PALMETTO, Fla. — Just days after closing the books on a hotly contested 2012 season, the Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship powered by Mazda is already focused on the future and announced numerous changes to its National Class program.
Following a partnership last year with SCCA Enterprises which saw the USF2000 category expand to include Formula Enterprises (FE) entries alongside Zetec-powered Van Diemens, the series will welcome only FE cars in the newly renamed USF2000 National Class Presented by SCCA Enterprises next season.
The category is a second-tier, cost-effective alternative program to the Championship Class which features a Mazda MZR-powered Van Diemen chassis and offers its champions a scholarship package to advance to the next level on the Mazda Road to Indy — the Star Mazda Championship — the following season. National Class entries will now be all Mazda-powered Van Diemens. The winner of the National Class is provided with a scholarship package to advance to the Championship Class the following year.
“The USF2000 Championship is all about providing opportunities to up-and-coming drivers, and our National Class has always been designed to allow lesser funded drivers to participate as they seek additional support to move up to our Championship Class,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “The addition of FE cars to our class this past season has proven the value of this very cost-effective car, which is also very efficient to operate on a season-long basis. We are pleased to make this change to an FE only National Class, and look forward to some great racing and some new drivers and teams joining us for 2013.”
The 2012 National Class Championship came down to a three-way battle for top honors at the season finale last weekend at Virginia Int’l Raceway with 16-year-old Norwegian talent Henrik Furuseth of Cape Motorsports with Wayne Taylor Racing taking the crown in a season that included seven wins and nine top-three finishes in an FE entry.
As a further extension of the new partnership with SCCA Enterprises, the series will support FE entries at the 49th Annual SCCA National Championship Runoffs taking place this week at Road America with a contingency award for the class winner toward USF2000 entry fees in 2013.
“SCCA Enterprises is extremely proud that Formula Enterprises has a strengthened position in the USF2000 Series National Class,” said Erik Skirmants, SCCA Enterprises President and CEO. “My Board and I discussed our belief that this was the only series we wanted to pursue because of the opportunities it presents, the Mazda Road to Indy and that our cost-effective cars are best when racing only against themselves. Presenting the National Class is an honor, and fulfills our highest objectives for the FE cars’ future plans.”
The rules package for 2013 will closely mirror the SCCA General Competition Rules and Specifications (GCR) currently in place and utilized by USF2000 with minor changes including expanding the allowable spring options, permitting an alternate sway bar and the use of wickers on the front and rear wings, and replacing the muffler with a straight tailpipe. SCCA Enterprises Customer Service Representatives are located throughout the United States and include three USF2000 teams – Robinson Motor Sport, Alliance Autosport and Comprent Motor Sports.