MINNEAPOLIS — Series newcomer Afterburner Autosport will field cars for Korean racer Heamin Choi in the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda season.
As part of a planned multi-car effort in the Championship class of the highly regarded USF2000 Championship, Afterburner Autosport has ventured outside the traditional North American ranks to find the first driver for its successful rookie campaign in 2012. In signing the 28 year-old Choi, the two-time SCCA Formula Continental National Championship winners have added an experienced racer with a proven winning record. The two-time Korean sports car champion will contest the entire 2012 USF2000 Championship schedule, piloting an Afterburner Autosport entry in pursuit of both wins and championship top honors.
“We are pleased to have secured Choi for the 2012 season,” stated team principal Tim Walsh. “While he is a newcomer to USF2000 competition, he brings a great deal of experience and success to the team. We are all already looking forward to the season-opener at Sebring.”
“I’m very excited to be joining the Mazda Road to Indy program with Afterburner Autosport,” stated Choi. “In Korea there is no such program to help champions progress up the motorsports ladder. I think the USF2000 Championship is great opportunity to learn and adapt to American autosports, and I know Afterburner Autosport has the experience, crew, and resources to help me challenge for the championship title.”
Choi, who is a native of Seoul, South Korea, first got behind the wheel at the age of 15, racing a kart. After two years of success, including winning the Korean Kart Grand Prix five times, the teenager made his car racing debut in 2001.
Showing good skills right from the get go, Choi captured the inaugural Samsung Everland Speedway Scholarship System award and was named the Rookie Champion Awards Winner by the Korea Automobile Racing Association in 2003. Over the course of the next three years, the Korean racer established himself as an internationally recognized sports car driver, securing the BAT GT Championship Formula Korea A (2005) and CJ GT Championship GT1 (2006) titles.
In 2007, Choi made his North American racing debut, contesting the Star Mazda Championship season-finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Most recently, Choi has contested several touring car and stock car races in his native Korea.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.