Hearn Looks North to Close Formula BMW Season on High Note BOWMANVILLE, Ont., August 28, 2006 -- Hearn Motorsports is looking north of the border to put an explanation point on its 2006 regular season. The Las Vegas-based team owned by...
Hearn Looks North to Close Formula BMW Season on High Note
BOWMANVILLE, Ont., August 28, 2006 -- Hearn Motorsports is looking north of the border to put an explanation point on its 2006 regular season. The Las Vegas-based team owned by Indy car racing star Richie Hearn (Henderson, NV) is at the close of its 2006 rookie season in the Formula BMW USA Series this weekend at Mosport International Raceway. The high-speed Canadian road course has been the site of some of Hearn's brightest moments as a team owner since launching his effort in 2004. Hearn's now three year-old team captured its first Star Mazda Series pole position and podium finish at the 2.549-mile, 10-turn track in 2004. That was followed last season at Mosport by the team's first Star Mazda victory. Now, fresh off its first Formula BMW USA Series podium finish with driver Ryan Phinny (Carmel Valley, Calif.) at Denver, Hearn is looking to ride his team's Mosport tradition to a strong finish to the 2006 season. The 16 year-old Phinny, who earned not only second-place in Round 12 at Denver on August 13 but also sat on the outside of the front-row for the start there, will close his rookie season in the BMW Series in the No. 16 Baja Cantina/Hearn Motorsports BMW. Teammate Jules Duc (Los Gatos, Calif.), also 16, will have this final shot of 2006 to add his own podium finish in the No. 12 Duc Housing Partners/Hearn Motorsports BMW at the classic Canadian circuit.
"Hopefully, we can keep the momentum going," offered Hearn. "It would have been better for us to race right-away because we had that momentum. Ryan was feeling pretty good about what happened at Denver. But, we get plenty of track time here so Ryan and Jules should be able to figure out the track pretty fast. All our previous experience has been positive at Mosport so I am excited about going there. We want to end everyone's season on a good note."
As the Hearn team unloads and prepares for Rounds 13 and 14 of the seven-weekend, 14-race spec Formula car series, they hope to take advantage of what are new surroundings for most of the Formula BMW participants. While neither Duc nor Phinny, who is currently ranked in the top-10 of driver points, have piloted one of the BMW-powered single-seaters around the Mosport facility, both have shown strength on the traditional, permanent road courses. Mosport is only the third natural terrain road course of the seven tracks to host events in 2006. When coupled with Hearn's unparalleled ability to teach young talent, Mosport could again be a shining beacon on the season.
"I think the guys will do OK at Mosport," said Hearn regarding his two drivers. "I don't see it as a terribly difficult track for these cars. It is pretty fast and is pretty much flat out. It isn't a technical track so it will just be a matter of them getting used to going over the hills blind. Jules has done really well at the tracks like this and Ryan is never afraid to push it. I think they'll be fine right out the box."
Following the season-ending two rounds at Mosport, Hearn's full attention will be on the Formula BMW World Finals. The three-day weekend brings the best teams and drivers to Valencia, Spain, November 24-26. Hearn Motorsports has entered three cars with one already slated for Duc. The veteran of racing in both North America and Europe is currently speaking to several drivers on both continents about the international event at the Circuit de la Comunitat Valenciana Ricardo Tormo.
Testing for Mosport begins on Thursday, August 31, while the first official practice for the two events will be held on Friday, September 1 at 10:05 AM (ET). Qualifying for Round 13 will take place at 3:55 PM, Friday. Qualifying for the final 30-minute race will begin at 9:35 AM on Saturday. Round 13 will take place on Saturday at 4:25 PM. The season-finale, Round 14, takes the green flag at 1:20 PM, Sunday, September 3.