Mosport: Hearn Motorsports preview

Hearn Motorsports Debuts Jay Howard at Mosport BOWMANVILLE, Ont. Can., August 30, 2005 -- Mosport International Raceway has been the site of several key moments in the early success of Hearn Motorsports. In 2004, the team owned by IndyCar star...

Hearn Motorsports Debuts Jay Howard at Mosport

BOWMANVILLE, Ont. Can., August 30, 2005 -- Mosport International Raceway has been the site of several key moments in the early success of Hearn Motorsports. In 2004, the team owned by IndyCar star Richie Hearn (Henderson, Nev.) earned its first career Star Mazda Series North American Championship pole position and podium finish (third) at the Canadian track. Entering the 2005 event on the 2.459-mile, 10 turn road course, the second year team is excited to place international formula car standout Jay Howard (Basildon, Essex, England) in the No. 70 NewHoneys.com/ Hearn Motorsports entry. Joining Howard under the Hearn banner will be Brian Thienes (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the No. 77 Thienes Engineering/ Hearn Motorsports Star Mazda. Thienes has competed all season, and a portion of 2004, with Hearn Motorsports and currently sits 20th in the overall championship and third in the Expert Series standings.

Howard will be making his Star Mazda Series debut at Mosport. However, that doesn't diminish the 24 year-old driver's chance for a victory. The 2003 Formula Renault European Champion has won in his debut event in each category he has run thus far in his career. Most recently, he has grabbed the attention of the North American racing community by dominating the 2005 Zetec Formula Ford Series winning eight of the 10 races run this year. Last season, Howard, who got his start racing karts in England at age seven, shocked even his most ardent supporters when he won his first, and only, start of the year in the US Formula Ford 2000 race at Infineon Raceway. He will be in strong equipment as the No. 70 took podium finishes in the first two races of the Star Mazda season in its limited scheduled this year.

A one day test at Gingerman Raceway in Michigan on Monday has given Howard his only laps in Star Mazda equipment. However, the Brit was immediately quick impressing Hearn who also started his career racing karts. Howard has been signed to drive the No. 70 for two races starting with Saturday's Grand Prix of Mosport. He will also pilot the Las Vegas-based machine at next month's Petit Le Mans event at Road Atlanta. While making his first appearance at Mosport, Howard is more familiar with the Road Atlanta track having won both Zetec Series events held there earlier this year.

The first official practice for the Saturday's 45-minute race will be Friday, September 2nd at 9:15 AM (EDT). A 45-minute qualifying session will take the green at 8 AM, Saturday. The race will start at 12:35 PM, Saturday. The SPEED television broadcast can be seen on October 23rd at 1 PM (EDT).

Richie Hearn, owner: "I'm looking forward to running somebody with his type of credentials in my car. Sam Schmidt [Hearn's car owner for the last four Indianapolis 500s] brought Jay to my attention. Sam has a great eye for talent so I started talking to Jay and his record speaks for itself. It seemed like a good fit for us and a good chance to get the No. 70 back on track. We had the pole here last year so we know we have a good car at Mosport. Hopefully we can give Jay the type of car that he deserves. The competition is tough but I think he'll be right there. In testing he was fast right out of the box. Maybe he can give us our first win and we can give him his first win. It would be good for him and be good for us."

Jay Howard, driver: "I'm really looking forward to going to Mosport and racing with Richie. I believe it is going to be a good weekend. I am sure I can do a good job for Richie and he will do a good job for me. The car felt really good yesterday in testing. We made a few changes and the car was very good. We'll use the first two sessions to come to grips with the track. By the third session we'll start running for times. Not to put added pressure on me but I have won in my debut in every category. I hope I can continue that streak here this weekend."

-hm-

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Richie Hearn , Sam Schmidt , Jay Howard , Brian Thienes