Thanks for the news, this could become an interesting story.
THere is a buyout and shakeup of the Champ Car racing league going on. Maybe the sport will be improved in the long run but for 2008 the schedule is toast. It is unclear what exaclty this means for the Champ Car Atlantic series that Frankie runs in. It may continue independently with an altered schedule.
Merger question: What about Frankie?
Before this news broke they recently ran the first preseason session. Frankie improved into the middle on the time sheets from mostly the back last year. Some details on his site.
Thanks for the news, this could become an interesting story.
Front Page Post
Its been more than a month since we updated you on Frankie's racing news. However a lot has been happening.
January 30, 2008 - Universal CityWalk in Hollywood, CA
Frankie Muniz and Carl Skerlong announced they had joined Pacific Coast Motorsports. That means Pacific Coast Motorsports expand their racing team with a two-car entry in the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Series Powered by Mazda.
PCM team director Tyler Tadevic made the announcement under the famous Hard Rock guitar at a media event at the Hard Rock Cafe. Attended by a large contingent of entertainment and sports media, Tadevic commented on the team's desire to return to their racing roots.
Frankie Muniz will drive the #29 PCM/Mazda/Swift in his sophomore season of Atlantic competition."We're really proud to be returning to the series where we won the 2004 championship, and we are looking forward to continuing our winning tradition"..."We feel we've got two exceptional young drivers on board. They're both quick and very professional, we've got an exciting season ahead of us."
A nice surprise for Malcolm in the Middle fans was the fact that Bryan Cranston (Hal) joined Frankie at the announcement."Joining PCM is a huge step forward for me in my racing career,"..."In the three tests I have already completed, I have learned so much and really developed my skills as a racing driver. Tim Lewis, my race engineer has a championship winning record behind him and we have gelled really well. I just can't wait for the season to start in April at the Long Beach Grand Prix and I am thrilled to represent a professional racing team like Pacific Coast Motorsports."
Source: hollywood.comFrankieMunizRacing.com & motorsport.com
February 5 - 6, 2008 - Sebring Race - Frankie came in at #16
"It was a good day today, everyday with PCM I am learning so much, itís awesome and great for my confidence inside the race car. I was a little disappointed this morning; I do not feel like I maximized the session. However, this afternoon was much better and we made a lot of progress. I had the best session I have ever had in terms of the timesheets and I am confident we can be much quicker in the morning, so that is great. Sebring is a great track for testing. It is bumpy like a street circuit, but it also has high-speed corners which are great confidence builders and challenging brake-zones that give you the opportunity to work on late-braking. I have been training everyday over the off-season and it has definitely paid off. It was 80 degrees today and it felt like it was nearly 100% humidity but I still had a lot of energy at the end of the day after 125 laps, I feel great!"Source: motorsport.com"This was a very important test for our team in terms of development. We tested combination after combination and have a lot of great information heading into the season because of it. I am learning so much from my engineer, Tim Lewis. I've never really learned how to develop a car, I've certainly never spent this much time developing set-up and it is really a great experience and I feel I have a much better fundamental understanding of what the car needs and what I need to maximize the track conditions. We did our best time of the test this afternoon when the track was actually slower; I ran the 12th quickest time at the point. The interesting thing also was that I was quicker on the old tires. It says a lot about the terrific product Cooper Tires provides us. I wish we had one more day because the car we ended up with this afternoon was awesome and I would love to try it out tomorrow morning when the track is at its best! I am really excited to get the season started!"
February 22, 2008 - Champ Car merges with Indy Racing League
For those who don't follow the racing scene, Indy Racing League is a similar racing league to Champ Car both 'open-wheel' however its larger. The Indy Racing League has bought up the Champ Car League. However the Champ Car Atlantic series with continue to run for at least the next year. So Frankie's plans for this year stay the same.
Source: ESPN & motorsport.com
Someone posted a short vid from that event. Frankie isnt actually in the vid but if you want to see Frankie's 'boss' awnser the question: is he actually any good or just a tool you use for PR, here it is.
