Hearn Motorsports Adds Phinny to Formula BMW Fold LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 1, 2006 -- Richie Hearn (Henderson, Nev.) will add karting star and 2005 Red Bull Driver Search Finalist Ryan Phinny (Carmel Valley, Calif.) to his Formula BMW USA...
Hearn Motorsports Adds Phinny to Formula BMW Fold
LAS VEGAS, Nev., February 1, 2006 -- Richie Hearn (Henderson, Nev.) will add karting star and 2005 Red Bull Driver Search Finalist Ryan Phinny (Carmel Valley, Calif.) to his Formula BMW USA Series program in 2006. The 15 year-old is the latest kart driver that Hearn, himself a past championship karter, has given the opportunity to pilot his race cars. Phinny joins Jules Duc (Los Gatos, Calif.), announced previously, behind the wheel of a Hearn Motorsports-prepared BMW-powered single-seater throughout the '06 season. 2006 will mark the first season that Hearn Motorsports has entered the Formula BMW USA Series and the third season that the team, which includes a kart racing arm, has competed in auto racing. For the last two seasons, Hearn Motorsports has run in the Star Mazda Series earning two career pole positions and a win at the 2005 Mosport Grand Prix.
"I'm excited to lock-up Ryan for the year in the Formula BMW USA Series," said Hearn. "He has been tremendously successful in karts. We can win races and the championship next year. I'm really excited to have such a strong team with Ryan and Jules. I think the Series is doing a great job. They have strong fields and the best young talent in the country. BMW has taken a very professional approach and our timing couldn't be any better to get involved."
Phinny's skills are widely recognized and will be an impressive asset to the Las Vegas, Nev. based race team. Having started racing karts at age eight, Phinny has gone on to win 100cc kart races as well as regional and national titles in the highly competitive world of 80cc shifter karts. He has won six events against the best karting competition in North America in the Stars of Tomorrow National tour, twice on the Skusa Pro-Moto Tour and is a past Champion of the MOMO Grand Prix. Accolades include not only being one of the three finalists in the Red Bull Driver Search last season, but Phinny also made the "Sweet 16" in last year's Skip Barber Scholarship contest and was named the 2005 Speed Secrets Transition Award winner. While Phinny made one Formula BMW Series start last season, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, 2006 will be his first full season racing cars.
"I'm really excited about doing this with Richie," enthused Phinny. "After the first test day, I knew the team was just phenomenal. I was just ecstatic with the professionalism. Now to be running for him in '06 will be just awesome. I look at the 2006 season as I look at every other season; I want to go for the championship and I want to win. I definitely think that with Richie and the team I'll be able to do that this year. It will be a team effort and I'm looking forward to the entire season."
Phinny has already impressed Hearn in a pair of tests overseen by the Champ Car and IndyCar standout. Phinny and Duc will continue a testing regime leading into the season-open Formula BMW USA with a goal of becoming the standard-bearers in the Series before moving into higher ranks of the sport.
Phinny is equally excited to have the expertise and coaching skills of 1995 Atlantics Champion Hearn in his corner. "I really enjoy being around Richie. All of his input has definitely helped. I've done two full days of testing with him and he's been very, very helpful. Coming from his background he knows how hard it is to make it. And he definitely made it. He knows people farther up the ranks that can help me. I hope to make a real strong bond between me and Richie. I definitely appreciate all that Richie has done for me. Without him I wouldn't be racing this year. He has worked really hard to put all of this together and I'm really grateful."
The 14-race, seven weekend schedule opens on May 19-21 at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Other major events include two dates with the FIA Formula One championship-- the Canadian Grand Prix on June 23-25 and the US Grand Prix at Indianapolis on June 30-July 2.
For more on Hearn Motorsports please visit www.RichieHearn.com.
To learn more about the Formula BMW USA Series, click on www.FormulaBMWUSA.com.
Additional information on Ryan Phinny can be found at www.RyanPhinnyMotorsports.com.