BITE RACING ANNOUNCES 2006 CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM WITH DUTCH ROOKIE BEN JAMINI AND CANADIAN GT CHAMP CHRIS SOULIOTIS LOS ANGELES, California (February 14, 2006) -- Having spent the last two seasons readying his Champ Car ...
BITE RACING ANNOUNCES 2006 CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC CHAMPIONSHIP PROGRAM WITH DUTCH ROOKIE BEN JAMINI AND CANADIAN GT CHAMP CHRIS SOULIOTIS
LOS ANGELES, California (February 14, 2006) -- Having spent the last two seasons readying his Champ Car Atlantic team for its chance at a championship run, Dr. Chris Souliotis and his Bite Racing squad today announced its plans to become a full-time two-car team in the 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship Presented by Yokohama.
Souliotis, who is a practicing dentist in Victoria, British Columbia, will spend more time practicing his craft as a race car driver in 2006 as he joins 23-year-old Ben Jamini for a two-car attack. The team will be led by rookie contender Jamini and expects to contest all 12 events on the 2006 Atlantic schedule while maintaining a possibility of fielding a third car at selected venues with Dr. Daryl Leiski.
Jamini tested for the Bite team several times this off-season and showed that he is an adept race car driver. He was immediately up to speed using the Swift 014.a chassis, and communicated well with returning engineer Willi Opliger and crew chief Matt Rosenke. Bite Racing will place its full efforts on Jamini and contention for the Atlantic championship. Jamini will be in attendance at this evening's unveiling of the new 2006 Atlantic car in Los Angeles.
"Things are moving quickly and we are doing everything to make it happen," said Souliotis. "We have built a beautiful race shop in Victoria, designed for the purpose of training young, talented engineers and mechanics into race worthy employees. We are very excited about the potential of this team and expect to continue our growth in the coming seasons."
Jamini, a native of Holland, comes to the Atlantic series after competing in the European Formula Renault Series in 2004, moving up to the European series after a successful 2003 campaign in the Dutch Formula Renault Series that saw him win two races. He graduated to full-size cars in 2002 after six successful karting seasons that saw him climb from juniors to Formula Super A, where he finished in the top-six at the World Championships in 2000 and 2001. Jamini has competed against many of the top names in European racing during his ascension to the Atlantic Championship, including Formula 1 champion Fernando Alonso and U.S. F1 hopeful Scott Speed.
Souliotis is a familiar face in the Atlantic ranks, having made his series debut with a ninth-place run at Vancouver in 2004. The three-time Canadian GT champion finished ninth in last year's Atlantic standings, ending the year with top-10 runs at Road America and Montreal. The team hopes to periodically field a third car for Leiski, who scored a pair of C2 class victories and second in the C2 championship in 2005. In addition, the team will continue to evaluate other talented young drivers and may provide partial rides this season.
"We feel that we have built our entire team into an outfit that is ready for a full-time run at the Atlantic championship," Souliotis said. "We have a goal of moving up to Champ Cars in the near future and the Atlantic series provides a great opportunity for us to prepare for the jump."
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.