Junior Open Wheel Talent

News and Views on Drivers Chasing Open-Wheel Stardom

I’m sad to report that the 2010 Atlantic Championship season has been cancelled.  Ben Johnston, owner of the Atlantic Championship, and his crew took all the right steps (with a few exceptions) over the last few months… unfortunately, it was just too little, too late.  You have to give them credit for sticking with a sinking ship right until the end though.  They certainly put forth the effort.

The Atlantic Championship was poised to celebrate its 37th anniversary this season.  It was the longest running junior formula series in North American history.  Unfortunately, due to economic woes and some additional issues, it has faced an untimely demise.

Immediately following the release of the article on Auto123 (linked above), I sent an email out to my contacts within the Atlantic Championship.  Their failure to confirm or deny the allegations basically validated the inevitable.  **Update** Here is the Atlantic Release.

There are a lot of people ready to point fingers at this point… which is the easy thing to do.  Unfortunately, doing so won’t change anything for the better.  At this point, it’s simply time to move on and hope for a brighter future.

The mysterious insider who released the story to Auto123’s René Fagnan is quoted in saying, “We’re taking 2010 off to seriously rethink the series.  Mr. Johnston is seriously thinking about relaunching the series in 2011, and even to stage a short and affordable “Winter Series” at one point.”.

I guess they’re emphasizing the word “seriously“.

I’m not sure how serious you want to take them at this point, but I for one certainly hope this isn’t the end for the Atlantic Championship.  The storied history and the number of talented pilots who have participated in this series is perhaps the only solace for now.

Past Atlantic Champions

  • 2009- John Edwards
  • 2008- Markus Niemela
  • 2007- Raphael Matos
  • 2006- Simon Pagenaud
  • 2005- Charles Zwolsman
  • 2004- Jon Fogarty
  • 2003- A.J. Allmendinger
  • 2002- Jon Fogarty
  • 2001- Hoover Orsi
  • 2000- Buddy Rice
  • 1999- Anthony Lazzaro
  • 1998- Lee Bentham
  • 1997- Alex Barron
  • 1996- Patrick Carpentier
  • 1995- Richie Hearn
  • 1994- David Empringham
  • 1993- David Empringham
  • 1992- Chris Smith
  • 1991- Jovy Marcelo
  • 1990 East- Brian Till
  • 1990 West- Mark Dismore
  • 1989 East- Jocko Cunningham
  • 1989 West- Hiro Matsushita
  • 1988 East- Steve Shelton
  • 1988 West- Dean Hall
  • 1987 East- Calvin Fish
  • 1987 West- Johnny O’ Connell
  • 1986 East- Scott Goodyear
  • 1986 West- Ted Prappas
  • 1985 East- Michael Angus
  • 1985 West- Jeff Wood
  • 1984- Dan Marvin
  • 1983- Michael Andretti
  • 1982- Dave McMillan
  • 1981- Jacques Villeneuve
  • 1980- Jacques Villeneuve
  • 1979- Tom Gloy
  • 1978- Howdy Holmes
  • 1977- Gilles Villeneuve
  • 1976- Gilles Villeneuve (CASC)
  • 1976- Gilles Villeneuve (IMSA)
  • 1975- Bill Brack
  • 1974- Bill Brack

For further reading on the history of the Atlantic Championship, click here.

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4 Comments

  1. pressdog on March 3, 2010 3:22 pm

    Sad news. Had to be tough on them when Champ Car disolved. Maybe it could combine with Firestone Indy Lights? A summer FIL winter Atlantics thing might be interesting.

  2. F1 Prospects on March 3, 2010 3:37 pm

    It is sad that the open wheel series with the richest history outside of USAC/Champcars has to bite the dust. That and the fact that it was never aligned with any one series in North America was something I always liked.

    Oh well. There are still too many junior series in North America as it stands (and in Europe for that matter).

  3. David Cooper on March 3, 2010 4:06 pm

    Bad Break for Zach Veach it looked as if they had really done a great job of preparing for the series.

  4. Kevin on March 4, 2010 12:35 pm

    Utterly deflating news….

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