ALTON, Va. — The seventh F2000 Championship Series season opens April 12-15 at Virginia Int’l Raceway.
2011 Series Champion Remy Audette is off to sports cars, but the men who finished behind him in the points are all expected back, along with a contingent of young aspiring and proven rookies ready for more than four and a half hours of track time in Virginia.
The second-place finisher in the 2011 title fight, Chris Livengood, has been quiet during the offseason. Livengood has confirmed a 2012 program but has revealed little detail. The team offloaded the Pittsburgh native’s No. 37 Van Diemen and sources indicate Livengood may appear at VIR in a different chassis.
That is the story down the list too. Twenty-year-old Kyle Connery, a six-race winner in 2011, and a major favorite heading into 2012, has also switched from his proven Van Diemen to the RFR package, signaling offseason development work may have been successful.
Fast Venezuelan Robert La Rocca will return for a sophomore campaign with Ft. Lauderdale-based HP-Tech, and will be joined by two of his countrymen, rookies Francisco Cerullo and Jose Montiel, all in RFRs.
2011 Masters Class Champion and always a threat for wins, Tim Minor, has also switched chassis, but to a Citation over his No. 88 Van Diemen.
Tim Paul is the highest placing 2011 Championship finisher that returns in 2012 with a consistent package, his No. 06 SMR/GTP Motorsports Van Diemen. Paul landed on the podium at Lime Rock and picked up speed throughout 2011, nearly winning in the rain at VIR.
VIR winner Nathan Morcom will run a second year with Primus Racing, having switched over to the RFR chassis at the season finale in 2011. Primus is expected to add further entries before the season opener.
The biggest addition to the F2000 Series may be aspiring ace Wyatt Gooden, who won all four F1600 races he entered in 2011. Gooden continues with the same squad, Quantum Racing Services, but moves up the ladder to the F2000 Series, in a Van Diemen/Zetec.
Shaun Miller is another promising young rookie expected, in a RFR for Jay Motorsports.
With RFR chassis pouring into the F2000 paddock, there is also the new Radon, of which six are expected at VIR.
Robert Wright, Jim Hanrahan, Peter Gonzalez, and Paul Farmer are all Masters Class drivers expected to campaign the new car. Chassis No. 1, under the GTP Motorsports banner, will be driven by Brazilian Fabio Orsolon while chassis No. 6, is campaigned by Momentum Motorsports, who is expected to have a competitive, young driver in the car.
Multiple-time SCCA National Champion Niki Coello is also expected with the No. 81 RFR entry.BREAKING NEWS: SPEED SPORT is back in print with a new monthly format! Subscribe for just $24.95. Special offer for former subscribers.