Geoff Fickling Forms G.FRO For F2000 Zetec Championship Onslaught
January 19, 2006 -- San Clemente, Ca. -- Geoff Fickling announced today the formation of a new junior formula car race team, G.FRO (Geoff Fickling Racing Operation). G.FRO is a spin-off of his father Bill's famed P-1 Racing team, which Geoff has managed for the past two seasons, fielding cars in the F2000 ranks. The team will consist of the same core group as P-1 was made up of a year ago, but with a new name and face at the helm. The younger Fickling is excited about his team's prospects.
"We're really starting to see the fruits of our own labor develop in F2000 with the level of interest we have seen during the wintertime," commented Fickling. "G.FRO is the latest chapter of an evolution in our race shop, which feeds off the rich history of P-1 coupled with fresh energy in this next phase of our operation. Other than a name change, our team will be essentially unchanged from last season, although we plan to expand our fleet of cars and improve on our recent success."
The Geoff Fickling-led P-1 Racing team excelled in its first full year of F2000 pro racing in 2005, scoring four victories and 11 podium finishes and establishing itself as a frontrunner in both the East Coast-based Cooper Championship Series for Formula Ford 2000 cars and the Pacific F2000 Series. It was the only team to compete in every round of both series. In the final East Coast races at Virginia International Raceway in October, the team scored its maiden Cooper Series victory with newcomer and California sensation Alan Sciuto. The team also scored a pole position, fastest lap and three podium finishes including teammate J.R. Hildebrand's third place in race two which also saw all three cars finish in the top five (Sciuto 2nd, Hildebrand 3rd, Doug Smith 5th); the only team to accomplish that feat all season.
"I think what we were able to do in VIR was not only an example of our progression as a race team," said Fickling, "but also a great way to head into the off-season as it showed we were starting to click. We finished off the Pacific series with four straight podium finishes and a win with John Lombardo, and to go back east and score a victory against those guys was huge. I'm looking forward to what we can do this year."
The newly formed G.FRO will continue to operate out of its San Clemente, California race shop and the crew will stay intact in order to maintain the solid backbone from its recent success.
G.FRO has begun its preparations for the 2006 race season, and expects to be a championship contender in both the Cooper Championship Series and the Pacific F2000 Series. While its driver line-up is still yet to be finalized, the G.FRO team is expecting to field up to five cars in the Cooper Series and hopes to announce its drivers shortly.
Fickling's focus is also on the future, as the formation of G.FRO has given him the opportunity to pursue a team that develops young drivers through the ranks of formula car racing and prepares them for the premier levels of motorsport. Fickling fully intends to move into the burgeoning Champ Car Atlantic Championship before too long, taking a page from the rich history of his father's P-1 Racing team, which captured two Atlantic championship titles and 20 race victories over a storied 16-year run.
Explains Fickling, "In establishing an operation that has a race team in both levels of Champ Car's feeder system, it gives us the opportunity to work with young drivers straight out of karting and prepare them for F2000 Zetec. Then, in proper progression, when they are ready to move onto Atlantics, they have a great option to run with the same team. As a driver, there's a lot to have to adjust to when moving up a level: the new car, series, some new tracks and a higher level of competition, not to mention a great deal more pressure to succeed. If a young driver can at least keep one of the biggest pieces of that puzzle a constant, the transition should be a lot more comfortable. I'm hoping we can establish that as soon as possible."
The first event for G.FRO in 2006 will be in Pacific F2000 season opener at Phoenix International Raceway, February 3-5, where returning G.FRO driver-coach Ian Lacy won both races while driving for the team last season. Regular G.FRO frontrunner John Lombardo is expected to compete, along with two new teammates to be announced shortly, so hopes are high for a good result to kick off the 2006 racing season.
G.FRO is planning to launch its new team website before the end of the month.