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Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Monday, April 25, 2005 - 5:15am

RotaryNews.Com has signed on as a media partner with Hearn Motorsports to bring Star Mazda Championship coverage from pits and track the to the masses this season. RotaryNews.Com will be interviewing the drivers, pit crew, and team manager after each race to build even more excitement in the series.

Hearn Motorsports owner Richie Hearn, based in Las Vegas, Nv, launched its 2005 Star Mazda Series North American Championship season in convincing style at Sebring International Raceway in March taking third and fourth on the grid and second in the race, and again at Road Atlanta with a podium finish. In 2004, Hearn announced stated he would keep an an eye out for the up and coming drivers and for himself.

In non-Mazda related news: Richie Hearn will be driving the Sam Schmidt Motorsport's entry in the Indianapolis 500 this year. Hearn has been in the race before, but this time he was picked early in the season, giving him enough time to prepare both physically and mentally for the race. Good Luck Richie!

LAS VEGAS, Nev., April 25, 2005 – In the first two Star Mazda Series North American Championship events of 2005, Hearn Motorsports’ No. 70 has earned two podium finishes. The car which accomplished that feat is now open to interested drivers. Matt Jaskol, Las Vegas, Nev., opened the season for Hearn in the Darrell Soppe-engineered entry with a second-place at Sebring International Raceway- where the Richie Hearn-owned operation put two cars on the second row of the grid. The team traveled to Road Atlanta for round-two of the Star Mazda Series and, with an entry list of 43 cars, the No. 70 took fourth in qualifying and third in the race. Jaskol sits second in the overall standings but will not compete at the upcoming round at Mid-Ohio on May 22. His departure from the Las Vegas-based operation leaves one of the most successful seats in the series immediately available to a new driver. The changes to the No. 70 program do not impact the No. 77 Thienes Engineering entry of Brian Thienes who currently sits second in the Expert Division point chase.

“Matt did a great job for us,” Hearn commented on the change. “However, neither one of us has been able to put together the right funding to continue on with Matt in the car. Unfortunately, this level of racing is tough. It is a great value to a sponsor but we haven’t been able to find the right fit yet. The Star Mazda Series has a terrific TV package with SPEED. We have some great tracks like Sebring, Road Atlanta and Montreal with F1. We’ll race on the Pikes Peak oval and at Portland and Road America plus we close the season at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. It puts us in front of great crowds at good tracks. But, we are still working on taking all of that to the next step and putting together a sponsorship deal. So, right now, we are looking for someone with the talent and the funding that wants to run up front. There is no doubt the car and the team are capable of winning races. We’ve proven that.”

Hearn’s commitment to win- which goes back to his own driving championships in karting, the 1995 Toyota Atlantic title, multiple Indy 500 starts and the ‘96 IRL IndyCar Series victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway (LVMS) as well as a ride with Sam Schmidt Motorsports in next month’s Indianapolis 500- carries through to the two-car Star Mazda effort. The No. 70 earned one Star Mazda pole position and two podium finishes in its debut season in 2004. Soppe, whose expertise has included successful efforts with Penske Racing, Newman-Haas Racing and Team Menard, and Hearn each bring valuable tools to talented, young drivers looking for the best equipment to show their skills.

“I know Matt is working on some things and we are too,” continued Hearn. “But, we have a great seat available for someone to step into right now. We designed this team to be a three-car effort and we have proven at Sebring that we can run all three cars at the front. Right now our focus is to put two, race-winning cars on track at each race. The 70-car is capable of winning races. Matt showed that in the first two races and Rafa [Raphael Matos, 2004 Hearn Motorsports driver], showed that last year. There isn’t a better ride in the paddock than what we are offering right now, ready to go for Mid-Ohio.”

For more on Hearn Motorsports and its 2005 Pro Formula Mazda Series’ effort please visit More on Brian Thienes can be found at

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