Halifax - November 22, 2004 - Well, the 2004 race season has officially ended and winter testing with Formula BMW USA and Formula Renault 2000 cars is in full swing. What has this exciting season brought the team? Formula BMW USA was certainly the...
Halifax - November 22, 2004 - Well, the 2004 race season has officially ended and winter testing with Formula BMW USA and Formula Renault 2000 cars is in full swing. What has this exciting season brought the team? Formula BMW USA was certainly the most exciting one: new series, new cars, new drivers and most of all - new race tracks!
With all the activity during the season, we certainly have a lot to remember. It was at race 2 in Lime Rock that Brian Friselle scored the first podium of 2004. Then came Montreal mixed with emotions. The controversy and protest around Dominik Jackson's disqualification from his P2 qualifying after a rear wing infraction when a Race Official pushed on the wing before parc ferme, Kyle Herder's stellar drive to 4th place, and the tremendous crash of young Trevor Daley, splitting the car in half and subsequently ending his inaugural season in FBMW due to lack of funding. Then at Indy, young Federico Montoya qualified outside pole and led the race up until the last lap when his race came to a frustrating end with a broken brake pedal, helping Jackson secure a 3rd place finish. Let's not forget the seizure of our race car trailer for 14 days by the Ontario DOT after they found the brakes to be out of adjustment, subsequently forcing us to miss the two Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport races. Then came the very enjoyable races in Denver, with Kyle Herder coming on really strong and working up to his ambitious drive in Laguna Seca. The successful season was topped off by the Formula BMW USA banquet and awards ceremony hosted by the forever-looking-for-improvement series staff at the Monterrey Aquarium.
The FBMW cars are definitely cars of the 21th century, packed with high performance out of 1200 ccm and a carbon monocoque chassis and gearbox package that is very well matched. Then there is the series that completes the experience with endless support, a complete trackside parts department, and coaches/staff always at hand and open to help and improve the drivers' and teams' performances. The teams, participating all with the common goal in mind of being the best, but still having the spirit to help each other.
The drivers, all young and eager, showing North America that there is ample American and Canadian talent in open wheel racing. Last, but not least, are the mechanics and engineers, working endless long nights trying to learn how to turn their cars and drivers into front-runners. They worked to fix, exchange, and improve the cars when, sometimes, they really wanted to go back to the hotel and rest for the next day's tasks.
In short, we thank and congratulate our drivers, mechanics, support staff, all participants and organizers, but especially Formula BMW USA and e-motion for their efforts in 2004. We are looking forward to 2005! ART will be running two FBMW's, one seat has been spoken for (but not firmed up as of today), and we are negotiating at present with many other young karters for the second seat.
Formula Renault NA 2004 Season
As everyone in the racing fraternity knows by now, FR2000 NA has had a tough year after the demise of the then called FRAN-AM Series. The series "take-over" just before the 2004 Winter season, the renaming to Formula Renault, and the summer season program hastily assembled, took many drivers by surprise and they shyed away from this beautiful car. The car count was never more than 16 cars, nevertheless the show these drivers put on was nothing short of spectacular. Many dog fights, very fast lap times, lots of rain, and very highly skilled teams put an ingredient into the races which is rarely seen in other Series. We had the opportunity to run in 3 races with a young Italian driver, Luca di Cienzo (see related news at www.atlanticracingteam.com). He made all our previous efforts in Formula Renault, since the introduction of this car into North America, really worthwhile. Top five qualifying and a podium at Barber in the rain, and outright performance even around fuel pump and electrical problems, engine failures in practice (Las Vegas), some off-road excursions, and lack of spare parts from the series. It seems nothing could deter Luca and the team from showing that Atlantic Racing Team is a force in the series. Thank you Luca!
It should also be mentioned that without the diligent work of our crew chief (and at times rebelling) Kevan Falsafi, the guidance of Mischa from Germany with Formula BMW, and Engineer Lucas Strackerjan's endless "I am thinking" process, ART's 2004 success would have never happened.
So here's to 2004 and a successful 2005. Sociable! (as they say in Nova Scotia!)