Woodbridge, ON May 2 - Mark Wilkins and Andrew Ranger, who make their debut as AIM Autosport teammates in the Fran-Am North American Pro Series season-opener on the Phoenix International Raceway 1.51-mile, 11-turn road course on Saturday, are ...
Woodbridge, ON May 2 - Mark Wilkins and Andrew Ranger, who make their debut as AIM Autosport teammates in the Fran-Am North American Pro Series season-opener on the Phoenix International Raceway 1.51-mile, 11-turn road course on Saturday, are thinking the same thoughts about what will be needed to win the drivers' championship.
Under the AIM Autosport banner Wilkins has competed in both the Formula Ford 2000 Zetec series and the Canadian Formula Ford Championship. In 2002 he finished in sixth place overall in Formula Ford 2000 Zetec and in 2001 was runner-up in the Canadian Formula Ford Championship. Wilkins is enthusiastic about Fran-Am and the new challenge ahead, "You have to be consistent, this is a long season with 13 races across North America, there will be ups and downs but we must always in position to strike when we have the opportunity.^]
Ranger, who will realize a long-time ambition on Saturday, when he makes his first start in any form of race car, adds: "The goal going into the season is, obviously to try to win every race. You're not going to win them all, but the key is to be consistently in the points. To do that, you need mechanical reliability and you need to cut down on mistakes that can cost you race positions. In the end, the best teams and drivers are going to be running at the front, and I believe AIM Autosport is going to be there." Ranger, who had a successful career in Karting, made history in 2001 when he became the first Canadian driver ever to win the FIA/CIK Viking trophy in Denmark. With an impressive career record, the sixteen-year old driver, has been crowned Canadian Champion (JR and ICA) for the past two years. Ranger also left his mark this winter in the CMRC Pro 600 bike division, winning fans all over the Quebec Province as he captured three spectacular wins out of the seventh races in the series^Y calendar.
Phoenix International Raceway is a new venue for both Aim Autosport drivers, and Wilkins expects the track to be fast but bumpy, and finding grip in such conditions will be one of the challenges that teams and drivers will have to face. Ranger, whose shown exceptional talent in getting up to speed on new circuits says, "From what I have seen of the Phoenix circuit it should be interesting. It's a new experience for all of us, but I've never had much trouble getting adjusted to a new venue. Usually, after 15 or 20 minutes of the first practice session, I have a good feel for the track."
Racing fans can follow AIM Autosport^Ys progress at Round One of the 2003 North American Pro Championship Series throughout the weekend by logging on to the team's website at www.aimautosport.com. They can also find results at www.fran-am.com.
Established in 1995 with a mandate to identify, train and manage emerging motorsports talent AIM operates multi-car teams competing in both the Canadian Formula Ford Championship and the Fran-Am North American Pro Championship series. Among those drivers who have graduated from AIM are former Canadian Formula Ford champions Andrew Bordin, Jean-Francois Veilleux, Jonathan Macri and, Louis-Philippe Dumoulin.
AIM Autosport's driver development programs are recognized and supported by NOCO Racing Inc., ELF Lubricants, ThyssenKrupp Specialty Steels NA, Mechanix Wear, and Performance Racing News.