IndyCar »

Atlantic Championship preview: New Jersey.


The Atlantic Championship springs back into action this weekend with not one, but two, races on New Jersey Motorsports Park's Thunderbolt Raceway on Saturday and Sunday [13-14 June] to headline the Mazda Formula X meeting.

Reigning Star Mazda champion John Edwards sits at the head of the points table after two rounds, at Sebring and Miller Motorsport Park, but has Simona de Silvestro for close company as the season's two winners show the way to the rest of the field.

Edwards leads by five points, having scored podium results in both races thus far, including a dominant victory in the season-opener and second place behind his Swiss rival last time out. The Newman Wachs Racing driver is no stranger to success at New Jersey Motorsports Park either, as he won the first race of a Star Mazda double-header there last year. It was one of four series victories in 2008 for Edwards, but he knows that he has his work cut out for him if he is to do it again this weekend.

“I'm looking forward to going back to New Jersey, as I enjoyed driving the track last year, and finished well there despite an incident in race two that put me back to third only a few laps from the end," the 18-year Atlantic returnee commented, "Hopefully, this time we can be fast and stay out of trouble to get back to the top step of the podium!”

If last month's Salt Lake City round is anything to go by, however, de Silvestro will be tough to beat. The 20-year old put together a thoroughly dominating weekend in the #78 Stargate Worlds entry to earn a second career Atlantic victory, after also claiming her first series pole, and became the first woman in the 36-year championship history to win a race from the front of the grid.

“I'm pretty excited for this weekend because, at the last race, we were so dominant and I believe that we can transfer that same game plan over to this race," de Silvestro, who finished eleventh a year ago at NJMP, admitted, "I'm confident that we will start off with a good base with the car because my engineer, Burke Harrison, won here last year with Carl Skerlong.”

de Silvestro's impressive showing accounted for only half of a celebration for Team Stargate Worlds in Utah, as team-mate Frankie Muniz posted the best result of his Atlantic career with a fourth-place performance in the #77 sister car. Muniz, who was born in nearby Wood Ridge, finished tenth in last year's inaugural Atlantic race at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

A three-car entry from Genoa Racing will also be a force to reckon with in both races of the Formula X double-header. Leading the way will be Belgian rookie Frederic Vervisch's #17 entry, which has a pair of podium results to show for his first two starts in the Atlantic Championship. Having finished second at Sebring and third at Miller, however, Vervisch is looking to reach the top step of the podium this weekend, and will have ample back-up in the shape of 2009 regular Jonathan Summerton and NJMP newcomer James Winslow..

The reigning Atlantic runner-up, Summerton had the highest finish in the 2008 race in New Jersey, finishing second to winner Skerlong. He has started both races from the front row this season, including taking the pole at Sebring, and his fourth place in the championship standings belies his threat for victory



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
John Edwards - Newman Wachs Racing   [pic credit: Atlantic Championship/Phil Sedgwick]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson Motorsports   [pic credit: IndyCar Media/Chris Jones]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [credit: Chris Owens]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: IndyCar]
James Hinchcliffe - Schmidt Peterson [Credit: Jim Haines/IndyCar]
James Hinchcliffe   [pic credit: Indycar Media/Chris Owens]
Simon Pagenaud on track during the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Juan Pablo Montoya navigates the Turns 11-12 chicane during the 2016 Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power during practice for the Firestone Grand Prix of St Petersburg on Friday March 11. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe back in the car at Road America - September 29 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe back in the car at Road America - September 29 2015. (Photo by: Chris Owens for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon wins the 2015 Verizon IndyCar Series Championship, his fourth series championship of his career. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Scott Dixon navigates the Turn 9/9A chicane during the final practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Penske`s Will Power during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Oriol Servia on course during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Will Power on pit lane prior to practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
Sebastien Bourdais with experimental LED Tire Lights on course during practice for the GoPro Grand Prix of Sonoma at Sonoma Raceway. (Photo by: John Cote for IndyCar Media)
James Hinchcliffe, Will Power, Josef Newgarden, Marco Andretti, and Graham Rahal at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA (Photo by: Chris Jones for IndyCar Media)

Start the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.




© 1999 - 2016 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.