Design award sponsor renews

Sherwin-Williams To Once Again Color Atlantic Championship With 'It's All In The Finish' Award In 2007 INDIANAPOLIS (January 23, 2007) -- While the on-track battles were fast and furious in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship last season,...

Sherwin-Williams To Once Again Color Atlantic Championship With 'It's All In The Finish' Award In 2007

INDIANAPOLIS (January 23, 2007) -- While the on-track battles were fast and furious in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship last season, some of the most heated competition in the series came among teams vying for the top car design in the Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes "It's All In the Finish" award. The race to determine which car has the most colorful and creative design in the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda is expected to be even more intense in 2007 with a new host of competitors looking to win the individual race and season-long prize.

Continuing to provide service and finishes to all Atlantic teams, Sherwin-Williams -- the Official Automotive Finish for both Atlantics and the Champ Car World Series -- has refined the "It's All In the Finish" race and season-ending awards for 2007, upping the cash bonuses that teams can earn for producing top car designs.

At four events on the upcoming 12-race Atlantic schedule, the Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper car that is determined to have the most creative use of color and design on its livery will earn a $7,000 bonus. The races where the judging will take place this season will be at Long Beach, Cleveland, Toronto and San Jose. A judging panel comprised of Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes representatives and select race fans in each market will help determine the winner at each identified individual race. The car deemed to have the best livery throughout the course of the 2007 Atlantic season will also be honored with the year-end "It's All In the Finish" award, winning a $14,000 bonus provided by Sherwin-Williams. The Atlantic design honors mirrors a similar award program instituted by Sherwin-Williams for the cars competing in the Champ Car World Series in 2007.

"We are extremely pleased to be a part of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda once again in 2007," said Bobby Moody, Director of Motorsports for Sherwin-Williams Automotive Finishes. "Last year, in our rookie season, we were excited to see the effects of Sherwin-Williams Planet Color paint on the Atlantic cars. Equally exciting last year was watching how the teams competed for the 'It's All In the Finish' award. We look forward to the 2007 season and we expect the race for this year's award to be extremely fierce and competitive."

In 2006, the #26 RLM Investments entry driven by Justin Sofio for the Mathiasen Motorsports team captured the first "It's All In the Finish" award, with the top design honor at three separate races before claiming the season-long bonus. Sofio and the Mathiasen Motorsports team will be looking to defend their colorful turf in '07 but they'll face a stiff challenge from new and returning teams to the Atlantic Championship this season.

"Everyone on the team was really excited to win the award last season," said Sofio. "Sherwin-Williams has a great product and the award gave us an opportunity to show our creativity. Winning it meant that we were the class of a great field and that gives us instant respect and makes us more marketable to potential sponsors. We plan on winning it again this season and we're definitely going to take our design to another level."

The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Preparing for its 34th season in 2007, 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, Tonis Kasemets, David Martinez 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 and 2000 series champion Buddy Rice. Atlantic graduates have also won the Indianapolis 500 for the last three consecutive years. Competing in Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine while riding on Cooper Tires, 2007 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 last season's races on demand, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.

-credit: ccws/atlantic

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Series Atlantic
Drivers Jacques Villeneuve , Michael Andretti , Jimmy Vasser , Bobby Rahal , Alex Tagliani , Paul Tracy , A.J. Allmendinger , Katherine Legge , Buddy Rice , David Martinez , Andrew Ranger , Charles Zwolsman , Justin Sofio
Teams Williams