ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (September 2, 2004) - The Formula Ford Zetec Championship, part of the Cooper Tires Championship Series, recently completed its 2004 season at Road America. While the focus was on the championship battle, Scott Rubenzer, of Brookfield, Wis., made series history. In the final race of the season, Rubenzer became the career leader in championship starts.
As self-run single-car team, Rubenzer began competing professionally in 1992 in the American Continental Championship. Running selected races from 1992 to 1995, Rubenzer's best season came in 1994. Contesting seven of the 10 rounds in what was then called the USAC Formula 2000 season, Rubenzer finished 10th in the standings, capturing three top-10 finishes, including a career high third place at Shannonville.
Following the 1995 season, Rubenzer took a four year-hiatus from professional racing, before returning in 2000. Racing in what was now called the U.S. F2000 Championship, Rubenzer soon became a front-runner in the newly re-created American Continental Championship class. Featuring older Formula 2000 cars, Rubenzer won the class at several races. In 2001, contesting a then career-high 10 races, Rubenzer won the overall American Continental Championship.
In 2002, the series introduced the new 2.0-liter Ford Zetec engine package. Wishing to compete against the best young drivers from around the world, Rubenzer moved up from the ACC to the new Zetec Championship.
Racing in selected events, Rubenzer has run partial seasons for the past few years, steadily moving up the career starts list. Entering the 2004 season-finale doubleheader at Road America, Rubenzer was only one race away from tying the series record for career starts. Having raced from 1994 to 1998, current American Le Mans driver Duncan Dayton held the record at 53 races. Taking the green flag on August 22, 2004, Rubenzer became the career leader in the Formula Ford Zetec Championship starts, with 54 races.
"I can honestly say I've had a lot of fun," said Rubenzer, who has 20 top-10 finishes, 3 top-five finishes and one podium finish in his career. "When I started racing I was just taking advantage of the schedule to do some pro races. While the level of professionalism was nowhere what it is these days, the racing was still very good. When I returned to the series a few years ago, things had really changed. It is now a true professional series featuring outstanding competition. While I wish I had more time and resources, I'm still having fun. The new cars look right and are a blast to drive."
At the season-ending awards banquet this year, Rubenzer was awarded the newly created Master's Cup and a $3,000 parts credit from Primus Racing. The Master's Cup recognizes the top driver in the championship standings over the age of 35.