Paladin Motorsports Enjoys Atlantic Testing Debut
Corona, California – It was the series debut that Paladin Motorsports dreamed of at the recent Champ Car Atlantic Championship open test at Sebring International Raceway.
After joining the Atlantic series in 2007 after capturing the Formula TR 1600 championship in 2006, Paladin Motorsports came off the starting line quickly at the January 27-28 test in Sebring, Florida. Competing against a very talented 24-car field in the first of three pre-season open tests for the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, the Paladin crew proved up to the task.
The team and driver Adrien Herberts developed an instant chemistry and soon the #45 Paladin Motorsports entry was running among the series leaders on the 1.6-mile Sebring test track.
Herberts, the former Formula BMW USA standout, performed well on the first of testing. He clocked the eighth-fastest lap on the day as he produced a top time of 58.989 (101.856 mph). Day Two brought even more impressive results for the Paladin Motorsports team as Herberts topped the charts for the third practice session with an impressive mark of 58.944 (101.934 mph), after rains washed away all the rubber on the track in the morning session. For the day, Herberts time ranked seventh among the world-class talent assembled in the Atlantic field. The Paladin team and Herberts continue to work towards an agreement which would allow the rookie series team to run the Canadian racer in the full season 2007 Atlantic Championship.
"Coming into the weekend we were the ‘new kids on the block.’ By the end, we were one of the kids on the block to beat, I had a ton of fun,” said Herberts, the 19-year-old Coquitlam, British Columbia racer. “When you are running at the front of such a talented list of drivers and teams, you have to be having fun."
Herberts and the Paladin team logged over 470 miles over the course of the two-day test at Sebring.
“I have never witnessed a team that has so much desire to win,” said Danny Kok, Herberts’ driving coach. “It is a pleasure to work with a team of professionals like the Paladin team. These guys know how to prepare a winning car, they have shown it in other series and will show it again this year in Champ Car Atlantic. All I can say is watch out for number 45.”
Paladin lead engineer Juan Carlos Alvarez was impressed with his young driver’s skill and speed at the test. “Adrien adapted to the Sebring circuit very quickly and never put a wheel wrong,” said Alvarez. “I am very happy that he is fitting into our team chemistry so well. We have a strong program this year with experienced team members who have worked together for years now.”
After the remarkable Atlantic debut, Paladin Motorsports will return to pre-season testing action this weekend at the MSR Houston road circuit in Angleton, Texas. The squad is also interested in fielding a second car in competition this season if it can secure the proper funding.
“It was an incredible first weekend for Paladin Motorsports in the Champ Car Atlantic series,” said team owner Reza Honarvar. “We have a lot of talent in our program with Juan Carlos leading the way with our engineering. Adrien is a welcome addition to the Paladin Motorsports team and his desire to win was shown in the third practice where he ran in P1 for an entire session. We look forward to an exciting year with lots of great competition.”