In one form or another, there has been a professional Formula Atlantic series in North America since 1974. In 2008, the International Motor Sports Association sanctioned the Cooper Tires Present The Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda. The series was also part of the Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development Ladder, which included the Star Mazda Championship, Skip Barber series and Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Series graduates include Michael Andretti, Geoff Brabham, Elliott Forbes-Robinson, Tom Gloy, Katherine Legge, Simon Pagenaud, Bobby Rahal, Keke Rosberg, Paul Tracy, Al Unser Jr., Gilles Villeneuve, Jacques Villeneuve (brother of Gilles), Jacques Villeneuve (son of Gilles) and Dan Wheldon.

This modern-day series utilizes the Swift 016.a Formula Atlantic chassis. Swift Engineering introduced this model in 2006. The cars are powered by a 2.3-liter DOHC four-cylinder Mazda Cosworth MZR engine, which produces 300-horsepower. The transmission is a Swift/Hewland sequential shift with five forward speeds and a single reverse gear. Finally, Cooper tires are mounted on 15”X10” front and 15”X14” rear wheels.

The 2008 eleven-race championship kicks off in April at Long Beach, California and ends at Road Atlanta in earl October.

  • April 20 - Long Beach Grand Prix
  • May 18 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca
  • June 29 - Circuit Mont-Tremblant
  • July 25 - Edmonton Indy
  • July 26 - Edmonton Indy
  • August 9 - Road America
  • August 10 - Road America
  • August 17 - Circuit Trois-Rivières
  • September 14 - New Jersey Motorsports Park
  • September 21 - Miller Motorsports Park
  • October 3 - Road Atlanta

The penultimate round of the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda was conducted at Miller Motorsports Park. Drivers would compete on the twenty-three turn 4.486-mile road course.

After a miserable outing at Trois-Rivieres, where he fell further behind the points leader, it appeared that Markus Niemela's fortunes were improving. After retiring in round eight, he moved on to the next event in New Jersey and finished second, while Jonathan Bomarito struggled. The situation improved a Miller Motorsports Park. Niemela qualified on the pole and was the first driver to cross the finish line.
Rookie Jonathan Summerton moved to second in the standings as a result of his performance at Trois-Rivieres. Like Niemela, he reduced the points gap further at New Jersey Motorsports Park with a third-place finish compared to Jonathan Bomarito's ninth-place finish. The driver of the No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing Swift 016.a qualified second fastest for round ten and collected his second runner-up result of 2008.
One of the many quick rookies in the season's Atlantic Championship was Dane Cameron. Cameron was awarded the Mazdaspeed scholarship to compete in this year's series after winning the 2007 Pro Formula Mazda title. He was gridded third for round ten in the No. 19 Genoa Racing Swift 016.a. Cameron would hold the position to the checker, making it a rookie sweep of the podium. This was his second consecutive rostrum.
Entering round ten, there were six drivers with a mathematical chance of securing the 2008 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship. A victory for Carl Skerlong at New Jersey Motorsports Park moved him to fifth in the title chase. He qualified sixth fastest driving the No. 14 Pacific Coast Motorsports Swift 016.a. Passes during the race on Simona de Silvestro and Junior Strous were rewarded with a fourth-place result.
Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro was the only woman in Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship this year. De Silvestro was the winner of the opening round at Long Beach. At Miller Motorsports Park, she drove the No. 34 Nuclear Clean Air Energy Swift 016.a for Newman Wachs Racing. De Silvestro started in the fourth position but could not hold off a hard-charging Carl Skerlong and took the checkered flag in the fifth spot.

11Markus NiemelaSwift 016.aBrooks Associates Racing20-
22Jonathan SummertonSwift 016.aNewman Washs Racing20-
33Dane CameronSwift 016.aGenoa Racing20-
46Carl SkerlongSwift 016.aPacific Coast Motorsports20-
54Simona De SilvestroSwift 016.aNewman Washs Racing20-
69Jonathan BomaritoSwift 016.aMathiasen Motorsports20-
77Tom SutherlandSwift 016.aBrooks Associates Racing20-
85Junior StrousSwift 016.aCondor Motorsports20-
98Greg MansellSwift 016.aWalker Racing20-
1013James HinchliffeSwift 016.aForsythe/Pettit Racing20-
1110Kevin LacroixSwift 016.aWalker Racing20-
1214Henri KarjalainenSwift 016.aJensen MotorSport20-
1312David MartinezSwift 016.aForsythe/Pettit Racing20-
1411Frankie MunizSwift 016.aPacific Coast Motorsports20-
1515Douglas SoaresSwift 016.aCondor Motorsports20-
1616Leo MansellSwift 016.aWalker Racing20-
1717Dominick MuermansSwift 016.aCondor Motorsports20-

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