Primetime Race Group Expands Into Open Wheel
Fort Lauderdale, April 22, 2009: As the 2009 racing season begins to unfold, Primetime Race Group has decided to spread its diversity into the Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda with the addition of a two-car effort aimed at the $1 million series championship.
American Le Mans Series Team owner Joel Feinberg and team manager Brent O’Neill, in a joint venture with entrepreneur Jamie Rand, have acquired the 2008 championship-winning No. 8 car and the No. 88 car from Brooks Associates Racing. The team intends to campaign both cars for a repeat performance in the 2009 championship.
“These cars are proven to be competitive and for them to not be running at a time when the grids need to be filled made our decision an easy one,” O’Neill said. “The entire Atlantic organization including Mazda, Cooper Tires, and Ben Johnston have provided an unmatched opportunity to race at a competitive level giving drivers the ability to earn big money and big exposure.”
Primetime will provide a full-service, arrive and drive program for interested drivers and will deliver the highest standard of race support available. Programs will include private testing, full data analysis and driver coaching, PR and marketing activation, as well the ability to co-brand potential sponsors with the team’s ALMS effort. While the team’s goal is to win a championship, its focus will be geared towards funded drivers who are seeking a reputable team capable of fielding an ultra competitive program.
“This is a move for Primetime that gives us another opportunity to expand our brand under the IMSA umbrella at a point in time when racing needs us,” said Feinberg. “With the commitment of Ben Johnston, the Atlantics have become the biggest bang for your buck. In the times that we’re in, this opportunity couldn’t be passed up. The move will be beneficial to everyone involved as it will bring more cars to the grid, more drivers to the series, and allow Primetime to continue to grow even bigger.”
The Atlantic Championship features a $1 million prize for the series champion, $500,000 to the runner up, and $200,000 going to third place with all drivers earning points from their best 11 finishes in the 12-race season. Additionally, most 2009 Atlantic events offer a $50,000 winner’s purse, making Atlantic purses among the richest in all of North American open-wheel racing. As if this is not enough reason for Primetime to participate, the series also shares six of its remaining race weekends with the American Le Mans Series at Miller Motorsports Park, Lime Rock Park, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Mosport International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
“We are obviously thrilled to welcome Primetime Race Group to the Atlantic Championship,” said Atlantic Championship President Ben Johnston. “Joel and Brent have earned a reputation for fielding a first-class program in the American Le Mans Series, and this is exactly the type of team we need in Atlantic. We’re looking forward to seeing the two Primetime cars on the grid next month at Miller Motorsports Park, throughout the 2009 season and hopefully well into the future.”
“Primetime Race Group could not have acquired two better cars for its initial foray into the Atlantic Championship,” added Atlantic Championship Executive Vice President Vicki O’Connor. “That No. 8 car was clearly a front-runner throughout the 2008 Atlantic season and the No. 88 was also a top contender at many of our events last year. It would come as no surprise if the two Primetime cars were at the front right off the truck in Utah.”
About Primetime Race Group The Primetime team is known for their rapid growth and ability to build their brand. In just 4 years since its entry to IMSA, it has grown from a single car in IMSA Lites, to a full scale American Le Mans Championship competitor returning for their second full season in the #11 GT2 Viper. With multiple entries in IMSA Lites and SPEED World Challenge over the last 3 seasons, Primetime has hand carved its name into the record books as well as the heart of the fans. Through its development in IMSA Lites and their GT2 program they have become a fixture within the paddock and will continue to build on this success for years to come. www.primetimeracegroup.com
About the Atlantic Championship The Atlantic Championship is the longest-running open-wheel driver development series in North America and celebrated its 35th Anniversary season in 2008, with Finnish rookie Markus Niemela taking the series championship in the final race of the season. With a $1 million champion’s prize and a total of $3 million in prize money up for grabs, the 2009 Atlantic Championship offers one of the most lucrative prize packages in North American open-wheel racing.
The series is noted for its long history of graduating its drivers into the top levels of motorsport throughout the world, including IndyCar drivers such as Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti, Jimmy Vasser, Danica Patrick, Dan Wheldon, Graham Rahal and Raphael Matos, Formula One world champions such as Jacques Villeneuve and Keke Rosberg, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series drivers Sam Hornish Jr. and A.J. Allmendinger and sports car stars like Jon Fogarty, Alex Gurney, Michael Valiante, Joey Hand and Simon Pagenaud.
Atlantic Championship graduates have won races and championships at the highest levels of motorsport, including Formula 1, IndyCar and Champ Car, and sports cars. In 2009, Atlantic graduates will again be top competitors in the Indy Racing League IndyCar Series, the American Le Mans Series, the Grand-Am Rolex Sports Car Series and even the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series among many others. Learn more about Atlantic at www.atlantic-championship.com.