F3

USF3: First US title up for grabs

CHICAGO, IL --- The inaugural season of the United States Formula Three Championship Powered by Volkswagen has proved to be an exciting championship with four drivers in contention for the series' crown. Stuart Crow holds a slim four point lead...

CHICAGO, IL --- The inaugural season of the United States Formula Three Championship Powered by Volkswagen has proved to be an exciting championship with four drivers in contention for the series' crown. Stuart Crow holds a slim four point lead over rival Adam Andretti with Brazilian hotshoe Luciano Gomide closing in quickly by winning the last five straight races. Even George Frazier remains mathematically in the chase. The series moves to San Diego, California, November 3-4-5, for the final two rounds of the SCCA Pro sanctioned series.

Former Formula Super Vee Champion and Formula Atlantic standout Crow pilots the only Ralt F3/2000/VW in the field. Crow easily won a round at Tulsa and both races at Memphis. His early points lead deteriorated when gearbox problems dropped him back in the results during round six at Quebec City and round nine at Sears Point. Crow has 127 points heading into San Diego.

Andretti, the youngest member of the racing family legend, has been the most consistent performer all season. He is the only driver to score double digit points in each race. He inherited the season-opening win at Tulsa. Andretti lies second to Crow just four points behind with 123 points. Andretti drives a Dallara F300/VW.

"Our car has been consistent all year," said Andretti. "We need to stay ahead of Stuart in the last two races, but not too far behind Luciano. I am hopeful we can still win the championship," concluded the younger brother of NASCAR star John Andretti.

Gomide has dominated the last five race events. He has won the last five pole positions, the last five races and set the quickest time in all five races. Gomide needs to continue his domination at San Diego and hope Crow and Andretti falter enough to move up in the standings. Gomide will depend on his Dallara F300/VW to take him to the winners circle again.

Frazier also needs to win the final two races and needs the points leaders to no show or unable to start to steal his first crown. Frazier is also in a Dallara F300/VW.

"It would be nice to win the championship, but that would be a longshot. We will concentrate on our race for the best possible finish," said Frazier.

Should Gomide win both San Diego races and set quick time in both races, he will finish the season with 147 points. Crow needs 21 points to reach 148 points and Andretti to finish with only 24 additional points or less to take the first USF3 championship.

USF3 regulars Skip Weld (Dallara F300/VW) and Paul Jenkins (Dallara F399/VW) are also entered. The largest USF3 field of the year is expected with another Dallara F300/VW entered (no driver named). The International (Mexican) Formula Three Championship will also race with the USF3 contingent (but not against the USF3 runners). Five entries from Mexico have been received at press time with two drivers nominated: Ricardo Vargas and Luis Alberto Vargas both of Mexico City. Both will drive a Reynard F393 race car with a different version of the Volkswagen engine used in USF3. The Mexican Volkswagen motor is less sophisticated but produces more horsepower because of less air restrictions.

"The first ever USF3 season has produced some exciting races, some neat race cars and a fantastic motor," said G. Garvin Brown III, Chairman, Active Worldwide Sports LLC, organizers of the United States Formula Three Championship Powered by Volkswagen. "San Diego is shaping up for a terrific finish to the crown and will lead to a bright future for USF3 in 2001."

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