1600: New open wheel Championship sponsored by Michelin

Michelin sponsoring new U.S. open-wheel championship October 29, 2001 -- French tire-maker Michelin will sponsor a new professional open-wheel championship in 2002. The new series, Fran-Am 1600 will feature carbon-fiber tub open-wheel cars in ...

Michelin sponsoring new U.S. open-wheel championship

October 29, 2001 -- French tire-maker Michelin will sponsor a new professional open-wheel championship in 2002. The new series, Fran-Am 1600 will feature carbon-fiber tub open-wheel cars in monotype championships with $7,000 in prize money per race. The West-coast 2002 championship to be operated by National Auto Sport Association has been created to offer entry-level drivers an opportunity to participate in a professional championship series with safe, modern cars.

Pierre Dupasquier, Director of world-wide motorsports for Michelin says; "You don't become a talented F-1, CART or IRL driver just because you decide to re-orient your career! In Europe, numerous single-seated car formulas have given to every top driver such an opportunity, from the Schumachers to Kimi Raikkonen who came straight to F-1 from the Formula Renault. We are proud to be associated with Fran-Am in the USA and look forward to seeing talented young American drivers come out of this new formula."

"Our goal is to provide competitors with the best value, and to help talented drivers move up." says Arden Weatherford, Operations director of Fran-Am Partnership. "Thanks to Michelin, the series will have a quality radial spec tire, and a prize fund. We want to see young drivers start their careers in Fran-Am 1600 cars."

"The Fran-Am 1600 is the new entry-level car for the 21st century," says National Auto Sport Association's Jerry Kunzman. "The launch here in 2002 will coincide with the inaugural season for these cars in Italy, Spain, and Belgium with more countries to start up in 2003. I think this will be a world-wide formula within two seasons."

The car was designed to offer a high quality-racing car to drivers at the extraordinary price of

$ 29,500. The Fran-Am 1600 car represents a new level of safety and technology while also lowering costs. These modern carbon-fiber tub cars are priced significantly below current tube-frame cars. <pre>

Fran-Am 1600 Championship Series:

2002 West Coast Fran-Am 1600 schedule Aug TBC        Thunderhill Sep TBC        Portland Sep 28-29     Phoenix Firebird Oct 12-13     Buttonwillow Oct 26-27     Las Vegas Nov TBC       Sears Point Nov 23-24     Willow Springs Dec TBC       Sears Point TBC = exact date to be confirmed. 

Prize fund is $7000 per race. Prize Payout: 1st = $1000 2nd = $900 3rd = $800 4th = $700 5th = $600 6th = $500 7th = $400 8th = $300 9th - 17th = $200

Entry fee is $450 per race. Races are sanctioned by National Auto Sport Association.

About the Fran-Am 1600 Championship Series Cars: -Design and construction by Italian racecar manufacturer Tatuus. -Chassis built by Italian firm ATR that manufactures F1 monocoques. -Powered by Renault Sport 4 cylinder twin cam engine. -Electronics by Magneti Marelli. -Tires by Michelin. -Engines are designed to run a full season before rebuild. -A single authorized tuner rebuilds engines. -Gearboxes are designed to run all season before rebuild. -Gear choices are limited.

Fran-Am 1600 cars will be sold to participating teams and drivers for $ 29,500.

Fran-Am 1600 CAR CHARACTERISTICS: Type Tatuus Fran-Am 1600 Chassis Monocoque carbon Bodywork Glass fiber Engine 1.6 liter, 123 hp Gearbox Sequential, 5 speed, limited slip differential Safety harness 6 point, 3" shoulder and lap straps Front suspension Push rod, mono-damper Rear suspension Push rod, two dampers Shock absorbers Bump and rebound adjustable Springs 58 mm x 140 mm Calipers 2 Pistons Brake discs Solid steel Wheel rims O.Z. , aluminum, center bolt fixation Tires Michelin Sport racing tires Wheel base 2640 mm Front track 1560 mm Rear track 1440 mm Weight 450 kg Fuel tank 34 liter </pre>

-fran-am-

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About this article
Series Automotive , Other open wheel
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen