In one form or another, there has been a professional Formula Atlantic series in North America since 1974. In 2009, 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.

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.

Many races were held in conjunction with the America Le Mans Series. The 2009 twelve-race championship kicks off in March at Sebring International Raceway as part of the 12-Hours of Sebring weekend. Teams then travel west to Miller Motorsports Park. The first of two double-header weekends is conducted at New Jersey Motorsports Park. The series remains in the Northeast with an event a Lime Rock Park. The second double-header is held at the Autobahn Country Club. In early August, round eight takes place at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. The subsequent two events are north of the border at Canada's Trois-Rivieres and Mosport International Raceway. The penultimate round is during the Petit Le Mans weekend at Road Atlanta and the finale is held in mid-October at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Each contest is forty-five minutes long, and competitors get a Mulligan (all drivers will only count points from their eleven best finishes during the twelve-race season).

The final race of the 2009 Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda was held at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Drivers would compete on the eleven-turn 2.238-mile road course.

Three drivers had a mathematical chance of securing the 2009 Atlantic championship – the points leader, Simona de Silvestro and teammates Jonathan Summerton and John Edwards. The opening lap through corner three at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and the pole-sitter, John Edwards driving the No. 36 Newman Wachs Racing prepared Swift 016.a leads title contenders Summerton and de Silvestro.
John Edwards captured last season’s Pro Formula Mazda title and won this year’s Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship. Edwards entered the finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca third in the title chase. He qualified on the pole and jumped into an early lead to claim the victory. Behind him, Jonathan Summerton finished second and the points leader, Simona de Silvestro, retired on the opening lap giving the crown to Edwards.
John Edwards’ teammate, Jonathan Summerton, finished second in the race and championship. Summerton qualified second fastest in the No. 34 Newman Wachs Racing Swift 016.a. With the retirement of Simona de Silvestro, he had to finish ahead of Edwards to secure the title. In the end, they were tied for points – both drivers had four wins, but the tie-breaker was seconds and Edwards had one more than Summerton.
Frederic Vervisch entered this year’s series with a lot of open-wheel experience, which included stints in Formula Renault and German Formula Three, where he was the runner-up in 2007 and won the championship in 2008. Vervisch began 2009 with three rostrums in the first four events. But it wasn’t until Mosport that he would collect another third-place. Vervisch ended the season with a podium after starting seventh.
2009 was the fifth season of Formula Atlantic competition for Series veteran Tonis Kasemets. His best year was 2005, when he collected three victories and finished second in the standings. Entering the final round at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Kasemets’ best result came at Autobahn, where he finished third. In the finale, Kasemets put the No. 35 Fatburner Swift 016.a sixth on the grid and finished in the fourth position.

11John EdwardsSwift 016.aNewman Wachs Racing36-
22Jonathan SummertonSwift 016.aNewman Wachs Racing36-
37Frederic VervishSwift 016.aGenoa Racing36-
46Tonis KasemetsSwift 016.aPoleStar Motor Racing36-
54Markus NiemelaSwift 016.aNewman Washs Racing36Penalty
69Berrett MertinsSwift 016.aJensen MotorSport35-
7DNQJames WinslowSwift 016.aPaladin Motorsports35-
83Jonathan BomaritoSwift 016.aTeam Stargate World22Mechanical
98Max LefevreSwift 016.aCondor Motorsports15Mechanical
105Simona De SilvestroSwift 016.aTeam Stargate World0Mechanical

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