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Hearn Motorsports Ready For Mile-High Run on PPIR Oval
Submitted by Dan Mazzella on Monday, June 27, 2005 - 8:10am

LAS VEGAS, Nev., June 27, 2005 – Hearn Motorsports will make its only oval appearance of the season this weekend at Pikes Peak International Raceway (PPIR) in the Star Mazda Series North American Championship’s Rocky Mountain Classic. The No. 77 Thienes Engineering/ Hearn Motorsports Mazda will challenge the one-mile, Fountain, Col. oval and all contenders with Brian Thienes (Huntington Beach, Calif.) behind the wheel. Thienes will be the sole entry for Hearn Motorsports who continues to look for a suitable driver for the No. 70. The 45-minute/ 75-lap race will be held on July 3rd.

While the challenge of the oval is a concern to many teams who only race one a year, Hearn Motorsports sees it as a potential advantage for the team. Last season, the lone oval appearance of the Star Mazda Series at Phoenix International Raceway (PIR) was the site of one of Thienes strongest runs of 2004. He earned a top-ten starting position (seventh) and a top-ten finish (ninth) driving the Hearn-prepared No. 77 at PIR. Coupled with the oval expertise of car owner/ driver coach Richie Hearn (Henderson, Nev.), a six-time Indianapolis 500 starter including 2005, and engineer Darrell Soppe (Phoenix, Ariz.), the team is eager to get to the Colorado oval. While the risks are greater to driver and equipment, the team remains confident that their expertise in the area will prove a benefit as they attempt to break onto the top step of the victory podium.

Thienes is currently tied for 15th in the overall drivers’ championship for the formula car series and second, just seven points back, in the Expert Series (for drivers between 30 and 44 years of age). Qualifying for the PPIR-round will be held on Saturday, July 2nd at 2 pm (Mountain), the race at 5:30 pm on Sunday, July 3rd.

Richie Hearn: “When you only do one oval a year it really takes a while to find your rhythm. Fortunately, Brian really seems to enjoy the ovals and he ran really well for us last year at Phoenix. Darrell and I each know a thing or two about ovals also so I am pretty confident we can do well if we can stay out of trouble. It is so easy to get mixed-up in someone else’s mistake on an oval or to make one of your own. Even a little mistake can prove pretty costly. Our main thing is not to put pressure on Brian. He can go out and perform well there, we know that, but we aren’t going to beat him up to put in a faster lap time every time around. PPIR is fast and usually puts a premium on handling because the track gets pretty slick. So, it won’t be easy. Our goal is to get all the points we can and load it up on the trailer with all four corners still on the race car.”

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

The Rocky Mountain Classic will not be broadcast on SPEED. However, the most recent round, the Grand Prix of Canada, can be seen with tape delay on July 3 at 11 am (EDT).

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