Toronto, Ontario, March 6th, 2003 - Nineteen-year old race car driver Christopher Guerrieri made impression last week when he had his first taste of a Fran-Am two-liter car during a private test session held in the U.S. Guerrieri, who contested...
Toronto, Ontario, March 6th, 2003 - Nineteen-year old race car driver Christopher Guerrieri made impression last week when he had his first taste of a Fran-Am two-liter car during a private test session held in the U.S. Guerrieri, who contested the Canadian Formula Ford Championship last year and clinched a brilliant victory in the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, is seriously considering competing in the Fran-Am North American Pro Championship this season.
During the test, Guerrieri drove the #21 Fran-Am car that Britain's Charles Hall drove to the title in the Fran-Am Winter Series held last month in Florida. The car is prepared by Toronto-based JD Autotecnica led by Anthony Wei. Guerrieri drove the 185-horsepower open wheel race car for more than 60 laps around South Carolina Motorsport Park's road course located near Kerhsaw, S.C.
"I really enjoyed driving the Fran-Am car," said Christopher Guerrieri after the test. "The car is a blast. It was very demanding physically because of the power of the engine. It was especially hard for the neck muscles. It was a huge difference from the Formula Ford car I raced last year."
"The cockpit is also a lot more complex," Guerrieri continued. "The team took some 20 minutes just to explain me all the buttons and digital gauges. The car is also equipped with a sequential transmission which means that you simply pull on the lever to shift up one gear and push on it to downshift."
"The basic handling of the Fran-Am car is about the same as a Formula Ford except that everything goes a lot faster! The Fran-Am racer is very fast in the corners because it is shod on slick tires that provides a lot of grip. And the wings provides quite a bit of downforce and that takes a bit of time to get used to."
Team JD Autotecnica became famous last month when their driver Charles Hall won two of the five Fran-Am Winter Series races to claim the title in St. Petersburg. "JD Autotecnica is a very professional team. (Charles) Hall was a very experienced driver and the team has learnt to set up the car quickly and efficiently. They're experts."
Having driven a Fran-Am car, Christopher Guerrieri hopes to be on the starting grid for the opening round to be held May 3rd in Phoenix, Arizona. "The series is really fantastic," Guerrieri said. "The cars are awesome and the high profile race venues are wonderful. The Fran-Am Series races at many major motor sport events throughout North America, whether it is Formula 1 or ChampCar racing. Plus, the champion is offered a free ride in the new Formula Renault V-6 series in Europe in 2004. This is a tremendous opportunity to climb the racing ladder. We are working hard at putting together a marketing program that will suit perfectly the Fran-Am Series."
Last year, Christopher Guerrieri competed in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship. In his first season in this highly competitive series, he scored one victory - in Montreal at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, he ranked third in the final standings and claimed the prestigious "Rookie of the Year" award.