Frankie's new racing season


New member


Muniz and De Silvestro battle it out at Sebring

After days of testing and a solid qualifying effort

Team Stargate Worlds’ Frankie Muniz and Simona De Silvestro showed up Friday afternoon to compete at Round One of the Cooper Tires Presents the Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda race at Sebring International Raceway.

Under perfect weather conditions the team was looking forward to a great race. While it eventually turned out to be a great race it wasn’t under ideal conditions and yet the duo still showed incredible perseverance.

Starting in the eighth and ninth spots respectively Team Stargate Worlds drivers Simona De Silvestro and Frankie Muniz lined up on the grid awaiting for the signal to start their engines.

When the call finally came Muniz’s #77 did not start. The team had no choice but to push the car off-course and began to methodically figure out the source of the problem.

A bad ECU was discovered and a new one was installed, but it came too late and Muniz was forced to start at the end of the pack. Efforts were further hampered by the fact that Muniz had lost all radio communication.

The team was unable to listen to him and vice versa. Undeterred by the issues Muniz quickly made up ground and fought his way back into the race by swiftly passing the C2 category cars and immediately began attacking the rest of the field. With determination Muniz quickly caught up to tenth place and made the pass.

With the race ending Muniz had closed the gap between him and the ninth place of Jensen Motorsport’s driver Matt Lee.

Separated by only a few feet Muniz and Lee battled for the position but unfortunately time ran out and a pass was never realized. Muniz would end up in tenth. Coming back from the nineteenth spot Muniz’s tenth place finish was an impressive feet.

He also ran the sixth fastest lap of the race. For his efforts Muniz earned 4 valuable points towards the 2009 Atlantic Championship

For Simona De Silvestro’s she began the race and charged through the first turn and narrowly escaped being part of the horrific incident between defending series champion Markus Niemela and 2008 championship runner-up Jonathan Bomarito.

Both of whom were involved in a scary crash in turn 17 on the opening lap. Avoiding the incident De Silvestro began to focus on the # 6 of Borja Garcia and after stalking him for the first half of the race De Silvestro made her move on the inside and passed Garcia on lap # 8 for fifth and proceeded to chase the fourth place car of rookie driver Harald Schlegelmilch.

De Silvestro’s time would eventually run out and she would go on to earn a fifth place for her debut with Team Stargate Worlds. De Silvestro earned 10 points for her fifth spot finish.

Frankie Muniz:

“It was a pretty disappointing start. First it was the radio that didn’t work then the car didn’t start and with that I thought my day was done but we changed the ECU and started in the back. With all that I still think I ran a strong race and ran fast lap times throughout the race.”

” It was unfortunate that the circumstances were that way but we’ll learn from this and be ready for the next race. I have to thank everyone at Team Stargate Worlds for their great work and thanks to our sponsors for their continued support.”

Simona De Silvestro:

“Well I think we did very good and had the caution been a bit shorter I think we might have had a shot to take one more position. This being our first race and to finish fifth is a strong finish and if we can continue to finish strong and win races I believe we can be in a great position for the Championship. Team Stargate Worlds gave me a great car and I want to thank them and our sponsors for their great efforts.”

About Team Stargate Worlds:

Team Stargate Worlds entered the 2009 Atlantic Championship season in partnership with US RaceTronics with one of the world’s most talented female race car drivers Simona De Silvestro and Hollywood star turned serious professional racer Frankie Muniz.

For more information about Team Stargate Worlds please visit and

source: Team Stargate Worlds

Photo credit to Steve Happel- Vanhap Photography

Tags: Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda, Frankie Muniz, Sebring International Raceway, Simona De Silvestro, Team Stargate Worlds
Frankie Muniz: From Hollywood To The Race Circuit

Jasmina Meyer, Highlands Today

Frankie Muniz and the race car, a Swift 016 powered by Mazda-Cosworth, that he raced at Friday's Cooper Tire Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda race at Sebring International Raceway.


