December 08, 2003 - 21-year-old Gormley, Ontario, racing ace Jonathan Macri plans to power upwards into the Champ Car World Series, North America's highest level of open-wheel competition. For his first foray into the world of Champ Cars, the...
December 08, 2003 - 21-year-old Gormley, Ontario, racing ace Jonathan Macri plans to power upwards into the Champ Car World Series, North America's highest level of open-wheel competition. For his first foray into the world of Champ Cars, the NTN Bearings' sponsored driver will be moving swiftly through the gears and maneuvering hard through Sebring's challenging permanent road course, as he tests for Walker Racing, December 10th and 11th.
Macri now has the opportunity to demonstrate his talent, which has been honed by years of open-wheel racing experience, and which has culminated in three successful years in the Toyota Atlantic Series. In preparing for the difference in driving characteristics between Atlantic and Champ cars made clearly evident by the significantly greater weight and horsepower of the Champ Car, Jonathan has been building his physical and mental endurance and strength.
'It's a great opportunity', Jonathan said. 'I'm really looking forward to testing for Walker Racing. It couldn't have happened at a better time. I really enjoyed racing the Atlantic Series and I've learned a lot, but I think it's time to move on. I don't know exactly what to expect at testing. It will be my first time in a Champ Car there's an additional 300 lbs of weight and a 500-horsepower differential between Atlantic and Champ Cars, so it should be interesting to see how I do. I'll be clocking a total of 200 miles each day, so I've been working hard to make sure I'm physically prepared. Testing will give Walker Racing a chance to gauge my performance and it will also give all of us a chance to see how well we work together, how well we gel. It's definitely a good start, something to work from that may develop into a ride next year or open up some more doors in the Champ Series.'
Jonathan's parents are just as ecstatic about Testing. 'It's a phenomenal opportunity for Jonathan. We believe he's capable of competing in the Champ Series and support him fully in his career', Jonathan's dad, Ferdinando Macri, said.
Raw talent, speed, maturity and consistency marked Macri's three years of Atlantic racing. However, Jonathan's venture into the world of Atlantic open-wheel racing and his continued drive to vault into the rungs of the Champ World Series could not have come to fruition without the steadfast and continued support of NTN Bearings Corporation.
'NTN has supported me from the first day I sat in an Atlantic Car, and that was three years ago', Jonathan said. 'I cannot thank them enough for having believed in me and my abilities and for having never once doubted the strength of our relationship. NTN has made it clear that they wish to fully sponsor and support my Champ Car ambitions and knowing that I have their full support makes me very grateful to them. Moving through the rungs of open-wheel racing and into the toughest open-wheel series demands a lot of skill from the driver and a good support network, especially from family. But there is little or no chance of going anywhere in this sport without sponsorship. Thanks to NTN and their sponsorship I can go as far as my talent takes me.'
Luckily, for Macri, NTN is just as passionate as he is about motor sports. At the forefront of the bearing industry, NTN has found in the sport of racing the competitiveness and technological ingenuity that has similarly characterized the company and its vision. Joining the Champ Car Series through sponsorship has therefore been a natural road for NTN. Its associate sponsorship of rookie Darren Manning's #15 Walker Racing Champ Car entry in 2003 has already established a strong relationship between NTN and Walker Racing. The addition of Macri in this tight relationship of team and sponsor would undoubtedly make this marriage seamless, complete and highly competitive.