Doug Smith Pursues 2005 Cooper Tires Zetec Championship PLANTATION, Fla., April 11, 2005 -- Plantation, Florida's Doug Smith will return to the seat of an open wheel race car this season to contest the Formula Ford Zetec Cooper Tire Championship.
Doug Smith Pursues 2005 Cooper Tires Zetec Championship
PLANTATION, Fla., April 11, 2005 -- Plantation, Florida's Doug Smith will return to the seat of an open wheel race car this season to contest the Formula Ford Zetec Cooper Tire Championship. Smith, who was the American Continental Championship runner-up in 2002, will pilot the No. 35 Packers of Indian River LTD/Wirewheel Sportscars/Race-Sport.net Van Diemen throughout the full 2005 Formula Ford Zetec Championship Series schedule. Smith's RF05 Van Diemen will be prepared by GTP Motorsports, of Candia, New Hampshire, and long time open wheel engineer, Glenn Phillips. Smith and GTP will debut their 2005 Cooper Tires Championship effort at Braselton, Georgia's Road Atlanta course with the American Le Mans Series, (ALMS), on April 15-16th.
Following Atlanta, the Packers of Indian River, LTD/Wirewheel Sportscars/Race-sport.net Van Diemen will enter the second race of the season at the Mid-Ohio SportsCar Course on May 22nd. The third-round will come in conjunction with Champ Car's Grand Prix of Cleveland at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport on June 25-26th. The first race with the Grand American Road Racing Association, the sanctioning body for the Cooper Tire Series, will be with the Rolex Sports Car Series at Mid-Ohio on August 27-28th. A yet to be announced September date will make-up the fifth round of the circuit with the sixth at Virginia International Raceway, with the Rolex Series, on October 8-9th. The season will conclude with the Cooper Festival on the short course at Sebring, (Fla.) international Raceway, on October 22-23rd.
While pursuing other motorsports opportunities in recent years, Smith has kept an active hand in open wheel racing as a regular in the Zetec Series. Smith, an instructor at the Panoz Racing School and Audi Driving Experience Schools, is looking forward to filling out his 2005 schedule racing in the Historic SportsCar Racing series (HSR), with owner/driver Jim Rogers and teammate Bill Adam in Rogers' mid-80's Group 44 Jaguar GTP car and Audi R8 LMP1 car. Smith opened the HSR season driving the Audi to victory in the Al Holbert Memorial GTP WSC Reunion at Sebring in March.
GTP Motorsports, a national parts supplier for Van Diemen race cars, has extensive experience in preparing cars for competition in the ALMS, IMSA GTP and open wheel racing for Kenny Bernstein's CART program. Packers of Indian Rover, LTD. is a leading citrus grower and packing company in Florida. Wirewheel Sportscars, (www.wirewheel.com) focuses on the sales of pre-owned British Sports cars and other unique cars of interest. Race-sport.net, from Boca Raton, Fla., specializes in karting sales, service and supplies.
About the season: "I am really excited about my up-coming season in the Cooper Championship. We have put together a great group of sponsors that have come on board to support us for the year. First, we have an awesome schedule and I'm looking forward to driving the Indian River/Wirewheel/Race-sport.net car at all of the tracks, especially Atlanta, Cleveland and VIR. Secondly, with the announcement of Grand American sanctioning the series and a potential Daytona Prototype ride at the end of the year, I find myself with some added incentive. I've always had a goal to do endurance racing and I can't imagine a better way to showcase myself in front of the Rolex teams than to be running in the Cooper Zetec Series."
About racing with GTP: "How can this get better? I will have the best engineer in the paddock in Glenn Phillips. It is important for a driver and engineer to be on the same page. Glenn and I are on the same sentence."
About racing this weekend at Road Atlanta: "Winning at Sebring in the Audi really was the best possible way to begin the year, I am rolling into Atlanta with this momentum and still on that high."