Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – For the Sierra Sierra Enterprises team, rounds 9 and 10 of the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series were filled with excitement, drama and visits to the podium.
Series leader, Raphael Matos (#6 ProWorks) continued his winning ways and extended his points lead by beating out Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc.) in both races of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton doubleheader weekend. During the Saturday race, Matos pulled ahead of teammate James Hinchcliffe (#9 NOCO/ProWorks) on a mid-race restart and was able to maintain the frontrunner position for the remainder of the race.
Hinchcliffe picked up a point for earning his third pole-position of the season at the first qualifying session but was not able to hold back Matos and Perera after a strong post-caution restart by both drivers. "Hinch" finished third and claimed his fifth podium result for the season.
The second race of the weekend would prove to be a mix of frustration and excitement for the Sierra Sierra team. Matos, who claimed pole position for the 5th time of the 2007 season, was penalized for defending his position at the start of the race. Officials determined that Matos had blocked and was required to give up his lead to Perera. With just four laps to go, Perera's car slowed and Matos overtook him to pick up his sixth victory and a sweep of the Rexall Grand Prix of Edmonton.
After a penalty in the Round 10 qualifying session, Hinchcliffe would start the race in 15th knowing that moving up the pack would be difficult given the dynamics of the track and traffic. He was able to improve his position and finish the race in 9th.
With this win, Matos extends his series championship points lead to 291 – a lead of 40 points over Franck Perera (#11 CJ Motorsport/Continental Cartage Inc.). Hinchcliffe holds third place with 217.
The Sierra Sierra team is looking to continue their success in front of their hometown crowd at the upcoming San Jose Grand Prix (July 27 -29). Matos, sponsored by ProWorks, a Santa Clara based manufacturing company (www.pro-works.com), claimed his first Atlantic victory last season at this venue. This year with two drivers, the team is looking to double it's success.