Carlin to join USF2000 next season
Carlin Racing is to join forces with kart constructors BENIK to run a USF2000 team in 2017, and Trevor Carlin also has plans to expand to Pro Mazda in 2018.
The Carlin BENIK team has already ordered the new spec Tatuus USF-17s for next year’s USF2000 championship, as the series replaces the old Van Diemen at the entry level of the Mazda Road To Indy.
Carlin told Motorsport.com: “BENIK Kart is run by a couple of British guys, Ben Cruttenden and Nick Mitchell, based out of Florida and this technical partnership is going to be a great way to get into the junior formulas over here.
“It’s not like USF2000 has been struggling for entries anyway, but with this new Tatuus coming online, I’m sure for a lot of people like us, it’s the ideal time to come in.”
The Tatuus USF-17 will also be the basis of the Pro Mazda championship’s new car in 2018, the PM-18, and when asked if he would join that series too, Carlin responded, “That would be logical, wouldn’t it? I mean, trying to be in all the significant levels of junior open-wheel is what we’re known for in Europe, so it’s great to get the chance to also do that here in the States.
“Replicating that ladder here makes sense, especially once we’re able to take the best of our drivers all the way to IndyCar. We can call it the Carlin Road To Indy!
“We’ve got good drivers over in Europe who’d love to come and race in IndyCar, and it will also spread the reach of IndyCar and the Mazda Road To Indy over to Europe.”
DEForce, a new team started by former Indy car driver David Martinez and Ernesto Martinez, has also announced plans to field three cars in the 2017 USF2000 Championship. The team, based in Angleton, Texas, has ordered three of the new cars.
In late June, the Tatuus USF-17 completed its road course test program, with Joel Miller having driven the car at Bowling Green, Ky., Barber Motorsports Park and Road America. Matt Brabham tested it in oval spec, and the the first delivery of 15 cars is scheduled for September.
Prospective 2017 USF2000 drivers will be able to test the cars for the first time at the annual Chris Griffis Memorial Mazda Road to Indy test, to be held on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course on October 8/9.
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