Highlands Today

Published: March 21, 2009

SEBRING - You blink your eyes in four/tenths of a second.

"Five-tenths of a second," says Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actor-turned-race-car driver Frankie Muniz, "can be the difference between first place and 15th place in a qualifier."

At 23, the actor known best as the star of "Malcolm in the Middle" on TV and the movie "My Dog Skip" is entering his fourth year as a full-time, professional race car driver.

Muniz said he looks only forward from, never back at, his decision to leave a secure and successful career in Hollywood to pursue his dream of becoming one of the best in a competitive business where a half second can make the crucial difference.

"As 'Malcolm' was coming to an end, which was in 2006, I decided I'm going to put acting on hold and pursue professional race car driving, not knowing how far I'd get or how serious it would become," he said.

Competing now in the Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda series, the equivalent of being one step away from the Major Leagues in baseball, Muniz has committed himself totally to racing.

"I'm taking this 100 percent serious, this is my job now, I'm racing at a very high level of competition," he said. "And I'm having the time of my life."

Asked if he will act again, he answered, "I'm not saying no, but if the racing continues the way it is, then no. I'm having such a great time at this, and you can't do both at the same time and take both seriously."

With the Atlantic Championship series offering a $1 million prize for the top driver over its 12-race series, Muniz said, he's honored to be competing at this level.

"To jump to the highest level, you have to prove yourself at this level, winning or finishing in the top five consistently," he said. "And everyone at this level is good enough to race at the top level."

Muniz, who was raised in Knightsdale, N.C., and now calls Scottsdale, Ariz., home, said his acting career, which began at age 8, has brought him "many really amazing things." One of the best, he said, was the opportunity to try his hand at racing.

At age 18, he entered a celebrity grand prix race in Long Beach, Calif., finished in first place, and was thrilled when a racing team offered him a two-year contract.

"I think every young guy's dream - I know it was one of mine - is to be a professional race car driver," he said. "But it's really hard to make it a reality ...

"If I had not done that celebrity race, I might never have had this opportunity. Having this opportunity, I'm working hard to get better and better, and I hope to keep progressing and make it to the top."

Beyond time on the track and time with his crew, Muniz's work toward his goal includes running five miles and lifting weights virtually every day. Drivers have to be at their peak condition both mentally and physically, he said.

He learned that racing is not only fast and exciting but also, literally, a heart-pounding challenge. Two years ago, at a Road America race in Wisconsin, Muniz had his heart monitored during a one-hour race.

"Over that full hour, my heart rate never fell below 170 (beats per minute)," he said. "It's like sprinting uphill for an hour, with no break."

He'll typically loses five pounds from his 130-pound frame during a one-hour race, and said every driver needs both strength and endurance.

"Even to hold the wheel, we pull three to three and a half Gs in the corner on a turn," he said. "So it's very physical, you have to be in your best possible shape."

Above all, Muniz said, he enjoys the many challenges of racing and the fact that, unlike the acting profession, he's judged strictly on his results. An actor's success, he said, can hinge on other people's opinions.

"With the critics, for example, if they say you stunk, then you stunk, even though you could have given the best work you've ever done," he said. "Whereas in racing, your results say everything.

"People only think of you being a celebrity as a race car driver if you're winning, if you're up front, and that's where I'm trying to get to," he added. "That makes it more gratifying if you do succeed. You have to work hard and the whole team has to work hard and put it all together."

Right now, Muniz said he's concentrating solely on becoming the best race driver he can become. Down the road, though, he has his eyes already set on competing at the top level in another professional sport.

"My next goal after I'm done racing - which, who knows, it could be 10, 15, 20 years - is to play on the PGA (Professional Golfers Association) tour," he said. "That's the next goal in my life, to qualify for a place on the PGA tour."

Highlands Today reporter Jim Konkoly can be reached at 863-386-5855 or e-mail