Hearn Motorsports Earns Two 2005 Podiums, Readies For New Driver LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 25, 2005 -- In the first two Star Mazda Series North American Championship events of 2005, Hearn Motorsports' No. 70 has earned two podium finishes. The car...
Hearn Motorsports Earns Two 2005 Podiums, Readies For New Driver
LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 25, 2005 -- In the first two Star Mazda Series North American Championship events of 2005, Hearn Motorsports' No. 70 has earned two podium finishes. The car which accomplished that feat is now open to interested drivers. Matt Jaskol, Las Vegas, Nev., opened the season for Hearn in the Darrell Soppe-engineered entry with a second-place at Sebring International Raceway- where the Richie Hearn-owned operation put two cars on the second row of the grid. The team traveled to Road Atlanta for round-two of the Star Mazda Series and, with an entry list of 43 cars, the No. 70 took fourth in qualifying and third in the race. Jaskol sits second in the overall standings but will not compete at the upcoming round at Mid-Ohio on May 22. His departure from the Las Vegas-based operation leaves one of the most successful seats in the series immediately available to a new driver. The changes to the No. 70 program do not impact the No. 77 Thienes Engineering entry of Brian Thienes who currently sits second in the Expert Division point chase.
"Matt did a great job for us," Hearn commented on the change. "However, neither one of us has been able to put together the right funding to continue on with Matt in the car. Unfortunately, this level of racing is tough. It is a great value to a sponsor but we haven't been able to find the right fit yet. The Star Mazda Series has a terrific TV package with SPEED. We have some great tracks like Sebring, Road Atlanta and Montreal with F1. We'll race on the Pikes Peak oval and at Portland and Road America plus we close the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It puts us in front of great crowds at good tracks. But, we are still working on taking all of that to the next step and putting together a sponsorship deal. So, right now, we are looking for someone with the talent and the funding that wants to run up front. There is no doubt the car and the team are capable of winning races. We've proven that."
Hearn's commitment to win- which goes back to his own driving championships in karting, the 1995 Toyota Atlantic title, multiple Indy 500 starts and the '96 IRL IndyCar Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) as well as a ride with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in next month's Indianapolis 500- carries through to the two-car Star Mazda effort. The No. 70 earned one Star Mazda pole position and two podium finishes in its debut season in 2004. Soppe, whose expertise has included successful efforts with Penske Racing, Newman-Haas Racing and Team Menard, and Hearn each bring valuable tools to talented, young drivers looking for the best equipment to show their skills.
"I know Matt is working on some things and we are too," continued Hearn. "But, we have a great seat available for someone to step into right now. We designed this team to be a three-car effort and we have proven at Sebring that we can run all three cars at the front. Right now our focus is to put two, race-winning cars on track at each race. The 70-car is capable of winning races. Matt showed that in the first two races and Rafa [Raphael Matos, 2004 Hearn Motorsports driver], showed that last year. There isn't a better ride in the paddock than what we are offering right now, ready to go for Mid-Ohio."
For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2005 Pro Formula Mazda Series' effort please visit www.richiehearn.com. More on Brian Thienes can be found at www.thienesengineering.com.