FAIRFIELD, N.J. (October 4, 2000) -- Following the season-finale at Road Atlanta this past weekend, the U.S. F2000 National Championship presented by Speedvision honored its champions at the annual awards banquet. Capturing top-honors this...
FAIRFIELD, N.J. (October 4, 2000) -- Following the season-finale at Road Atlanta this past weekend, the U.S. F2000 National Championship presented by Speedvision honored its champions at the annual awards banquet.
Capturing top-honors this year was Florida based Cape Motorsports and its driver, Aaron Justus. Justus, of Crestline, Calif., had an exceptional season winning the Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship and the National Championship. In the three- round Oval Championship, Justus was nearly perfect. He captured all three poles with new lap records, set new fastest race laps at two races, led all but two of the 150 race laps and won all three races. In doing so, Justus became only the second driver to sweep a United States Auto Club sanctioned-series, the other being Jeff Andretti, son of legendary Mario Andretti,. In the National Championship, Justus was the man to beat at each round. In the thirteen-race season, Justus never relinquished the points lead, led the most laps, captured a series-high eight poles and won five races. The eight poles tied the single-season record and gave Justus twelve for his career, tying the all- time record. Justus becomes the first American-born driver to win the National Championship since 1996 and the fourth-consecutive driver to win both the National Championship and Oval Crown Championship.
The winning at Cape Motorsports was not restricted to Justus. His teammate, James Hanson, of Leeds, England, posted five podium finishes, completed the most laps, won one race and finished fourth in the championship. The fourth-place finish secured Hanson the newly renamed Greg Moore Rookie of the Year Award. Hanson becomes the second-consecutive Englishman to win the rookie of the year award, following last year's champion, Dan Wheldon. In addition to its drivers, Cape Motorsports was honored at the banquet. Team owners Nicholas and Dominic Cape were awarded the Prep Shop of the Year and Engineer of the Year trophies, while Brian Halahan was named Crew Chief of Year. Competing in the series since 1994, the championships are the first won by Cape Motorsports in F2000.
Like Cape, Carbir Race Cars captured its first F2000 championship, with rookie driver Tom Dyer. Dyer, of San Rafael, Calif., won the American Continental Championship for older cars in dominating fashion. In the 10-round campaign, Dyer captured seven poles, led the most laps seven times and won six races. In addition to honoring the champions, the banquet also acknowledged the Road To Indy Oval Crown Championship Rookie of the Year, third-place and runner-up in the three championships, the Maximum Potential Rising Star award winner, Mechanic of the Year, Engine Builder of the Year and Manufacturer of the Year.
For the second-straight year the Oval Crown Championship Rookie of the Year award went to a driver who had never seen an oval prior to joining the U.S. F2000 National Championship. Winning the award in 2000 was Peter Walsh, of Cork, Ireland. Walsh acclimated quickly to the ovals, finishing fourth in the Oval Championship, with two top-five finishes. Tony Buffomante, of Streamwood, Ill, finished third in the Oval Championship with two top-five finishes, while Greg Schings, of Lexington, Ky., finished third in the ACC with six top-five finishes. Finishing third in National Championship and second in the Oval Championship was 1999 National Championship runner-up, Marc- Antoine Camirand. Camirand, of St. Leonard d'Aston, Que., Can., posted three podium finishes in the Oval Championship and captured three wins in the National Championship.
Finishing second in ACC for a second consecutive year was Mike Durand. Durand, of Wayland, Mass., grabbed seven podium finishes and one win. Second in the National Championship was Ian Lacy, of N. Las Vegas, Nev, who captured one pole and two wins. In addition to finishing second, Lacy, who only failed to finish outside the top-ten only once all year, was awarded the Maximum Potential Rising Star Award. The award is given out annually by series head driving coach, Brian Till. For the first time in series history the Mechanic of the Year trophy was awarded. Presented by the Jim Russell Racing Drivers School, the award recognizes the best mechanic in the series, as voted on by his peers in the paddock. Receiving the award in 2000 was Jon Newberg of Primus Racing. For the tenth-consecutive, year the Engine Builder of the Year trophy was awarded to Quicksilver RacEngines, while the Manufacturer of the Year trophy was given to Van Diemen for the ninth-straight year.