PanAm Formula Renault Championship attracting international interest (16 March 05)--The PanAm Formula Renault Championships will get underway at the end of the month with the Sunshine State Shootout at Homestead Miami Speedway, and the kick off...
PanAm Formula Renault Championship attracting international interest
(16 March 05)--The PanAm Formula Renault Championships will get underway at the end of the month with the Sunshine State Shootout at Homestead Miami Speedway, and the kick off event for the series has attracted interest from teams and drivers from across the globe. The series has also continued to grow its staff to manage and operate the multinational championship, with experienced motorsports professionals being tapped to help the series' continued growth.
The Championship, which will host races in Canada, the United States, Costa Rica, Argentina, Venezuela, and Brazil, has naturally created significant interest for drivers hailing from those countries. Series organizers have also been pleased with the interest shown from drivers, as nearly a hundred potential racers have registered their interested with the series from markets as diverse as France, Italy, Hungary, Ireland, Korea, China, South Africa, Columbia, and the United Kingdom.
No matter where they are based, the drivers have recognized that the cost-effective championship utilizing the highest-technology platform in developmental-level open wheel racing features a remarkable prize package that paves the way for a driver to race their way into a Formula 1 car, and that the opportunity which exists with PanAm is too great to pass up.
The PanAm Formula Renault V6 Champion will earn the once in a lifetime opportunity to test a Formula 1 car, and will also enjoy a fully funded season in the 2006 World Series by Renault Championship, the next step up the Renault ladder to Formula 1. The PanAm Formula Renault 2.0-liter Champion will in turn receive a funded drive in the 2006 PanAm Formula Renault V6 Championship, and have the opportunity to win their way up the ladder as well.
To address the interest in the series and in preparation for the inaugural season, the PanAm Formula Renault Championship infrastructure has continued to sign high-level staff to manage the operations behind the series. Erasmo Saliti will bring his wide experience in the sport and technical background to his role as Chairman of Stewards, a role he held with the Formula Renault Eurocup V6 Championship in 2004. Champ Car veteran Derek Higgins has been retained to manage the race-day officiating duties for all official PanAm meetings as Race Director. Allen Berg is the Managing Director for the series, bringing his experience as a Formula 1 driver as well has his extensive experience and contacts in the PanAm markets to the program.
Brett Ross will be handling the operations and logistics elements behind the multinational series, and Nonie Hinspeter will serve as head registrar and executive assistant. Connie Peplowski will be responsible for all timing and scoring for the two championships, with Joanne Kennedy handing the administrative aspects of the series.
UK-based Martin Sutcliff has been tapped as webmaster for the series, with fellow Brit Trish Carey overseeing the look and feel of the series, managing the promotional materials, uniforms, and podium celebrations for the championships. David Kemply will be overseeing the Parts Department, and David Lambert and Dave Siembida will work with Saliti on the scrutineering staff. Matthew Harper has joined to manage the series sponsors as Sponsor Liaison, and US-based Sunday Group Management is currently retained to provide media services to the series.
The Pan Am Formula Renault Series is intended to provide value to the drivers and teams participating, and cost-containment is a central goal of the Championships. In addition to the ban on in-season testing, the goal of cost-containment will also be addressed by the series being operated as a "container series," meaning that Series organizers will manage the logistics of transporting the cars from race to race. This will allow a new generation of team owners to participate, as it precludes the need for significant capital investment in many of the elements (such as transporters or a shop) which were traditionally required to operate a race team.
PanAm officials have recently finalized agreements to facilitate trackside support at all PanAm events for the 2005 season.
Tire services and tech support will be provided by Bardi & Company, who has proven their services working with several Renault series in Europe, overseeing all tire supply and service for the 2004 Formula Renault V6 Championship and Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup, and will also support the 2005 Renault World Series as well. Representatives from Bardi & Company will be in attendance at all 2005 PanAm official tests and races.
In addition, Renault Sport Technology and Tatuus representatives will be on hand for every PanAm event commencing with the Sunshine State Shootout to ensure full technical support for teams racing in the championship. Homestead will also be the site for a three-day workshop hosted by Renault and Tatuus to brief and prepare teams to work with the powerful Formula Renault V6.
Series officials have also partnered with LRM Motors, who handled all engine support for the 2004 Formula Renault V6 and FR2000 Eurocup, and will also be attending every PanAm event in support of the teams.
In addition to the significant support and interest from Renault Sport from Renault's headquarters in Paris, the PanAm Formula Renault Championships will also enjoy the support of national Renault departments in Brazil, Venezuela, and Argentina. Renault is working to facilitate the future for the series and for those drivers who find success, providing the opportunity to win fully funded racing in the Renault ladder to Formula 1.
Renault will also be providing training to scrutineers working with the PanAm Formula Renault Championship to insure compliance from teams and creating an equal platform for teams and drivers to compete on.
Sunshine State Prizes--
The upcoming Sunshine State Shootout will offer a significant prize package to the driver and team that scores the two best results from the three races taking a prize package valued at over $90,000 in a 'winner take all' format. The prize package includes free Michelin tires for the entire 2005 Pan American Formula Renault 2.0-liter season, credit for the freight costs for all series-organized tests and races, and all race and test entry fees will be waived. The award will go to the team-driver combination, and will not be transferable to other teams.
While the top driver-team combination will take the big prize, other teams will benefit as well, as the top twenty percent of participating teams will receive the 2004-update kit as awards after the event.
The series has recently confirmed that the series will visit the historic Grand Prix de Trois Rivieres, with the 2.0-liter Formula Renaults staging two races during the weekend, and the powerful Formula Renault V6 cars racing twice during the weekend. The full season schedule is currently being finalized, and the series is expected to make additional announcements in the coming weeks.