Hearn Motorsports adds driver, engineer

Hearn Motorsports Announces Addition of Jaskol and Soppe To Star Mazda Team LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 7, 2005 -- Hearn Motorsports owner Richie Hearn (Las Vegas, Nev.) is pleased to announce Matt Jaskol as driver of his No. 7 Hearn Motorsports...

Hearn Motorsports Announces Addition of Jaskol and Soppe To Star Mazda Team

LAS VEGAS, Nev., March 7, 2005 -- Hearn Motorsports owner Richie Hearn (Las Vegas, Nev.) is pleased to announce Matt Jaskol as driver of his No. 7 Hearn Motorsports entry in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship. Jaskol, also of Las Vegas, will join the second year team as it opens the season at Sebring International Raceway on March 18th. Hearn, who is looking to make his sixth Indianapolis 500 start in May, will oversee Jaskol's debut in the Mazda rotary-powered entry as well as the return of Brian Thienes (Huntington Beach, Calif.) in the No. 77 Thienes Engineering open wheel formula car.

Further strengthening Hearn's operation is the addition of highly respected race engineer Darrell Soppe. Soppe has guided the setup of many of the sports greatest open wheel drivers, including Hearn's Indianapolis efforts the past two years, for over 30 years. Other notable teams where Soppe's expertise has been utilized include successful stints with Penske Racing, Newman-Haas Racing and Team Menard.

Considered one of America's up-and-coming drivers, the 20 year-old Jaskol started his career in motocross at the age of nine. He moved into karts two years later winning 73 events and five championships since. The 2003 Red Bull Driver Search Finalist parlayed that success into a Red Bull-sponsored ride in the Formula BMW USA Series last season. There, he competed in 14 races with four wins, three pole positions and earned podium finishes in every race he took the checkered flag. He finished fourth in the season standings. He also competed in, and won, a Formula Renault race in '04. Beyond his time with Hearn Motorsports, Jaskol will fill out his 2005 season with select rides in the Stars of Tomorrow karting series.

Hearn's debut as a team owner last season was quite successful despite missing the opening round at Sebring. He guided series' rookie Raphael Matos (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) to two podium finishes and a pole position on his way to seventh in the 2004 Star Mazda season championship. Thienes finished 14th in the championship, third in the Expert Class, after joining Hearn mid-way through the season. Giving further weight to his debut, Hearn's fellow team owners gave him the coveted President's Award for his accomplishments over the season.

For 2005, Hearn continues to develop his sophomore operation. The 1995 Formula Atlantic champion is speaking with several drivers and sponsors concerning opportunities for additional Star Mazda entries for the season.

Quotes:

Richie Hearn:

(about having Jaskol): "Matt and I come from the same background with karts and I think that allows us an ability to communicate. He came out and tested with us for two days at Button Willow (Calif.) and did a great job. I was impressed but not too surprised. He knows what he knows but, more importantly, he knows what he still has to learn. He listened really well at the test and immediately put it to use making himself quicker. Matt is a smart racer and has shown he has the skill to win races at this level. He'll be a great addition to our team."

(about the season): "We still have some things to sort out for the season but I am pretty happy right now. We are already ahead of last year because we are going to be at Sebring and we'll be there with two cars. Last season we proved that we could put a strong car on the track and this year it's our goal to get a few more podiums and a couple of wins. We want to be challengers every weekend. I can't begin to measure what the addition of Darrell Soppe is going to mean to our program. I am very excited about that. We are all looking forward to getting the season started at Sebring."

Matt Jaskol:

(about joining Hearn Motorsports): "I have known Richie for a long time so it is natural for us to work together. What I am most excited about is that Richie is another racer. He shows that same desire. He knows that slang that comes from a driver's mouth that wouldn't mean anything to anyone else. Another thing that is important to me is we all have a lot of fun. I know a lot of teams that are pretty hardcore but if you can't love what you're doing why do it? And these guys are fun while being very professional. That appeals to me."

(about the Star Mazda Series): "I've looked at the Star Mazda Series for a couple of seasons now. It is attractive because of the television and it is always very professionally run. And when the new cars came out it became really appealing to me. Competitively, the field for the Star Mazda Series is so strong and deep that it will be a real challenge to me as a driver. That challenge is one of the things that I look for. This is the next step for me. I am going to stay and race in North America."

For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2005 Pro Formula Mazda Series' effort please visit www.richiehearn.com. For more on Matt Jaskol please visit www.mattjaskol.com. More on Brian Thienes can be found at www.thienesengineering.com .

-hm-

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About this article
Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Richie Hearn , Brian Thienes , Matt Jaskol
Teams Team Penske