Fran-Am drivers test drive new Formula Renault V-6 in Europe.
Montreal, Canada, April 7, 2003 -- As a reward for their accomplishment in the various Fran-Am Sport series, several competitors test drove a factory Formula Renault V-6 race car during two days of tests held last week in Albacete and Barcelona, Spain.
The drivers were invited by Fran-Am Sport as a reward for their ranking in the 2003 World Winter Series and 2002 North American Pro Championship. American Tim Barber, Uruguayan Pedro Larriera, Great-Britain's Charles Hall and Canadians Dan McMullen, Sean McIntosh and Andrew Bordin all experienced the 375-horsepower of the new single-seater produced by Renault Sport Technologies and Tatuus. Every driver was given approximately 125 kilometers of track time divided into three stints. No official times were issued.
"The car is a blast!" said Barber, the reigning Fran-Am 1600 U.S. Series champion. "It's surprisingly easy to drive." Charles Hall, the winner of the World Winter Series commented: "I quickly got used to the power. Although the engine produces 375 horsepower, it is very driveable and has a lot of torque."
"I found the car to be very nimble. The tires have a lot of grip on acceleration and wheel spin is minimal considering the amount of torque of the V-6 engine has," said Dan McMullen, runner-up in last year's Fran-Am Sport 2000 Pro Series.
The Formula Renault V-6 car features a semi-automatic transmission with two paddles located behind the steering wheel that is very similar to that used in Formula 1. "I quickly got used to it. It's fantastic to use. You shift up by clicking on the right paddle without lifting your foot off the throttle," added Barber.
This year's champion of the Fran-Am Sport 2000 North American Pro Championship will be awarded with a free drive in the 2004 Formula Renault V-6 Euro Cup -- a prize worth half a million dollars. The top two and three finishers will also be awarded with free races in the same series.
This year's Fran-Am Sport 2000 North American Pro Championship features 13 races held in conjunction with major North American road racing events such as the Denver ChampCar Grand Prix, the Mexico ChampCar Grand Prix and the three Canadian Molson Indys. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a U.S. $28,500 Michelin International supported cash prize fund, with the overall series champion winning a fully paid ride in the Euro Cup Formula Renault V-6 series in Europe.
The Fran-Am 2000 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed two-liter/186-horsepower engine, front and rear wings, a six-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires.