Phoenix, Arizona (May 3, 2003) -- While the Fran-Am 2000 Pro Series was kicking off their season at Phoenix International Raceway, competitors in both the Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 USA West series hit the track together in joint qualifying...
Phoenix, Arizona (May 3, 2003) -- While the Fran-Am 2000 Pro Series was kicking off their season at Phoenix International Raceway, competitors in both the Fran-Am 1600 and Fran-Am 2000 USA West series hit the track together in joint qualifying and race sessions at nearby Arizona Motorsports Park.
Darryl O'Young of Vancouver, BC captured the pole in the Fran-Am 1600 category during Friday's qualifying session, while Dino Bruno of Los Angeles, California took the top Fran-Am 2000 spot setting the fastest lap with a 1:38.159.
The race began cleanly and ran without incident for all 17 laps, with Bruno and O'Young both heading off charges from the field to claim victory in the opening round. Knudsen Racing teammates, John Knudsen of Ontario, California and Richard Viscevic from Oakland, California, took second place in the 1600 and 2000 categories respectively.
O'Young returned this year determined to improve on his fourth place overall finish in the 2002 Fran-Am 1600 West Coast Championship. And with the victory and bonus points for pole position and fastest lap, he certainly looks poised to do just that.
"Darryl came back this season a much more mature driver," noted Steve Henry, General Manager for both Fran-Am USA West series. "He showed much better car control and will certainly be one to watch this year in the championship hunt."
Third place in the 1600 event was taken by 15-year-old karting sensation Brad Coleman from Houston, Texas. Coleman, the 2002 US Rotax Max Junior Champion, made the big step from karting to formula racing this year in style, claiming a podium in his first-ever professional open-wheel race. He showed great speed and consistency all weekend in the Worldspeed Motorsports entry.
"The transition from karting to Fran-Am 1600 was much easier than I expected," said an elated Coleman after his podium finish. "But I definitely realized how important it is to be smooth. I had a great time and can't wait to get at it again!"
The next event for both the Fran-Am 1600 & Fran-Am 2000 USA West Series is a doubleheader weekend on May 24-25 at Willowsprings Raceway in Willows, California.