Hearn Motorsports to debut at Mid-Ohio

LAS VEGAS, June 21, 2004 -- Richie Hearn took "off" the month of May to make his fifth career Indianapolis 500 start. He now pulls his full focus back to his new Pro Formula Mazda Series team in preparation for the remaining nine races of the ...

LAS VEGAS, June 21, 2004 -- Richie Hearn took "off" the month of May to make his fifth career Indianapolis 500 start. He now pulls his full focus back to his new Pro Formula Mazda Series team in preparation for the remaining nine races of the season. The 13-turn, 2.25-mile Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will play host to the debut of Hearn Motorsports and its young Brazilian driver, Raphael Matos (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) in the one-make, "spec" car series. Since its announcement at the 12 Hours of Sebring in March, Hearn Motorsports has completed the acquisition of all the key components required to run a championship caliber team and undertaken an intensive testing program. Hearn has settled on the No. 70 for his inaugural season as a car owner. The number is meaningful to the California-native as it adorned his machines throughout his successful karting career.

Hearn, the 1995 Toyota Atlantics champion and winner of the 1996 Las Vegas 500 IndyCar race, is taking his first foray into team ownership of any kind. Matos is the 2003 Formula Dodge National Champion and 2002 rookie of the year in that series who has been competing, and winning, in American motorsports since 2002. Hearn Motorsports will take their green flag as a team when Star Mazda practice opens on Thursday, June 24th for the American Le Mans Series at Mid-Ohio race weekend. The race will be broadcast on SPEED on July 11, at noon eastern time.

Richie Hearn, team owner/manager: "Things are definitely coming together. We now have all of the pieces we need to go racing. But, more importantly, we have most of the pieces that we need to be a championship-level team. We are being realistic. We have a lot to learn but, we also have a team capable of winning. Raphael has really impressed me in testing and I am eager to get him on the track in a race. Now, we, as a team, just need some more experience in Star Mazda. This isn't an easy place to compete. There are a lot of strong teams here that really know these cars and we know we have our work cut out for us. Mid-Ohio has always been one of my favorite tracks to race on and I am anxious to start-up my team ownership there. Mid-Ohio just feels right."

For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2004 Pro Formula Mazda Series' effort please visit www.richiehearn.com. To learn about Raphael Matos, visit his bilingual site at www.rafamatos.com. For information on the Star Mazda Series, please visit www.starmazda.com.

-dhc/tm-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Richie Hearn