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NEW CHAMP CAR ATLANTIC SERIES LOGO TO BE UNVEILED AND ATLANTIC DRIVERS TO BE FEATURED AT SEMA SHOW IN LAS VEGAS
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., October 24, 2006 - The site of the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda season opener and one of the world's leading automotive trade shows will be the stage for the unveiling of the new look and feel of the Atlantic Championship.
The new Atlantic series logo and the details of the new relationship with series presenting sponsor and exclusive tire supplier Cooper Tire will be unveiled next week at the world-renowned SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Cooper Tire, one of the most recognized and well-respected brands in the automotive industry, will host a press conference at SEMA addressing its vision for the future and focusing on its new partnership with the Atlantic Championship, North America's premier open-wheel development series. The press conference is scheduled for Tuesday, October 31 shortly after 3 p.m. PT at the Cooper Tire SEMA display area, located at booth #40341 in the lower south hall of the convention center.
The SEMA Show, held October 31-November 3 in Las Vegas, is the leading automotive specialty products trade event in the world. Some of the brightest minds and hottest products in the automotive community will be featured at the show that's expected to attract over 100,000 industry leaders from more than 100 countries across the globe. The high-profile international event is an ideal place for both Cooper Tire and Atlantic officials to discuss plans for the 2007 season and beyond. Las Vegas will also serve as the perfect backdrop to reveal the new Atlantic theme for '07 as the city's downtown streets will host next year's season-opening race at the much-anticipated Vegas Grand Prix on April 8.
Joining Atlantic series representatives at the press conference and the week-long show will be some of the top competitors from the recently-completed 2006 Champ Car Atlantic Championship. Series champion Simon Pagenaud of Team Australia, who claimed the title along with the unprecedented $2 million bonus to help fund a ride in the Champ Car World Series next season, will be in attendance throughout the week. Atlantic 2006 Portland race winner James Hinchcliffe of Forsythe Championship Racing will also be appearing at the show along with this season's Road America winner Jonathan Bomarito and his PR1 Motorsports teammate Mike Forest. All four drivers will be making appearances on behalf of Atlantic series sponsors Cooper Tire and Mazda throughout the course of the show and each driver will participate in an autograph session on Thursday, November 2 at the Cooper Tire display area.
The new 2007 Atlantic racing package will also be prominently displayed in Vegas during the week of the show. The Swift 016.a Atlantic chassis, featuring the 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth engine, and equipped with the new Cooper Atlantic racing slick tires will be featured at four separate locations throughout the week. The Cooper Tire display will feature Forest's #32 Atlantic entry from this past season while the #37 Forsythe Racing car piloted by Andreas Wirth in '06 will be included at the Champ Car World Series display area at the SEMA show. Bomarito's #23 PR1 Motorsports machine will be featured at a special function hosted by both Mazda and Cooper Tire at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino on Thursday night while a unique carbon Atlantic car, designed by Swift Engineering, will be included at the Mazda display at the show.
Just prior to the start of the SEMA Show, the Atlantic team and car deemed to have the most attractive design and paint scheme this season will also be featured at two special functions for Mazda. The #26 Mathiasen Motorsports car driven by Justin Sofio this season won the Sherwin-Williams "It's All In The Finish" award in '06 after the car was voted to have the best livery design among all Atlantic entries. The beautiful machine will be featured at the Mazda Motorsports employee day, designed specifically for Mazda company employees, on October 27. The following day, the Atlantic ride and its driver will participate in the company's Sevenstock vehicle showcase, open to the public. Both events will take place at Mazda headquarters in Irvine, California. Each day's activities are designed to promote and recognize the wide range of racing cars that carry the Mazda banner and the Atlantic series will be well-represented with both Sofio and the Mathiasen Motorsport car in attendance.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Preparing for its 34 th season in 2007, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. 2006 Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger, Katherine Legge, Tonis Kasemets and 2005 Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman are established Atlantic graduates along with 2004 Champ Car Rookie of the Year and 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger. Competing in newly-designed Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine while riding on Cooper Tires, 2007 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion's bonus. For more information on the series and to view last season's races on demand, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.