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Podlesni Eyes Champ Car Atlantic Ride for ’07 Thousand Oaks, Calif. – Newly crowned Pacific F2000 Champion Robert Podlesni has confirmed his plans to graduate into the Champ Car Atlantic Championship for 2007. The 18-year-old from Thousand Oaks, Calif., finished third in the 2005 Pacific F2000 title-chase as a rookie with Dave Freitas Racing, winning three of the final four races, and has continued that form this year, claiming four victories, eight podium finishes and four pole positions en route to clinching the title last weekend at Infineon Raceway, with two races remaining.
"It has been a great season in Pacific F2000, against some very tough competitors, and I hope to continue that success in the Champ Car Atlantic Series in 2007," said Podlesni. "My goal is to race in the Champ Car World Series within a few years, and the Atlantic Championship is the next step in that direction. Nothing has been decided yet, but I am talking with several teams and hope to put together a deal before too long."
Podlesni will run the final two Pacific F2000 races at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 14/15 with the Champion's #1 adorning his Alpinestars/Terminal Velocity/Dave Freitas Racing Van Diemen. The recent high school graduate clinched the Pacific F2000 "Spring Cup" by virtue of accumulating the most points from the first half of the 12-race season, and plans to add the "Summer Cup" to his growing list of accomplishments.
Podlesni's performances also have earned him a nomination for this year's prestigious Team USA Scholarship. The program was founded in 1990 by leading motorsports journalist Jeremy Shaw, and offers a chance for a young American race car driver to compete overseas in order to refine his skills in a completely different environment. Previous winners include Jimmy Vasser, Bryan Herta, Buddy Rice and A.J. Allmendinger.
"This year has taught me so much about the intricacies of racing, both on and off the track," says Podlesni. "I'm honored to be a Team USA Scholarship finalist and hope to be able to represent American drivers abroad. Aside from that, my focus right now is on the Champ Car Atlantic season for 2007. In only the first year with the new Swift chassis, Atlantic has remained as the premier developmental series for young drivers, just as it has for the past 30-plus years, and I hope to be a part of that next season."
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