CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP UNVEILS 2007 SERIES SCHEDULE INDIANAPOLIS (October 9, 2006) -- The 34th season of Atlantic racing will feature a new series sponsor, two new exciting race venues and a world-class stage for the top rising stars of...
CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP UNVEILS 2007 SERIES SCHEDULE
INDIANAPOLIS (October 9, 2006) -- The 34th season of Atlantic racing will feature a new series sponsor, two new exciting race venues and a world-class stage for the top rising stars of open-wheel racing. Champ Car Atlantic series officials proudly unveiled the 2007 series schedule today, revealing an interesting 12-race blend of some of the top road and street course events in North America.
The Atlantic Championship welcomes new series presenting sponsor and exclusive tire supplier Cooper Tire into the Champ Car family in '07. Teaming with Mazda North American Operations, which came on board as an Atlantic partner this past season, the new-look Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will offer a challenging slate of events designed to test the skills of up-and-coming racers from across the globe.
"We're still enjoying the exciting conclusion to the 2006 season, but we're already looking forward to the 34th year of Atlantic racing in 2007," said Vicki O'Connor, Managing Director of the Champ Car Atlantic Championship. "After welcoming Mazda to the series this past season, we're excited to open up new doors with Cooper Tire coming on board as presenting sponsor of the Atlantic Championship. With some of the best venues in all of racing on the series schedule for 2007, it's bound to be one of the most thrilling seasons in Atlantic history. My sincere thanks to all of the event promoters and everyone at Champ Car for helping to put together an awesome schedule for next season. With our first series-sanctioned test scheduled in late January, the Atlantics will be back on track before you know it!"
"We are excited to join forces with Champ Car Atlantic and are looking forward to a great first season," said Jim Keller, Vice President of Marketing for Cooper Tire. "The Champ Car Atlantic Championship is a proven champion and their track record speaks for itself. Cooper is confident that this partnership will boast one of the best championship combinations in racing today."
The '07 Atlantic schedule will provide an equal balance of six races run on street circuits and six events held on permanent or temporary road courses (see schedule chart below). The calendar features three events in Canada and nine races held within the United States.
As the 300-horsepower Atlantic cars continue to serve as the training ground for the next generation of Champ Car stars, the series will run all of its 2007 events in conjunction with the newly-designed, 750-horsepower, turbo-charged machines of the Champ Car World Series. A full television broadcast schedule of all '07 Atlantic races will be announced at a later date.
"The first season of Mazda's involvement in the reborn Champ Car Atlantic Championship resulted in some of the best open-wheel racing seen in years," said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality for Mazda North American Operations, and the man in charge of Mazda's motorsports activities. "With the help of our partners at Cosworth, the 300-horsepower Mazda MZR race engine was a huge success, and going into the 2007 season, the Atlantic series remains the top-rung on Mazda's motorsports ladder."
Preparation for the '07 Atlantic season and the battle for the $2 million series champion's Champ Car bonus will begin with three series open tests from January-March. The organized test sessions, open to all series participants, will allow the competitors to refine their programs as they get acclimated to the new Mazda-Cosworth/Swift/Cooper racing package. The first test is scheduled for January 28-29 at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida. Two weeks later, the Atlantic cars return to the track with a two-day test at the MSR Houston road circuit in Angleton, Texas, February 9-10. The final pre-season test will be hosted at the classic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca road course in Monterey, California, March 7-8.
The 2007 season officially gets underway at a new venue for the Atlantic cars. The streets of downtown Las Vegas will host the Vegas Grand Prix on April 8. The exciting new venue will begin a run of three consecutive race weekends to open the season. The Atlantic series will compete at the wildly-popular Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach on the streets of Long Beach, April 15, followed by the second running of the Grand Prix of Houston at the Reliant Park circuit on April 22.
With the first quarter of the season complete, the Atlantics will get a short break in the schedule before returning to action with a doubleheader weekend at Portland International Raceway, June 9-10. The twinbill will mark the fourth consecutive season that the series has featured two events on a race weekend.
The season will reach its halfway point on June 24 when the series visits the wide-open Burke Lakefront Airport circuit in its annual visit to Cleveland. From there, the Atlantics begin a three-race Canadian swing.
The legendary Mont Tremblant circuit last hosted an Atlantic event in 1976. The series returns to compete at the St. Jovite venue in Quebec on July 1. A week later the Atlantic cars will return to one of the most popular events on the calendar, racing on the Toronto streets at Exhibition Place. For the third consecutive season, the series will compete in Edmonton at the fast City Centre Airport course on July 22, completing the Atlantic Canadian Triple Crown.
The streets of San Jose host the Atlantic series for the third straight year at the Grand Prix of San Jose on July 29. The penultimate round of '07 racing will feature the 23rd Atlantic race run at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on August 12. For the first time since 2002, Denver will be the site of the series season finale as the Pepsi Center street circuit will play host to Atlantics for the sixth straight season.