Atlantic Championship Announces '07 ESPN2 Television deal One of the world’s top developmental racing series is coming home to the Worldwide Leader in Sports.
The Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda will see all 12 of its 2007 races broadcast this season on ESPN2 as part of Champ Car’s recently-announced multi-year agreement with the ESPN family of networks. ESPN2, which is available in approximately 92 million homes across the United States, will air each Atlantic race on tape-delay, typically within the week following each event. The industry leader in sports programming will capture all of the action this season as the deep and talented international Atlantic field of rising stars strives to fulfill their Champ Car dreams.
The partnership with ESPN2 represents a homecoming for the Atlantic Championship – entering its 34th season in 2007 – as the series first began airing on the ESPN networks in the late 1980s and was last broadcast on ESPN2 during the 2002 season.
“The Atlantic Championship is very happy to renew our relationship with ESPN2 this season,” said Vicki O’Connor, Managing Director of the Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. “Returning to the ESPN network family provides our teams, drivers and sponsors tremendous exposure and we’re thrilled that even more fans will now get the chance to witness the excitement of Atlantic racing.”
The 30-minute Atlantic race telecasts will be broadcast on weekday evenings and will be featured as part of ESPN2 Garage – the network’s block of automotive and motorsports programming.
“The Atlantic series has a long history of producing exciting competition as well as drivers who go on to be stars of open-wheel racing,” said Frantz Cayo, Director of Motor Sports Programming for ESPN. “We’re pleased to be able to bring this programming to our viewers on ESPN2.”
Longtime Atlantic television producer Mullin Production Group will return in the same role in 2007 and the series broadcast team of veteran play-by-play announcer Rick Benjamin, color analyst and former Atlantic racer Jon Beekhuis and pit reporter Cameron Steele are back for their second consecutive season together calling all of the series action. Gary Clem will direct all of the series broadcasts in ’07.
The 2007 season takes the green flag on ESPN2 with the inaugural Vegas Grand Prix Atlantic race, hosted on the downtown streets of Las Vegas April 8 and airing on Friday, April 13 at 5 p.m. EDT on ESPN2. Other season highlights (see full broadcast schedule below and attached) include the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, airing at 5 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 19 and doubleheader events, aired back-to-back, from Portland on Monday, June 18 starting at 5 p.m. EDT and from Edmonton airing on Monday, July 23 beginning at 5 p.m. EDT. For the second consecutive season, Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin will host the Atlantic season finale, broadcast on ESPN2 at 5:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, August 22.
In addition to the domestic television package, the Atlantic Championship will also be broadcast across the globe in 2007. The American Forces Network (AFN) will once again air series races this season offering U.S. service men and women around the world the opportunity to witness the thrill of Atlantic competition. Atlantics will also be covered internationally in key markets such as Canada, Europe, Latin America, the Indian subcontinent and China. Further details on international Atlantic television coverage are expected in the coming weeks.
The Champ Car Atlantic Championship continues to be the premier open-wheel development series in North America. Preparing for its 34th season in 2007, the championship is noted for its long history of graduating its stars into Champ Car competition and has helped produce past Champ Car champions Paul Tracy, Jimmy Vasser, Bobby Rahal, Danny Sullivan, Michael Andretti and Jacques Villeneuve. Recent Champ Car competitors Alex Tagliani, Andrew Ranger, Katherine Legge, Tonis Kasemets, Andreas Wirth, David Martinez and 2005 Atlantic champion Charles Zwolsman are established Atlantic graduates along with 2003 Atlantic champ A.J. Allmendinger and reigning series champion Simon Pagenaud, who joins Champ Car in 2007. Recent series graduates Graham Rahal, Ryan Dalziel and Alex Figge also join the Champ Car ranks this season. Atlantic grads have also won the Indianapolis 500 for the last three consecutive years. Competing in Swift 016.a chassis powered by a 2.3-liter Mazda-Cosworth engine while riding on Cooper Tires, 2007 competitors will fight for the 12-race championship and the unique $2 million Champ Car series champion’s bonus. For more information on the series and its broadcast details, please visit www.champcaratlantic.com.
2007 Cooper Tires Presents The Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered By Mazda Television Schedule
Round Date Event Title & Location ESPN2 Date & Time
1 April 8 Vegas Grand Prix Friday, April 13 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Las Vegas, Nevada
2 April 15 Imperial Capital Bank Challenge Thursday, April 19 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
at the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, Long Beach, California
3 April 22 Fast Trac 100 at the Grand Prix of Houston Thursday, April 26 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
4 June 9 G.I. Joe’s Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Monday, June 18 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
5 June 10 G.I. Joe’s Champ Car Grand Prix of Portland Monday, June 18 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
6 June 24 Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Wednesday, July 4 – 6:00 p.m. EDT
7 July 1 Grand Prix of Mont-Tremblant Friday, July 6 – 6:00 p.m. EDT
St. Jovite, Quebec, Canada
8 July 8 Champ Car Grand Prix of Toronto Wednesday, July 11 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
9 July 21 Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton Monday, July 23 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
10 July 22 Champ Car Grand Prix of Edmonton Monday, July 23 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
11 July 29 San Jose Grand Prix Thursday, Aug. 2 – 5:00 p.m. EDT
San Jose, California
12 Aug. 12 Generac Grand Prix of Road America Wednesday, Aug. 22 – 5:30 p.m. EDT
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin
All 2007 events will be broadcast on ESPN2.