USF2000 Teams Prepare for Next Two Doubleheaders PALMETTO, Fla., July 14 - The excitement level for the next two doubleheaders in the "Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda" is high after two recent series...
USF2000 Teams Prepare for Next Two Doubleheaders
PALMETTO, Fla., July 14 - The excitement level for the next two doubleheaders in the "Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda" is high after two recent series tests at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on Thursday, July 8 and at the Autobahn County Club in Joliet, Ill., on Monday, July 12.
The series will appear at those two tracks in reverse order in the next few weeks.
The series, which is part of both the MAZDASPEED Motorsports driver development program and the Indy Racing League's Road to Indy program, will be featured on HDNet's live coverage of the Harrah's Autobahn Grand Prix Presented by Mazda at Autobahn Country Club's 3.56-mile, 21-turn road course on July 31-Aug. 1. The series will then move to Road America's 4.048-mile, 14-turn road course on Aug. 21-22 for another doubleheader which is part of the Time Warner Cable Road Race Showcase that supports an American Le Mans Series headliner.
Autobahn Country Club and Road America are the two longest tracks on the series' 2010 schedule. Good results at both places will be important as the young guns in the Championship class vie for the MAZDASPEED Motorsports scholarship valued at $350,000 that will go to the champion of that division following the season finale at the Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga., Sept. 30-Oct. 1.
Although no official times were taken, stopwatches at the Road America test showed the fastest time of the day for the USF2000 contingent to be around 2:12.1. Andretti Autosport was there with point leader Sage Karam and Zach Veach, while Patrick McKenna, who won the series' most recent race, represented Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing. JDC MotorSports was busy working on the set-ups of cars driven by hard chargers Mikhail Goikhberg, Raphael Abbate and Martin Sala. Matt Powers practiced in one of Liberty Motorsports' cars, while that team's driver coach, Andersen Racing's Anders Krohn, sorted out a second Liberty Motorsports car.
Pabst Racing Services joined all of those teams for the test that followed at the Autobahn Country Club, as one of its National class drivers, J.R. Smart, is determined to regain the National class point lead now held by Ardie Greenamyer. Two additional drivers also tested there, as Fuerza Chile drivers Martin Scuncio and Javier Barrales participated in the test in a cooperative effort with Cape Motorsports. Krohn didn't drive for Liberty Motorsports at the Autobahn test, but Powers represented that team there as he did at Road America.
The unofficial fast time at the Autobahn test was 2:18.7 for the USF2000 cars.
Point leader Sage Karam was involved in a crash early in the morning, but the Andretti Autosport team had the car back on the track for the very next session. Carl Haas Automobile Imports was present at both tests to supply parts for just such incidents, while Steve Knapp of Elite Engines was also on hand to provide his expertise on the Mazda MZR engines and other powerplants used in the series.
"The USF2000 National Championship shared the test days with some Star Mazda teams," noted Michelle Kish, the USF2000 series manager. "The times for the USF2000 cars were surprisingly close to the Star Mazda cars, which have close to 90 more horsepower."