2007 Atlantic champion to again earn $2M

INDIANAPOLIS – There was no price that could be put on the smile that adorned the face of French racer Simon Pagenaud (#15 Team Australia/Location U/Cons. Gen. Vienne) after he captured the Yokohama Presents the Champ Car Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda title last Sunday in the season finale at Road America.

Secure in the knowledge that he had just won the championship in one of the most challenging series in all of motorsports, Pagenaud was ecstatic because he was that much closer to his dream of competing in the Champ Car World Series. Thanks to the unprecedented $2 million Atlantic champion’s bonus put in place this season to help the series title-winner secure a ride in Champ Car in ’07, the French racer will get the opportunity to fulfill his dream next year.

Another talented young Atlantic racer will get a chance to experience that same kind of joy in 2007 with the announcement that the $2 million Champ Car incentive bonus will return next season for the Atlantic series champion.
At the annual post-season Atlantic Awards Banquet and Celebration last Sunday evening Champ Car World Series co-owner Kevin Kalkhoven congratulated all of this season’s competitors and informed the packed house that the $2 million prize would be in effect again in 2007.

“We’re happy to announce that once again the Atlantic series champion will earn a bonus of $2 million to be used toward competing in the Champ Car World Series in 2008," said Kalkhoven, whose staunch support of the Atlantic Championship, along with the rest of Champ Car management, keyed a strong resurgence by the series this season. “The Atlantic Championship is crucial to the overall development and growth of Champ Car. Atlantics cultivates the next generation of great Champ Car racers and it’s important that we make sure that the door is wide open for the top Atlantic drivers to graduate to Champ Car. The champion’s bonus was put in place to make sure that the top Atlantic racer will have every opportunity to succeed at the next level. Simon certainly earned that opportunity with his performance this season and we want to continue to provide that incentive as we move forward."

With the impressive championship prize and a dynamic new competition package featuring the new Swift 016.a Atlantic car powered by the new 300-horsepower Mazda-Cosworth racing engine, the Atlantic Championship experienced an influx of new talent from across the globe in 2006. New teams joined existing Atlantic squads and 45 drivers from 14 different countries worldwide competed in series action this season.

“The revitalized Atlantic series attracted some of the top teams and drivers from around the world," added Kalkhoven. “The result was an extremely exciting and competitive championship. With the series champion’s bonus in place again next season and another talented crop of young rising stars looking to make their mark on their way to Champ Car, Atlantics will continue to be the best destination for developing open-wheel racers." Champ Car

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