ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (August 21, 2002)--As the championship fight tightens and the season enters its final stages, the top drivers in the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship are all looking at winning the championship and enjoying one of the benefits of being the champion.
Following the season, the 2002 Zetec Champion will get the opportunity to test a CART FedEx Championship car thanks to Newman/Haas Racing, Dynamic Suspensions and Carl Haas Automobile Imports Inc. The champion will test drive the No. 6 Havoline Newman/Haas Racing Toyota Lola, currently driven by Cristiano da Matta, who leads CART point standings. Unlike many other awarded CART tests, the Zetec Champion will receive a proper full-day test in the car at a track to be determined. Run in conjunction with a Newman/Haas winter test, it will feature a seat fitting, introduction to the team and its test procedures and continuous driver feedback during the test from the Newman/Haas engineering staff.
"This is an incredible opportunity," said Bryan Sellers, who currently leads the Zetec Championship. "At this point in our careers I think every driver dreams of driving a CART car. While nothing may come from it, the chance to drive one of the best cars in the world in front of some of the most influential people in racing is a dream come true."
"The opportunity to have a professional test with a top CART team is something very special," said Jeffrey Jones, who leads the Rookie of the Year standings and is second in the Zetec Championship. "A lot of thanks has to go out to Jon Baytos and the people at Dynamic Suspension and Carl Haas Automobile Imports for putting this test together."
"It's something you dream about," said Sean McIntosh, who is third in the Zetec Championship. "It would be a great honor to test with one of the top CART teams and would be a great benefit to my career,"
Newman/Haas Racing has a long and illustrious career in the CART FedEx Championship. The team is the active leader in wins with 66, pole positions with 66 and has captured three championships, in 1984, 1991 and 1993. In 2002 Newman/Haas and da Matta have been a dominant force. In nine races, da Matta and Newman/Haas have captured five wins and four pole positions, en route to a 50-point lead in the championship.
The 2002 Formula Ford 2000 Zetec Championship season continues with Rounds Eleven and Twelve at Road Atlanta, October 10-11. As part of the Petit Le Mans weekend, the Zetec Championship will race in support of the American Le Mans Series on the challenging 2.5-mile road course.