1600: Las Vegas: Event preview

(23/10/02) Aspen, Colorado -- For the first time in series history, the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series will share a race weekend with their 1.6 litre brothers from the Fran-Am 1600 West Coast Championship Series. Both series...

(23/10/02) Aspen, Colorado -- For the first time in series history, the Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship Series will share a race weekend with their 1.6 litre brothers from the Fran-Am 1600 West Coast Championship Series. Both series will contest a double-header race weekend at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on October 26 & 27.

Since Fran-Am's driver development system is designed to take competitors from karting through Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 on their way to a ride in F1 or CART, series organizers expect that the drivers in the 1600 series will be taking a very close look at the 2-litre cars they hope to be driving next year.

"Most drivers competing in Fran-Am 1600 hope that the Fran-Am 2000 series is the next step in their racing careers," said Arden Weatherford, Director of Operations for Fran-Am Sport. "And we believe seeing the 2-litre cars up close for the first time this weekend will make them all the more excited to win the championship prize of a Fran-Am 2000 car ready for next season."

Both series have been highlighted this season with great battles for both race leads and the lead in the points standings. After the first four races, current Fran-Am 2000 points leader Bruno Spengler of the T.C.S. Racing Team holds a slim 14 point lead over teammate Scott Jenkins with Phillips Motorsports driver Dan McMullen sitting third after three straight second place finishes.

In the 1600 series, Tim Barber of the Conversion Techniques Motorsports team has put himself into the lead in the points race after two straight wins at Portland and Buttonwillow. However, John Knudsen of Ontario, California is only 14 points behind and Barber's teammate Darryl O'Young is just 18 points back of Knudsen.

Fran-Am will headline this weekend's activities at Las Vegas Motor Speedway alongside other NASA-sanctioned events. The Fran-Am 1600 cars will qualify at 8:20am on Saturday for their first race of the weekend at 12pm. On Sunday, the 1600 series will qualify at 8:20am for an 11:45am race. The Fran-Am 2000 cars have races at 1:30pm on Saturday and 1:05pm on Sunday with qualifying scheduled for 10:15am and 9:55am respectively.

The Fran-Am 1600 Regional Championship series is the first step in Fran-Am Sport's Driver Development system, with drivers eventually making the jump to race in the Fran-Am 2000 Series. Each Fran-Am 1600 event features a $7000US prize fund with the overall series champion winning a brand-new Fran-Am 2000 car ready to race the next season.

The Fran-Am 1600 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 1.6-liter/123-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 5-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires.

The Fran-Am 2000 North American Pro Championship is a cousin of Formula Renault in Europe, South America and China. Each Fran-Am 2000 race features a $25,000US Michelin International supported cash prize fund, with the overall series champion winning a ride in the 2003 Super Renault V6 series in Europe. Formula Renault is recognized worldwide as a primary feeder for the Formula One stars of tomorrow. Recent graduates include McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen (who went straight to Formula One from Formula Renault) as well as Sauber's Felipe Massa.

The Fran-Am 2000 race car features a spec-Tatuus carbon-fiber monocoque chassis, sealed 2.0-liter/186-horsepower motor (capable of running an entire season without a rebuild), 6-speed sequential gearbox, and spec-Michelin Sport racing tires.

-www.fran-am.com-

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Series Other open wheel
Drivers Kimi Raikkonen , Felipe Massa , Bruno Spengler , Dan McMullen , Tim Barber , John Knudsen , Darryl O'Young
Teams Sauber