2004 through 2007.
Bomarito led the Atlantic series in 2008 with three wins, all coming in a five-race stretch when "Bombo" and his namesake Jonathan Summerton won each of those events. His title charge ended with a blown engine in the final round at Road Atlanta, and he finished runner-up in the overall standings.
"I'm very fortunate to have a good ride and to be back with Mathiasen," Bomarito said. "To say we have some unfinished business is an understatement. I want to thank Ray and Leslie Mathiasen for giving me another opportunity to keep racing and further my career in motorsports."
"Next week we have our first test; leave on Monday and do a Tuesday and Wednesday test at Palm Beach International Raceway. I haven't been in a car since the last round of the series," he added.
Team engineer and technical director Alain Clarinval leads the crew that remains largely intact, turning the wrenches on the Swift 016.a-Cosworth in preparation for the series' opener at Sebring on March 20, a day before the American Le Mans Series' 12-hour endurance event there.
"This is a fantastic chance for us to go back with our well-oiled machine of a team and an outstandingly talented driver that we know how to support and provide for him to be the very best," Clarinval said. "It's like wearing old shoes that are so comfortable but that got polished to a mirror and with new laces to tighten them well."
Bomarito's last race action was driving for SpeedSource in the Rolex 24 at Daytona in late January, piloting a Mazda RX-8 in the GT class. Despite the car's speed it did not have the reliability to match, and finished down the order.
Bomarito is the fifth confirmed driver for the upcoming season, and fourth driver with prior Atlantic experience. Team Stargate Worlds announced last week plans to run Frankie Muniz and Simona De Silvestro in their two cars; the team operated previously as Pacific Coast Motorsports and U.S. RaceTronics with team owner Shane Senaviratne.
In late 2008, Newman Wachs Racing signed defending Star Mazda champion John Edwards for his second season of Atlantic (2007 with Forsythe) and Condor Motorsports has signed Frenchman Max Lefevre for his rookie campaign.
There are roughly two weeks before the 36th season of Atlantic competition gets underway at Sebring and no doubt Bomarito will be one of the favorites.