Skip Barber Instructor Has Top Atlantic Drive
Friday, February 10, 2006 LAKEVILLE, Conn. – West Coast Skip Barber Instructor Jonathan Bomarito has secured a 2006 Champ Car Atlantic ride with PR1 Motorsports, a second-year Atlantic team that has had years of success in Formula Ford 2000. Bomarito in fact won the 2003 U.S. Formula Ford Zetec championship driving for PR1. His 2006 Atlantic teammate will be Mike Forest (also Skip Barber-trained), last year’s Pacific F2000 champion in a PR1-campagned car.
Bomarito, 23, from Monterey, Calif., has been coaching and instructing for us out of our Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca base since 2002.
PR1’s first foray into Atlantic was last year, when it entered three races with driver Alan Sciuto, a Skip Barber/Stars of Karting Scholarship winner. The effort produced three top-seven results, including a pole position and a second-place finish at Denver.
“We’ve been fortunate to work with both drivers in the past so this seemed to be a good fit for both PR1 and for Jonathan and Mike,” said Bobby Oergel, owner of PR1 Motorsports. “We certainly know what both of these drivers are capable of and they know the team. We know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and that should help make a smooth transition for us this season.
“We got our feet wet a little bit last year and we decided with the new Atlantic car and a lot of new competitors, this would be a good time to make the transition to the series full time,” said Oergel.
While the PR1 team plans to continue with a two-car effort in the Formula Ford Zetec series in ’06, its new two-car Atlantic program will be fueled by an experienced crew that brings a history of winning and familiarity with each other. Bomarito earned the ’03 Zetec title on the strength of five wins and nine podium results for PR1. When Bomarito joined Atlantics with Transnet Racing in 2004, Oergel served as his driver coach. John Hayes worked as Transnet’s team manager that season with Bomarito, emerging as one of the series’ top rookies with four top-five results in seven starts. Hayes will be reunited with Bomarito as his race engineer at PR1 this season.
Forest, the son of former racer Ric Forest, took full advantage of PR1’s veteran leadership last season on his way to the Pacific F2000 crown. Forest got off to a terrific start in ’05 winning the first four races of the season before locking up the title in late September. Andy Garvey, who has been with the PR1 team since 2001, will serve as lead engineer on Forest’s car this season.
PR1 Motorsports and its drivers will be in attendance next Tuesday, February 14 when the brand new Swift/Cosworth/Yokohama Atlantic car is unveiled for the first time at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles. The team is anxious to take delivery of its new cars in early March before hitting the testing trail along with the rest of the Atlantic field at the California Speedway road circuit March 21-22. The Champ Car Atlantic season officially gets underway at the annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach, April 7-9.