Sierra Sierra Ends Championship Winning Season on a High Note
POSTED 16 August 2007 Last Updated 25 September 2010 

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin – The Generac Grand Prix at Road America provided an exciting end to the 2007 season for the Sierra Sierra team and especially for Series Champion Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks). Matos and teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) both had issues during qualifying and knew that they would have to take advantage of every opportunity to move up the pack on race day.

Although Matos had clinched the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series two weeks earlier at the San Jose Grand Prix, he still wanted to finish the season strong. Starting in ninth place, Matos knew he would need to make quick progress at the start to do so. After pushing his way up the field, he settled into second place and spent most of the race occupying that position behind pole-sitter Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Everflux/Perfect Nutrition). Despite an end-of-the-race charge, he ran out of time and was unable to overtake Perera. Matos claimed second in Round 12 and ended the season with a 31-point lead.

For Hinchcliffe, the 2007 season finale would prove to be challenging due to mechanical issues and eventual contact. Hinchcliffe started and ended the season finale in 14th position but celebrated an overall 4th place finish in the championship point's race with 224 points.

With an amazing season total of 6 wins, 8 poles, and 13 appearances at the podium, the two-car Sierra Sierra Enterprises team had the winning formula. The outstanding efforts of drivers, engineers and crew were honored at the Champ Car Atlantic Awards banquet at American Club in Kohler, Wisconsin. Here, Matos was officially named the series champion, Hinchcliffe was awarded the Gilles Villeneuve Award for sportsmanship and Lee Dykstra (Chief Engineer) and Jethro Austin (Crew Chief) were honored for their work, which contributed to the winning season.

Season Totals:

Raphael Matos

Poles - 5
Wins - 6
Podium - 9
Finish Position - 1st
2007 Awards Series Champion

James Hinchcliffe

Poles - 3
Podium - 4
Finish Position - 4th
2007 Awards Gilles Villeneuve Award

Lee Dykstra, Chief Engineer

2007 Engineer of the Year

Jethro Austin, Crew Chief

Snap-on/CAM Top Wrench Award

Taking little time to reflect, the Sierra Sierra team has already begun planning for the 2008 season. Driver selection and testing will take place during the off-season and announcements will be made as plans are finalized.

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