Justin Sofio returns for Mathiasen Motorsports ENCINO, CALIFORNIA- Mathiasen Motorsports has announced that it has assembled a team with extensive motor racing experience to compete in the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda and that Justin Sofio will return as its driver in a one-car effort for the 2007 season.
Mathiasen Motorsports, owned by Ray Mathiasen, returns for its third year of competition in the Atlantic Championship after winning the 2005 C2 Atlantic title and then moving up to a much higher level of competition and a new race car in 2006. “Although our success on the race track in 2006 did not match our first year in the series, it did exceed my expectations given how competitive this series has become. I was pleased with the knowledge we gained as to what will be necessary for us to achieve our goal of being able to compete against the top teams and drivers in the 2007 Championship,” said Mathiasen.
In addition to Justin Sofio, who is returning for his third season with the team, Mathiasen has also restructured his team by bringing together a crew with over 50 collective years of experience in motor racing. Alain Clarinval has joined the team as the team manager and chief engineer. Clarinval, a race and design engineer, has worked for over 40 years with some of the top teams in all the major open-wheel and sports car championships in the U.S. and Europe. He also brings with him Evan Waymire, as a specialized data analysis engineer. Joe Lewis is returning as associate mechanic and Cam Binder, who has been with the team since its exception, will also return as a team consultant. The team hopes to have a permanent chief mechanic in place shortly. In the interim, Scott Davin will handle these responsibilities.
“This team has the refreshing approach of an owner who wants to create a successful racing enterprise based on team spirit, team work and competent specialists, with compromise only for the non-essential fluff. The results we achieve will demonstrate Ray’s vision and courage to provide what it takes to win the 2007 Championship. I can’t wait to get started,” said Clarinval.
The restructuring will allow Sofio to concentrate exclusively on driving. He was formerly the chief mechanic, engineer and general manager for the team as well as its driver in 2005 and 2006. He enters the 2007 championship dedicated to proving that he is one of the top drivers in the series and to making Mathiasen Motorsports a top performing team.
“I am anxious to get the season started and have committed myself to being in the best condition, both mentally and physically, of my life. I realize that Ray has given me the chance of a lifetime. I’m thankful for the opportunities he has given me these last couple of years and for the additional resources he has provided in 2007 which will allow me to focus exclusively on driving the car. I’m confident we will be running with the top teams this year,” said Sofio. “I’m really looking forward to performing in front of my hometown crowd in Long Beach with the quality and experience of the people Ray has assembled for 2007. I will not disappoint him,” added Sofio.
Mathiasen Motorsports, the winner of the Sherwin-Williams “It’s All in the Finish” award for the best appearing car on the grid in 2006, will participate in all three sanctioned testing sessions as well as in all 12 races in the 2007 Atlantic Championship.