Hearn Motorsports Makes Milestone at Portland PORTLAND, Ore., July 31, 2004 -- Hearn Motorsports hit a major milestone at Portland International Raceway (PIR). The Star Mazda North American Championship team of open wheel racing standout Richie...
Hearn Motorsports Makes Milestone at Portland
PORTLAND, Ore., July 31, 2004 -- Hearn Motorsports hit a major milestone at Portland International Raceway (PIR). The Star Mazda North American Championship team of open wheel racing standout Richie Hearn, in only its fourth race, added a second car to the Las Vegas-based racing operation. In addition to the No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda of rookie driving standout Raphael Matos, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, the five-time Indianapolis 500 starter has now brought Brian Thienes, Huntington Beach, Calif., to his roster. Thienes, who is in his second year of Star Mazda, pilots the red No. 77 Thienes Engineering entry. Hearn Motorsports will race next at Mosport International Raceway on August 8th in Bowmanville, Ontario Canada.
No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda, qualified: 4th, finished: 8th - In the 45-minute Star Mazda race, Matos started fourth, his fourth top-five start in four races. The 2003 Formula Dodge National champion was making his way to the front as he got a strong run on second-place coming down the front straightaway at the race's midpoint. He dropped to the inside going into the "Festival Curves" chicane and the second-place machine turned in on the Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda. Matos spun, falling back to 13th-place. He began his charge back through the field working his way to eighth in the closing minutes of the race.
Richie Hearn, team owner/manager: "I'm pretty happy with the weekend. I'm definitely disappointed we didn't make the podium but I can be happy with that happening while making that pass for second rather than 15th. Eighth-place isn't what we wanted but we are creeping-up on it. We didn't run well in the heat on Friday but made a few changes and we got the car very quick for Saturday. The pass Raphael was making was definitely very doable. But, it doesn't look like second-place was expecting anyone to try and make a pass on him. Raphael is doing a great job. I've been there so I know the frustration that he is going through right now."
No. 77 Thienes Engineering Mazda, qualified: 18th, finished: 30th -- Brian Thienes made his debut with Hearn Motorsports at the Grand Prix of Portland. He qualified 18th and made a quick start passing several cars entering the "Festival Curves". However, as making a pass, deep in traffic, Thienes was clipped by another car launching his red Mazda into the air and into a nearby gravel trap. Thienes was unhurt but the No. 77 will require a new gearbox and suspension work prior to Mosport.
Richie Hearn: "Brian's weekend didn't go very good but it was a learning experience for everyone. We are just learning how he wants to drive the car. We are learning each other. He made a really good start and passed four or five guys. He was racing pretty hard and got clipped. That flipped the car into the gravel trap. The accident broke the gearbox and that is a pretty expensive fix but we'll have it done in time for Mosport. Having Brian as a part of this team is a really good thing for Hearn Motorsports. We are continuing to grow and we are getting closer to reaching our goals on the track and off. Brian is a big part of that. We are very proud to have him as part of Hearn Motorsports.'
The Grand Prix of Portland Star Mazda race can be seen on SPEED, at noon, August 22.
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. More on Brian Thienes can be found at www.thieneseng.com. For information on the Star Mazda Series, please visit www.starmazda.com.