Hearn Motorsports Sonoma notes

Hearn Motorsports Grabs Top-Ten at Sonoma SONOMA, Calif., July 17, 2004 -- Hearn Motorsports came to Infineon Raceway on a rollercoaster ride. They leave the Sonoma Valley track on an upswing in the Pro Formula Mazda Series. After an accident in...

Hearn Motorsports Grabs Top-Ten at Sonoma

SONOMA, Calif., July 17, 2004 -- Hearn Motorsports came to Infineon Raceway on a rollercoaster ride. They leave the Sonoma Valley track on an upswing in the Pro Formula Mazda Series. After an accident in the last event at Lime Rock Park, rookie Raphael Matos, of Belo Horizonte, Brazil, brought the No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda home in eighth-place today. The Richie Hearn-owned team, now just three races old, has run strong in qualifying with three top-five starts. Matos gridded the star-covered Mazda fifth for today's 45-minute event. At the start, Matos fought at the top of the field before a tire blistering issue forced the team to fall back. Despite Matos' best effort to drive through the blistering issue, he was not able to maintain contact with the leaders in the hot and sunny day and settled back into the top-ten. Nonetheless, the IndyCar racing standout's team again showed itself as a top-contender for victory in the open wheel, formula car series.

The Hearn Motorsports team had worked tirelessly on the No. 70 after the Lime Rock incident which did substantial suspension damage to three of the car's four corners. The work paid off as Matos, who had never had an accident in a race car before Lime Rock, came here and immediately ran in the top-three in practice. The Infineon Raceway played well to Matos' style and the team quickly turned the heads of their more experienced competition. The combination of Hearn and Matos continues to strengthen as the two spend more time learning and fine-tuning the Mazda-powered car. With each race, the team has shown its stake for a regular role on the Pro Formula Mazda Series' podium. The No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber Mazda will not have to wait long for its next chance at victory. The Hearn team will make the trek north for next week's American Le Mans at Portland Grand Prix at Portland International Raceway.

The Grand Prix of Sonoma event will be televised August 1 on SPEED at 2 pm (EDT). The New England Grand Prix event, raced on July 3, can also be seen on SPEED at 2 pm (EDT) on July 18.

Richie Hearn, team owner/manager: "I was pretty happy for the whole weekend; a little disappointed with the result. I think we had a second or third-place car. But, we had some blistering problems in the race that you can't overcome. Overall, I am very happy with how the team came back after the wreck at Lime Rock to run in the top-five pretty much every practice session. And we qualified in the top-five at every race so far. All-in-all it was good but kind of disappointing because we don't know why the tires blistered. That is probably the most disappointing part but we'll be ready for Portland."

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Richie Hearn , Skip Barber