PR1 MOTORSPORTS TO COMPETE WITH JONATHAN BOMARITO AND MIKE FOREST IN 2006 ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP INDIANAPOLIS (February 9, 2006) -- For its first full season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, PR1 Motorsports will...
PR1 MOTORSPORTS TO COMPETE WITH JONATHAN BOMARITO AND MIKE FOREST IN 2006 ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP
INDIANAPOLIS (February 9, 2006) -- For its first full season in the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama, PR1 Motorsports will rely on two drivers that have a history of success with the team.
The Fresno, California-based PR1 team will compete with a strong two-car lineup in the 2006 Atlantic Championship featuring former Atlantic racer and 2003 U.S. Formula Ford Zetec champion Jonathan Bomarito and 2005 Pacific F2000 champ Mike Forest. Both drivers earned their most recent titles while racing for PR1 Motorsports so the expansion for both the team and its racers into a successful full-time Atlantic effort this season is a natural and logical progression.
"We've been fortunate to work with both drivers in the past so this seemed to be a good fit for both PR1 and for Jonathan and Mike," said Bobby Oergel, owner of PR1 Motorsports. "We certainly know what both of these drivers are capable of and they know the team. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses and that should help make a smooth transition for us this season."
After years of success competing in the Formula Ford ranks, PR1 did a great job in its first foray into Atlantic racing in 2005. The team competed in three races and produced three top-seven results, including a pole position and a second-place finish at Denver with 17-year-old racer Alan Sciuto. "We got our feet wet a little bit last year and we decided with the new car and a lot of new competitors this would be a good time to make the transition to the series full time," said Oergel.
While the team plans to continue with a two-car effort in the Formula Ford Zetec series in '06, its new two-car Atlantic program will be fueled by an experienced crew that brings a history of winning and familiarity with each other. Bomarito, the 23-year-old native of Monterey, California, earned the '03 Zetec title on the strength of five wins and nine podium results for PR1. When Bomarito joined Atlantics with Transnet Racing in 2004, Oergel served as his driver coach. John Hayes worked as Transnet's team manager that season with Bomarito emerging as one of the series' top rookies with four top-five results in seven starts. Hayes will be reunited with Bomarito as his race engineer at PR1 this season.
Forest, a 23-year-old talent from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, is excited about entering Atlantics as a highly-touted rookie this season. The son of former racer Ric Forest, he took full advantage of PR1's veteran leadership last season on his way to the Pacific F2000 crown. Forest got off to a terrific start in '05 winning the first four races of the season before locking up the title in late September. Andy Garvey, who has been with the PR1 team since 2001, will serve as lead engineer on Forest's car this season.
PR1 Motorsports and its drivers will be in attendance next Tuesday, February 14 when the brand new Swift/Cosworth/Yokohama Atlantic car is unveiled for the first time at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The team is anxious to take delivery of its new cars in early March before hitting the testing trail along with the rest of the Atlantic field at the California Speedway road circuit March 21-22. The Champ Car Atlantic season officially gets underway at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Beginning 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. 2005 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger and Ronnie Bremer are also 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 Cosworth engine 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 Atlantic series, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.