The Champ Car organization has declared bankrutcy. The support Atlantic Series will attempt to continue on independently. This has major implications for its operations, schedule and TV coverage, all of which are not yet determined.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and Mazda Reaffirm Support for Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda
March 07, 2008
INDIANAPOLIS (March 6, 2008) - With the recent unification of the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series and the Champ Car World Series, the 35th Anniversary season of the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will be a watershed one in the history of North America's longest-running open-wheel driver development series.
Series co-owners Kevin Kalkhoven and Gerald Forsythe have pledged to continue the popular championship, which will open its season on April 18-20 at the legendary Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. In light of the open-wheel unification, Atlantic Managing Director Vicki O'Connor and her staff continue to work feverishly to solidify key details on the 2008 series, such as the 12-race schedule, prize package and incentives, sanctioning body and television coverage, with announcements expected soon.
However, none of this would be possible without the continued support of series partners Mazda and the Cooper Tire & Rubber Company.
Mazda joined the series as a sponsor and engine supplier in 2006 and has identified the Atlantic Championship as the top rung on its MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder, which includes the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear, the BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Championship Presented by Mazda and the SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. As part of the program, Mazda ensures that the Star Mazda champion receives a ride in the next season's Atlantic Championship, which will again be the case this year with Dane Cameron. Mazda has also included Atlantic in national television advertising campaigns.
"Mazda is fully committed to all rungs of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder, including our top rung, the Atlantic Championship," said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality for Mazda North American Operations and the man responsible for Mazda's North American motorsports operations under the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development banner. "Mazda is working diligently with Vicki O'Connor, Cooper Tire, event promoters and tracks to produce the best possible 2008 season with an eye on 2009. Mazda is working with the best interests of our fans, teams, drivers and sponsors in mind."
Cooper Tire was a new partner to the Atlantic Championship in 2007 and enthusiastically supported the series through programs such as an interactive traveling display at all events--which also provided the perfect backdrop for wildly successful all-driver autograph sessions at every stop--as well as television advertising. Those programs are expected to continue in 2008, with additional opportunities to activate the partnership currently being examined.
"The 2008 Atlantic Championship season will mark Cooper Tire's second year as presenting sponsor," said Chris Pantani, Director of UHP Marketing and Motorsports for Cooper Tire. "The Atlantic Championship has established itself as the top rung of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder, and continues to produce some of the greatest talent ever to move up to the next level. Cooper Tire is proud to be a partner of a series that plays such an instrumental role in a young driver's career, and we look forward to following those drivers on their path, which has historically included IndyCar racing, Formula 1 and even NASCAR. The level of racing excitement, the fan base and professionalism of the participants, as well as the expertise of the Atlantic Championship organization, has and continues to be an overwhelming success for all involved."
In addition to Mazda and Cooper Tire, the Atlantic Championship continues to enjoy support from companies such as Cosworth, Inc.; Swift Engineering; BBS of America; Pi Research, USA and Haas Automation, Inc. among others.
The efforts of Mazda and Cooper Tire, as well as those of the Atlantic Championship staff and the drivers and teams in the series will be on display next week during Spring Training at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on March 10-11. Media is invited to attend Spring Training on both days.
The Atlantic Championship is the longest-running open-wheel driver development series in North America and celebrates its 35th Anniversary season in 2008. The series is noted for its long history of graduating its drivers into the top levels of motorsport throughout the world, including IndyCar champions such as Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Jacques Villeneuve, Jimmy Vasser, Greg Ray, Sam Hornish Jr. and Dan Wheldon, Indy 500 winners such as Sullivan, Rahal, Villeneuve, Buddy Rice, Wheldon and Hornish, and Formula One world champions such as Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg. In 2008, Atlantic graduates will battle for race victories and championships in top North American series such as the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and the American Le Mans Series in addition to various other series all over the world. Learn more about Atlantic at www.champcaratlantic.com.