Carrio to drive for Genoa Racing Genoa Racing announced today that 2006 Star Mazda Champion, Adrian Carrio, will pilot the #17 entry in the 2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda.
While most people spend their 18th birthday with friends, enjoying the moment, for Adrian “Ace” Carrio it was a chance to show his commitment to racing. He spent his birthday at the Genoa Racing shop in Indianapolis, touring the facility and meeting team personnel. He signed an agreement that will see him run his rookie Champ Car Atlantic campaign with the newly re-formed team. Carrio comes to Genoa Racing hot on the heels of an impressive sophomore season in the hotly-contested Star Mazda Championship. Driving the Rockford Fosgate Mazda for World Speed Motorsports, “Ace” won two races, claimed six poles, as well as eight podium finishes en route to winning the title.
Prior to competing in the Star Mazda Championship, Carrio was part of the revolutionary “Team 16” effort for the Rolex 24 at Daytona in 2005. He was teamed with two other 16-year-old rookie drivers, competing in the GT class. The result was a seventh in class and 17th overall finish in Adrian’s first ever attempt at endurance racing. He earned the nickname “Ace” at a very young age for his impressive passing abilities and consistent fast lap times. The name has followed him throughout his career.
Star Mazda Championship President Gary Rodrigues said, “We are extremely proud to see Ace Carrio follow in the footsteps our 2005 champion Raphael Matos and other Star Mazda success stories like Graham Rahal and James Hinchcliffe, all of whom were successful in the first year of their switch to the Atlantic Championship powered by Mazda. Ace showed not only speed this past year but also a great deal of maturity chasing the Star Mazda Championship. We expect to see him demonstrate those same talents again in 2007 and beyond. We see Ace's move to Champ Car Atlantic for 2007 as gratifying proof that the Mazda ladder system works.”
This talented young driver is looking forward to the 2007 season. “Working with a team that has the depth of knowledge that Genoa Racing has to offer makes me extremely comfortable with my decision. It will allow me to focus on driving the car and performing to the best of my abilities. I feel that Genoa Racing and the outstanding staff that they have assembled will show greatly in my performance and results alike,” told Carrio.
Adrian is up to the task of going into the Champ Car Atlantic series as a rookie. “I am excited for the challenge, as there will be a good many veterans as well as rookies like me,” added Carrio. “I feel proud to be a part of the best support series that North America has to offer. This is one more stepping stone toward my life’s dream, to race in Champ Car.”
Genoa Racing is returning to the Atlantic series after competing in the Championship in the early 90s. Team Owner Angelo Ferro, Team Manager Thomas Knapp, and Team Consultant Jimmy Vasser have assembled together to re-establish Genoa Racing and vie for the 2007 Atlantic Championship.
Knapp, a successful open-wheel driver and engineer, is well-known for managing the 1999 Indy Racing League Championship program with Team Menard, as well as engineering the 2000 Indianapolis 500 pole-winning car. “We are all genuinely excited to have a driver of Adrian’s caliber leading Genoa’s charge in this competitive championship. It is our intent to establish a strong communication link between Adrian and the team in the forthcoming tests to ensure our preparation for the season opener in Vegas,” told Knapp.
Jimmy Vasser is co-owner of Champ Car World Series Team, PKV Racing, but has roots in Atlantics. He finished second in the 1991 Atlantic Championship with the help from both Angelo and Thomas. Jimmy said, “I am very excited that Genoa Racing has returned to the Atlantic Series. I am looking forward to assisting the team in any way possible. I intend to aid the drivers in their development, and do everything I can to help advance their careers.”
The team is looking forward to the first series test at Sebring this weekend, January 27-28. This will be the first of three pre-season testing events before the season opener in Las Vegas, April 8. Drivers interested in the remaining seats available at Genoa Racing please contact Thomas Knapp at (317) 501-7223. Any other inquiries please contact Aislinn Miller at (405) 822-9012.