NA: World Championship Winter Series preview

(08/01/2003) Aspen, CO -- Having just announced their 2003 schedule for the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship series, Fran-Am organizers have now set their sights firmly on the start of the Fran-Am 2000 World Championship Winter ...

(08/01/2003) Aspen, CO -- Having just announced their 2003 schedule for the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship series, Fran-Am organizers have now set their sights firmly on the start of the Fran-Am 2000 World Championship Winter Series.

The first event of this five-race series will be held at the famed Sebring International Raceway in Sebring, Florida on the weekend of January 24-26. Rounds 3 and 4 will be run at Homestead-Miami Raceway on February 14-16. The series will wrap up its stay in Florida with Round 5 at the CART Grand Prix of St. Petersburg on February 21-23.

"Fran-Am is very excited about the launch of our World Championship Winter Series," said Arden Weatherford, Director of Operations for Fran-Am Sport. "Our North American teams and drivers are looking forward to the opportunity to showcase themselves against their international counterparts. You can expect some fantastic racing from us in Florida."

A field of 25-30 cars is expected to compete in the 2003 Winter Series including entries from Formula Renault series running in Italy, Mexico, Holland and the United Kingdom. These international entrants will be competing against several North American teams for the $100,000 US prize fund.

"As a further incentive, the top three finishing drivers will be awarded a test in the new Formula Renault V-6 in Europe," continued Weatherford. "The new Formula Renault V-6 is the next step up from Formula Renault / Fran-Am 2000 so the battles to get to the front should be especially intense."

The Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship is a cousin of Formula Renault in Europe, South America and China. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a $25,000 Michelin International supported cash prize fund, with the overall series champion winning a ride in the Super Renault V6 series in Europe. Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula One stars of tomorrow. Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen (who went straight to Formula One from Formula Renault) as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa.

The 2003 Pro Series schedule includes stops at the Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal Molson Indy events, the CART Shell Grand Prix of Denver as well as the Formula One Air Canada Grand Prix. The Fran-Am 2000 racecar features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires.

For more information on the Fran-Am series visit www.fran-am.com.

- fran-am

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About this article
Series Formula Renault
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Felipe Massa
Teams Sauber , ART Grand Prix