6.5 Hours of Track Time at VIR
New York, NY – F2000 Championship Series drivers and teams will see an enormous amount of track time at the opening rounds of the 2010 championship at VIR, April 9-11. Six hours and 30 minutes in fact. For those that have followed the series since it’s inception in 2006, this may seem standard, for those on the outside looking in, it’s anything but standard.
The weekend unofficially starts on Thursday April 8, with a full test day. Three 45 minute sessions in the morning are followed by two more in the afternoon. Friday sees two afternoon practice sessions, 25 and 30 minutes each. Saturday and Sunday both feature a 25 minute morning qualifying session followed by an afternoon 14-lap or 30 minute race.
As the Series holds its ground on the open wheel ladder, providing such an amount of track time is important for up-and-coming drivers, and rookie teams to come to grips.
“For any young driver seat time is the most important factor in his or her driving development, we have always prided ourselves that we offer our competitors tons of track time in order to maximize their seat time and learning curve,” said Series Managing Director Michael Rand.
“Similarly, our more experienced drivers can easily try a few tweaks and return to the track to see if it worked on an apple to apple comparison. More laps are always better than fewer.”
Rookie Timothy Paul, who comes out of midget and sprint car racing along with his new-to-F2000 SMR two-car team commented: “As a rookie it's absolutely helpful. You have to remember I have no experience on these tracks. Every second of practice is helping my confidence and the team's ability to prepare and get acclimated. You can never be too well prepared. Six and a half hours of track time at VIR is about as close as you can come to a perfect opportunity, especially at the beginning of the season.”
Jonathan Scarallo, who recently announced his sophomore F2000 campaign as an R-Sport driver said: “It is a terrific way to start the season especially for people on a small budget such as myself who did not get to do any winter testing. It also gives us an opportunity to try some new things on the cars, and just get the rust off a bit as well.”
The 14-race, seven-weekend 2010 F2000 Championship Series gets going on April 9 at VIR, followed by Road Atlanta in May and Mosport in June. Then it’s Watkins Glen with IndyCar and Lime Rock with ALMS in July before Road America in August and the season finale at Mid-Ohio over Labor Day. The F2000 Series posted the highest average car count on the open wheel development landscape in 2008 and 2009 with an average of 30 entries per race.