Monterey, California – Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
Raphael Matos and James Hinchcliffe held the second and fifth overall times to wrap-up the final round of pre-season testing for the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series.
Raphael Matos (#6) battled Condor Motorsports' Franck Perera throughout each of the four rounds of test with a fast lap time of 1:16.216/105.710 mph. Matos completed 206 laps at the 2.238-mile road course under increasingly chilly conditions. Never giving up, Matos narrowed the gap to 0.149 seconds.
James Hinchcliffe (#9) improved his time (1:16.631/105.138 mph) in the final session to round out the top five.
"This was a successful conclusion to testing for us [Sierra Sierra Enterprises]. We were able to try different scenarios and showed strong results. Everyone is working well together and we're ready to start the season," said Richard Raeder, Team Manager.
With the recent team expansion, Sierra Sierra decided to make a change to the look of the car. The new car design, which is sure to turn heads at the series opener in Las Vegas, was unveiled at Laguna Seca. The team did not stray from its traditional red, white and black, but the new look is a definite standout.
With Round 1 just a few weeks away, the team is gearing up for three back-to-back race weekends in Las Vegas, Long Beach and Houston. With both talented rookies and aggressive returning drivers working towards the $2 million dollar prize, the upcoming season will be very competitive and full of surprises.
"I am very excited for Las Vegas. We have proven that we are the team to watch and we want to deliver on that!" said Dave Empringham, Driver Development Coach.
The Series Opener at the Las Vegas Grand Prix will take place April 6th to 8th. Round 1 of the Cooper Tires Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda Series can be seen on SPEED. Broadcast dates and times are to be announced.