Cooper sponsors Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda for third year
The 2009 Cooper Tires Presents The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda waves the green flag for the first time this weekend at Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Fla., with more prize money at stake than ever before.
“Cooper Tire’s partnership with The Atlantic Championship continues to pay tremendous dividends,” said Chris Pantani, Director of Motorsport and Event Marketing for Cooper Tire. “Our involvement provides a great research and development environment, as well as marketing opportunities. It also provides an excellent platform for Cooper to showcase its ultra-high performance racing products and technological capabilities to enthusiasts throughout the race season.”
The 12-race series runs through October 11 with a total purse of $3 million including the Cooper Tires Pole Award for the fastest qualifier at each race. Last year’s total purse was approximately $1.6 million.
Since Cooper Tire’s involvement started in 2007, track records have fallen at an astonishing pace thanks to the performance-driven, Cooper-Atlantic racing tire and the technical skills displayed by a talented field of drivers. In 2007, 15 records were either established or broken, followed by 14 record altering performances in 2008 at various race tracks throughout the U.S. and Canada.
“To break or establish 29 records in just a two-year period is a feat we’re incredibly proud of,” said Pantani. “In a competition where a hundredth-second can win or lose the race, drivers know they can trust the Cooper-Atlantic racing tire to perform.”
The Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda is the longest-running, open-wheel driver development series in North America and celebrated its 35th anniversary season in 2008, with Finnish rookie Markus Niemela taking the series championship in the final race of the season.