As we speculated in our article announcing the Cooper Tires Presents the USF2000 National Championship Powered by Mazda 2012 schedule, and as we discussed on this week’s podcast, the season finale will be held at the Virginia International Raceway on September 14 and 15 in support of the American Le Mans Series. The 4.1-mile, 21-turn Grand West Course will be a perfect fit for the USF2000 cars, and with the new upgrades bringing the venue up to FIA Grade Two spec, VIR is poised to move into a position of being one of the great natural terrain road courses in North America. Grand Am and the SCCA World Challenge have been racing at VIR for several seasons, and the racing action has been spectacular. While the moto riders have been complaining significantly about the new kerbs, and they have a legitimate complaint, the new kerbing will be an overall benefit for the circuit with their ability to attract top-level racing series such as ALMS. Don’t be surprised if you see IndyCar visit VIR within the next couple of seasons.
The USF2000 schedule is now complete as it was first published. IndyCar is becoming very optimistic about a return to the Milwaukee Mile, and if that happens, we could see a 15th and 16th event added to the 2012 schedule. As Mike mentioned on this week’s podcast, the USF2000 National Championship could do with another short oval event. We’ll keep our ears to the rail and let you know as soon as we hear anything regarding further schedule changes. For now, be sure to secure your travel and hotel arrangements and get to VIR this September! It should be a great weekend of road racing goodness.
Official USF2000 Release
PALMETTO, Fla. – The Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda added the finishing touches to its strong 2012 race schedule which was announced last week by today confirming a pair of season-ending events at Virginia International Raceway on September 14 and 15 in support of the American Le Mans Series. Both series will be making their first appearances on the 4.1-mile, 21-turn ‘Grand Course’ road course configuration at the Alton, Va., circuit.
“I am thrilled to be able to confirm our events at VIR,” said Dan Andersen, Owner and CEO of Andersen Promotions, the series promoter. “This was the final piece to an exciting schedule in support of INDYCAR and the ALMS that will showcase the incredible talent we have in place this year. VIR is a first-class facility, and it is one of the best road courses in America. It is scenic, challenging, fan-friendly and will make a great site for our season finale.
“We currently have 20 confirmed drivers with more announcements expected. As the first step on the Mazda Road to Indy ladder, our goal is to provide the right mix of circuits to offer the best training ground. We now have four permanent road courses, two street circuits and one oval event – all at high-profile venues – I couldn’t be more pleased with our schedule for this season. We are looking forward to some great racing.”
The date of an official series test day at the VIR circuit will be announced in the near future.
At present, 17 drivers are set to jumpstart their 2012 racing seasons with the Cooper Tires Winterfest which kicks off on February 6. The six-race mini series features tripleheader rounds at Sebring International Raceway – site of the USF2000 season-opener – on February 6 and 7, and Palm Beach International Raceway on February 11 and 12.
2012 Cooper Tires USF2000 Championship Powered by Mazda Schedule
March 15-16 Races 1/2 Sebring International Raceway Road Course With ALMS
March 24-25 Races 3/4 Streets of St. Petersburg Street Circuit With INDYCAR
May 26 Race 5 Lucas Oil Raceway Oval With USAC
August 4-5 Races 6/7 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course Road Course With INDYCAR/ALMS
August 17-18 Races 8/9/10 Road America Road Course With ALMS
September 1-2 Races 11/12 Streets of Baltimore Street Circuit With INDYCAR/ALMS
September 14-15 Races 13/14 Virginia International Raceway Road Course With ALMS
Cooper Tires Winterfest Championship (six race mini-series):
February 6-7 Sebring International Raceway
February 11-12 Palm Beach International Raceway
Series Open Tests/Oval Clinic:
May 2-3 Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course
May 4 Oval Clinic at Indianapolis Motor Speedway
May 5 Lucas Oil Raceway
June 25-26 Road America
Date TBA Virginia International Raceway