US F2000 – A Brief History and Introduction

The new US F2000 National Championship presented by Cooper Tires and powered by Mazda will make its debut at the O’Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis on Saturday May 29th, the night before the Indianapolis 500 Mile Race. They will be part of a larger celebration of speed, The Night Before The 500, which will also feature the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear, and USAC Midgets. It should be a great night of racing, and you can bet that the whole OpenPaddock staff will be there.

History of F2000 and the Origins of the US F2000 National Championship

The inital origins of the F2000 style of racing dates back to the mid 60’s and the creation of the Formula Ford class. The Formula Ford cars typically used a 1600cc normally-aspirated engine and thus were often labeled FF1600. These cars are still popular today and is one of the few remaining open-wheel, single-seater classes that still runs without the benefit, or the hinderences, of wings and other aerodynamic elements.

Reynard Formula Ford 2000 at the Nürburgring in 1985
Reynard Formula Ford 2000 at the Nürburgring in 1985
The US F2000 series was first created by Dan Andersen, founder and owner of Andersen Racing, and Mike Foschi in 1991 and was an immediate success with most events attracting dozens of entries. The F2000 cars diverged from their Formula Ford origins by including front and rear wings on the cars and using the still popular 2.0-liter Pinto engine. It seemed reasonable that if a series was going to develop drivers for the top end of open-wheel racing, that they should learn how to handle the aerodynamic aspects of a single-seater car early. The series was sold in 2001, but repurchased by Mr. Andersen in 2009, achieved sanctioning by the Indy Racing League, and made an official step in the Road To Indy Program beginning with the 2010 season.

If you’d like to read more on the history and origins of the US F2000 cars, we highly recommend stepping over to Junior Open Wheel Talent and reading Ryan’s excellent article Junior Formula 101- F2000 Championship.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the season so far, the schedule of what’s to come, and a short list of drivers to watch.

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