The annual Cooper Tires Presents the US F2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda Winterfest schedule was announced today. The series will return to Sebring International Raceway the first week of February to run three races and then head to the Palm Beach International Raceway the following week for three more races. The six-race series provides teams an opportunity to test drivers in a competitive format and assess not just their pace, but their racecraft. It also serves as an appetizer for us fans after our motorsports fasting over the long dark winter of the off-season. Sadly, the Winterfest won’t be televised, but as always we can follow along with the USF2000 live timing and scoring. Its a ways away, but its good to know that deals and schedules are already in place for the 2nd Winterfest. Now if only I could find my way down to Florida next Februrary!
Official Announcement from USF2000
PALMETTO, Fla. – The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda has confirmed the dates and venues for the second annual Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship – a six-race mini-series which provides teams and drivers the opportunity to gain a jumpstart their 2012 season campaigns.
Two premier road courses will host the tripleheader rounds. Dates have been secured at the historic 3.7-mile, 17-turn Sebring International Raceway circuit in Sebring, Fla., on February 6 and 7 alongside the IMSA Development Series Winter Test featuring the Cooper Tires Prototype Lites Championship Powered by Mazda and IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge classes. The event is a prelude to the American Le Mans Series Winter Test on February 8 and 9.
On February 11 and 12, the series will make its first appearance at the 2.034-mile, 11-turn Palm Beach International Raceway in Palm Beach, Fla. The three-race schedule will run in conjunction with Cooper Tire Prototype Lites in addition to test sessions for the Star Mazda Championship Presented by Goodyear and Firestone Indy Lights.
“We are very happy to announce the second annual Cooper Tires Winterfest with a terrific schedule that promises a lot of racing in a short period of time,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “The schedule of six races over seven days works well for our teams and drivers and is the perfect way for them to develop their working relationships in the midst of fierce competition. We are excited to get our first look at the drivers who we expect will give us another great season of USF2000 racing in 2012.”
Teams will have the opportunity to go directly from Sebring to the PBIR facilities for pre-race preparations on February 9 and 10.
Andretti Autosport’s Zach Veach captured the 2010 Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship title and $10,000 award. Teammate Spencer Pigot finished second followed by Matthew Di Leo driving for Brian Stewart Racing. Pabst Racing Services’ J.R. Smart claimed National Class honors.
The Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda enjoyed a highly successful 2011 season with nine different drivers emerging as race winners. Championship battles in both the Championship and National classes came down to the wire in a pair of season-ending races at the inaugural Baltimore Grand Prix which featured series high 19-car fields. Petri Suvanto of Cape Motorsportswith Wayne Taylor Racing clinched Championship honors and Luca Forgeois of Pabst Racing Services earned the National title.
As the first official step on the Mazda Roadto Indy ladder system sanctioned by INDYCAR, the top driver in the USF2000 Championship class will earn a scholarship package from Mazda to advance to Star Mazda competition. The series is also part of the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder which assists young drivers in advancing from the Skip BarberRacing Schoolto USF2000.
INDYCAR and Mazda’s strong support of the ladder series extends beyond the race track with the highly successful Mazda Road to Indy Summit program offering media, social media and business/sponsorship training amongst other topics as well as networking and promotional opportunities to its drivers.
The doubleheader opening rounds of the 2012 USF2000 season will take place at the 60thAnniversary Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring Fueled by Fresh from Florida on March 14-17. A full series schedule will be announced in the coming weeks.
Teams interested in participating in the Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship can contact Series Manager Michelle Kish at 941-723-3900 or via firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information, including a schedule, will be available at www.usf2000.com.