Portland: Northwest Autosport preview

Northwest Autosport prepares for hometown race at Portland International Raceway Freiberg, Fogg and Cook set to compete during ChampCar weekend Milwaukie, Oregon. Northwest Autosport's preparations for Round Five of the Star Mazda Championship...

Northwest Autosport prepares for hometown race at Portland International Raceway
Freiberg, Fogg and Cook set to compete during ChampCar weekend

Milwaukie, Oregon. Northwest Autosport's preparations for Round Five of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear during the upcoming Mazda Grand Prix of Portland are intensifying as the team works on cars for Eric Freiberg, Phil Fogg Jr, and Steve Cook. With the weekend rapidly approaching the only letdown is the news that Vancouver, British Columbia resident Lorenzo Mandarino, winner of the previous round at Miller Motorsports Park, will be unable to compete due to budget constraints.

"Racing in your hometown is exciting but does add a bit of pressure so we're all working hard at the shop to prepare for the event, with some testing at the track scheduled for next week.," team manager Mike Hernandez commented. "Everyone at Northwest Autosport is disappointed that Lorenzo will be unable to continue at this point. He is a tremendous driver, scoring a victory in only his fourth event in the championship, however the sponsorship opportunities haven't developed and he'll be sidelined as a result. We wish him the best and hope that he can secure funding to continue his efforts to move up the motorsports ladder."

Making his Portland International Raceway debut for the event will be Homer Glen, Illinois, resident Freiberg in the #3 Northwest Autosport Pro Formula Mazda. Freiberg, currently eleventh overall in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear standings comes to the event hungry after a top ten finish at Virginia International Raceway and twelfth place finish at Miller Motorsports Park.

The disappointment that Mandarino is unable to continue is tempered by the return of Northwest Autosport driver Cook to the team for the event. It has been a long road back to the track for Cook, a professor in The Department of Orthopedic Surgery at Tulane Medical School in New Orleans, who lost everything when Hurricane Katrina swept through Louisiana and Mississippi in August of that year. Battling back from this tragedy and unexpected health issues is a cause for celebration for the team.

"It is going to be exciting to have Steve back racing with us at Portland," Hernandez revealed. "After Hurricane Katrina swept through about the only possession he had left was his Pro Formula Mazda which was at our shop here in Oregon, to be able to watch him get to climb back behind the wheel and race is awesome."

Adding to the excitement will be Phil Fogg Junior in the #29 Consonus Northwest Autosport Pro Formula Mazda. A resident of Portland, Oregon, Fogg kicked off the 2007 Star Mazda season with a victory in the Expert Class, for drivers between the ages of thirty and forty-four, at Sebring International Raceway.

-credit: na

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Steve Cook , Eric Freiberg , Lorenzo Mandarino , Phil Fogg