Hearn Motorsports Grabs Top-Five in Team Debut LEXINGTON, Oh., June 27, 2004 -- Richie Hearn made his professional racing debut winning the Winfield Pilote-Elf International Competition in 1991. With a strong karting career behind him, Hearn ...
Hearn Motorsports Grabs Top-Five in Team Debut
LEXINGTON, Oh., June 27, 2004 -- Richie Hearn made his professional racing debut winning the Winfield Pilote-Elf International Competition in 1991. With a strong karting career behind him, Hearn started a professional car racing career that, to date, has garnered four Indianapolis 500 starts, an IRL IndyCar win at Las Vegas in 1996, two IndyCar pole positions and the 1995 Toyota Atlantic drivers' title. Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Hearn made his debut as a car owner in the Pro Formula Mazda Series. The competitive launch of Hearn Motorsports, with driver Raphael Matos, at the famous road course was a stunning success as the No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda as the Belo Horizonte, Brazil-native crossed the finish line in fifth position.
Hearn Motorsports, based at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, was never far outside of the top-five in any on-track activity all weekend. Hearn coached the 2003 Formula Dodge National Champion to fifth on the grid and to the fifth-fastest lap on his way to fifth in the 28-lap race. The debut of the team turned heads in a paddock full of veterans of the Star Mazda series sending notice to all that Hearn Motorsports is going to be a force in the open-wheel, formula car series in 2004.
The race broadcast-- which includes exciting footage from the Showtime/Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda on-board camera-- can be seen on SPEED, July 11, at noon eastern time. The team will work towards its first career victory at The New England Grand Prix at Lime Rock Park on July 3.
Richie Hearn, team owner/manager: "We're very pleased. Raphael never put a foot wrong all weekend. It was a good start for us. We got 32 points towards the championship and that is what is really important. We didn't have any problems all weekend and we learned a lot. The car is good for next week and that is really important to a new team with their first two races being back-to-back. We set our goal as a top-ten and we bettered that with a top-five. So, we're really pleased. This was a great first showing for Showtime and Samsung and really shows what a Skip Barber champion can do. We're heading to Lime Rock very happy."
Raphael Matos, driver: "I am very glad to be with Richie, with Hearn Motorsports and here in the Star Mazda Series. I had not driven in a series where I had to worry about the car set-up, races this long or in a car with this technology. So, there was a lot of learning this weekend. I am pretty happy with fifth for our first race in the Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda. I was very competitive and within sight of the leader much of the race. We had a great battle for fifth. It was a great start for our team."
For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2004 Pro Formula Mazda Series' effort please visit www.richiehearn.com. To learn about Raphael Matos, visit his bilingual site at www.rafamatos.com. For information on the Star Mazda Series, please visit www.starmazda.com.