Hearn Motorsports Confidence High Entering Road America
ELKHART LAKE, Wisc., August 17, 2004 - Hearn Motorsports is feeling the
confidence of racing at tracks that feel like home. And, coming off a
career best finish of third at the most recent round of Mosport
International Raceway, the confidence within the team is at an all-time
high. In a year of firsts, the Richie Hearn-owned Star Mazda North
American Championship, two-car team is eager to turn a wheel on the
familiar soil of Road America here in Elkhart Lake, Wisc. The 4.048-mile
track is the longest course the No. 70 Showtime/ Samsung/ Skip Barber
Racing School Mazda driven by Brazilian rookie standout Raphael Matos
(Belo Horizonte) and second year driver Brian Thienes (Huntington Beach,
Calif.) piloting the No. 77 Thienes Engineering Mazda will compete on
all season. But the 12-turn track is the most familiar facility the team
has competed on thus far in its rookie year. Road America is a favorite
of the team including principal Richie Hearn who drove here several
times in his CART career. The tree-lined facility is also popular with
Matos who has raced at Road America a number of times and considers the
Wisconsin track among his best chances to win. Thienes, who joined the
team two races ago at Portland, also has experience at Road America
giving the Las Vegas-based team its best opportunity for success.
The 45-minute open-wheel race will take the green flag at 3:05 pm (CDT)
on Saturday, Aug. 21. The Road America 500 Star Mazda race can be seen
on SPEED, at 2pm (EDT), September 19.
(about the No. 70): "I think that we'll start right where we left off at
Mosport. Raphael knows Road America well and the faster tracks are his
favorites. We had a tire blistering problem at Mosport that hurt us but
that shouldn't happen this time. We are learning every time we go out.
So, hopefully we'll be able to get the pole again and, this time, the
(about the No. 77): "Brian's confidence is a lot higher now that he
finished Mosport in a strong spot. This is a place that he knows well,
so I think he'll be able to go flat-out right out of the box. The big
thing to overcome with the 77-car is to be in the fast group in
qualifying. We've been right on the bubble with that. We've done several
things to Brian's car that we learned from Raphael's that will make it
much faster. So, if we can go out and practice well, that will put
Brian into the fast group in qualifying and that will move him up a few
more spots in qualifying and the race."
Raphael Matos: "I am confident, of course, because I have raced on this
track five or six times already. I know this track better than Mosport.
We're getting stronger every week and at Mosport we learned a lot. The
car was very good there. So, I think we are going to be changing a
little bit of the setup but I think we'll be very fast with the Mosport
setup. This is one of my favorite tracks in the US. I am kind of curious
to see how the car runs at Road America. The cars I have run here are a
lot slower than the Mazda so I am curious at what the speed will be
For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2004 Pro Formula Mazda Series'
effort please visit <http://www.hearnmotorsports.com/>
www.richiehearn.com. To learn about Raphael Matos, visit his bilingual
site at <http://www.rafamatos.com/> www.rafamatos.com. More on Brian
Thienes can be found at <http://www.thieneseng.com/>
www.thieneseng.com. For information on the Star Mazda Series, please
visit <http://www.starmazda.com/> www.starmazda.com.