CAMIRAND, WHELDON TAKE F2000 POINTS BATTLE TO MILLER LITE 200 FAIRFIELD, N.J. (August 12) -The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the second time in 1999 as part of the Miller...
CAMIRAND, WHELDON TAKE F2000 POINTS BATTLE TO MILLER LITE 200
FAIRFIELD, N.J. (August 12) -The U.S. F2000 National Championship Presented by Speedvision returns to the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course for the second time in 1999 as part of the Miller Lite 200 FedEx Championship Series weekend for Round 11 of the 14-Round season.
Canadian Marc-Antoine Camirand and English rookie Dan Wheldon take a heated points battle to the event, which features a 22-lap, 49.676-mile contest which will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on the Speedvision Network Friday, September 10 at 10:00 p.m. Wheldon won the series' first trip to Mid-Ohio, part of the U.S. Road Racing Classic, June 6.
Jointly sanctioned by SCCA Pro Racing and the United States Auto Club, U.S. F2000 National Championship boasts the best up-and-coming talent in open-wheel racing today, and it's cut-throat competition has put it at the top of motor racing entertainment for North American race fans. A new association with the Speedvision Network also brings exciting, prime-time television broadcasts into 22 million homes across North America.
Reigning Rookie of the Year Camirand (No. 96 Players-racing.com/Key Motorsports Van Diemen Ford) hopes to increase his 22-point advantage over Wheldon (No. 5 Jayhard/Primus Racing Van Diemen Ford), and has been on a roll the past month, recording three podium finishes in the past three races-including a popular win in front of the hometown fans at Trois-Rivieres, Quebec, August 1.
Wheldon has three wins on the season (Lowe's Motor Speedway, Mosport Race Two, Mid-Ohio Round One), and had a 34-point advantage over Camirand heading into the Road Atlanta doubleheader weekend, July 24-25. Mechanical failures in both Road Atlanta rounds and a third-place finish at Trois-Rivieres allowed Camirand to complete a 56-point swing (216-194) heading into Mid-Ohio. However, Wheldon has history on his side, as his Chief Engineer, John Hayes, has won the last four Mid-Ohio races (Zak Morioka, 1997; David Besnard, twice in 1998; and Wheldon, 1999). On a related note, Mid-Ohio has been won by the eventual series champion every season the U.S. F2000 has visited the circuit.
Steve Rikert, who sits third in points, with 170, hopes to get back on track after his first finish outside of the top-10 at Trois-Rivieres in the No. 4 Richard Morgan Racing Van Diemen Ford due to brake problems. Rikert, who won at Atlanta Motor Speedway, finished third at Mid-Ohio in June. Bobby Oergel (No. 19 DSTP Motorsport/Quicksilver Mygale Ford) had a career-best finish of second at Mid-Ohio, and currently sits fourth in points, with 148.
Aaron Justus, who is currently fifth in points, with 132, is reportedly finished for the season, due to budget restraints. His teammate, T.J. Bell, set the race lap record in June, and is sixth in points in the No. 23 Cape/Eldorado/MiR/Bell Helmets Van Diemen Ford, with 129.
Other drivers currently in the top-10 looking to jump to the top of the podium include Jonathan Bottoms (No. 3 Roppe/Team Great Northern Van Diemen Ford), June Mid-Ohio polesitter and qualifying record-holder Mark E. Dismore (No. 13 Monster.com Van Diemen Ford), Daniel Muniz (No. 5 Texaco-Havoline/Visa Aval Van Diemen Ford) and Rolando Quintanilla (No. 40 Tecate/Quaker State/Transportes Quintanilla Van Diemen Ford). In Justus' absence, 1996 Irish Formula Ford Champion Jeff Wright will pilot the second Cape Motorsports car with sponsorship from Jetboy, Casabella and current Formula One World Championship leader Eddie Irvine. Additionally, Bryce Miller (No. 36 World Omni Financial/Seacoast Builders Corp. Van Diemen Ford) has moved to Cape Motorsports for the remainder of the season.